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Trace the memory system from stimuli into long-term memory. Discuss the features of each step and factors that enhance or impede information flow in each step of the process. Explain proactive and retroactive interference and how you might counteract their effects while studying in order to facilitate maximum absorption of information into long-term memory. Explain other kinds of forgetting and discuss some strategies that can improve memory consolidation and/or retrieval.

  • Psychology -

    These sites will help you learn about the memory system.

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  • Psychology -

    Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. This looks like an interesting project! Try the following:




    4. (USA Today):

    5. (summary of Kandel's work):

    6. (Skeptic's Dictionary):

    7. (from Religious Tolerance):

  • Psychology -

    Although this might be a repetition of previous data, here is basic summary of the memory system and some other aspects.

    In addition, here are some of my lecture notes on the topic:

    Negative transfer, proactive and retroactive interference all stem from a particular relationship among tasks. One task has S1-->R1, while the other task has S1-->R2. The stimuli are the same in both tasks, but the responses are very different.

    In contrast, positive transfer, proactive and retroactive facilitation have the same relationship for the first task (S1-->R1). The other task has the same response, but following a new stimulus (S2-->R1).

    Whole vs. Part Learning

    I. Whole method relates to the serial position effect, which seems to combine primacy (consolidated in LTM) and regency (still in STM). Relate to proactive and retroactive interference discussed previously.

    II. Part Method only has problem with transitions.

    III. Progressive part method is best for rote learning. Overlearning leads to longer retention, especially under conditions of stress.

    IV. However, for complex ideas and principles as in psychology (hint, hint, hint), it is best to use whole method first and then the part method.

    Spaced (distributed) vs. Massed Practice. Diagram on board to indicate that terms are relative. Spaced practice is best with rote learning and simple motor tasks. As learning becomes more complex -- either motor or verbal -- spaced practice loses its advantage. For complex ideas and principles as in psychology (hint, hint, hint), it is best to use massed practice first, then spaced practice. (This differs from methods that most students use in studying.)

    Spaced practice helps to break a fixation or negative set ("mental block," similar to negative transfer). Massed practice forms and maintains fixations. In contrast, a positive set (similar to positive transfer) is like learning how to learn and test-wiseness (discussed more later).

    Two problems to illustrate negative sets or fixations.

    I. Draw a square of dots, with 3 dots on each side and a dot in the middle. The task is to draw 4 straight lines through all nine dots without lifting the drawing instrument from the paper. (Demo that each change in direction is a new line.)

    As they work, notify them that you have give them a negative set and urge them to "BREAK THAT SET!" Note that the more emotional they become, the worse the fixation will be. If not solved after 5-10 minutes, explain.

    II. With 6 sticks of equal length, construct 4 equilateral triangles with sides equal to the length of (an unbroken) stick. Note that they can draw the solution on their paper if they want to do so. As they work, notify them that you have give them a negative set and urge them to "BREAK THAT SET!" Note that the more emotional they become, the worse the fixation will be. If not solved after 5-10 minutes, explain.

    Note that people often limit themselves with these fixations, rather than having the limits externally imposed.

    Recitation (vs. reading only) does not mean merely underlining or highlighting. It involves saying aloud or writing the material, so it gets you to think about it. In most cases, it is best to spend up to 80% of the time in recitation as vs. reading only (learning checks, olds exams, questions in class examples). (Add "I know it, but I can't tell you what I know" example.)

    Advice to the study-lorn (similar to SQ3R method) -- how to study.

    I. Read chapter summary first, then skim over chapter all at once (or as close to that as possible). This is survey to give an overview (similar to Gestalt), while using whole method and massed practice first.

    II. Read one topic (column, page, heading to heading), close book, take scratch paper and write down all the important points in that section (Q student, Why write?) Open book to check accuracy, repeat "prn," but do spaced practice. This method is recitation along with the, spaced practice, feedback (KR), and progressive part method that leads to overlearning.

    III. Review all work weekly, which will lead to progressive part method over the semester (relate to forgetting curve and final exam).

    IV. Read assignment when assigned to avoid procrastination , which leads to massed practice ("cramming") just before exams (blank, no future retention [similar to no learning] examples).

    V. Use study guide and old exams (Q student, Why?), which leads to more recitation and feedback (KR).

    VI. After studying individually for an exam, get together in study groups to quiz each other (at least 2 nights before, explain). This leads to more recitation and feedback (KR).

    VII. Compete with teacher and other students to answer questions to yourself ("Don't call on me" example). ). This leads to more recitation and feedback (KR).

    VIII. Review exam (feedback), so you don't make same mistakes on the final (Q student to relate to definition of learning).

    IX. Study, then sleep, which leads to consolidation of LTM and reduced chances for interference.

    X. Study for every class as if you will be tested in that meeting (questions for students example).

    XI. (Q student, How many hours per week do you study for all courses on average?) Recommend minimum of 2 hours/week for every semester credit (double for summer school). Realize that all course do not require outside time, but others require more than the minimum (like psychology, hint, hint, hint).

    I hope this helps a little more. Thanks for asking.

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