Memory Essay

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Memory Worksheet

Using the text, Cognition: The Thinking Animal, the University Library, the Internet, and/or other resources, answer the following questions. Your response to each question should be at least 150 words in length. 1). What is primary memory? What are the characteristics of primary memory? Primary memory is otherwise known as short-term memory. It is the work area where all information is temporarily processed and encoded, and manipulated, and it is then either passed on to secondary memory or forgotten. According to some of the studies in the text it states that much of the capacity levels of primary memory is between 5 and 9 units which depends on the type of unit and the person or persons in question (Willingham, 2007). Primary memory seems too often be limited to 2 seconds of acoustic code, but on the other hand the brains capacity of semantic-based memory is much more flexible due to the effects of chunking. Chunking seems to help increase the capacity of an individual’s primary memory because secondary memory is processed or encoded through semantics. Primary memory is temporary or short term because decay and interference often act to weed out what is actually sent on or put into primary memory at any given time. Interference deals with the effects that any past or future memories will or could have on the current set of information that is contained in primary memory. Decay is the part of primary or short-term memory that most limits the capacity of information and it is necessary because it keeps the person or person’s attention focused on relevant information.

2). What is the process of memory from perception to retrieval? What happens when the process is compromised?

3). Is it possible for memory retrieval to be unreliable? Why or why not? What factors may affect the reliability of one’s memory?

Willingham, D. T. (2007). Cognition: The thinking animal. New York, NY: Pearson Prentice...
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