Week 4 Memory Worksheet

Topics: Memory processes, Memory, Psychology Pages: 2 (636 words) Published: November 23, 2014
University of Phoenix Material
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.

What is primary memory? What are the characteristics of primary memory?
Primary memory, also known as short-term memory briefly encodes, manipulates, and holds information either forgotten or transferred to secondary (long-term) memory. Freudian psychology refers to primary memory as the conscious mind. One characteristic of primary memory is how forgetting occurs. Forgetting occurs because of interference and decay. Most of forgetting from primary memory occurs because of proactive and retroactive interference. When older learning interferes with new learning proactive interference occurs (Willingham, 2007). When later learning interferes with earlier learning retroactive interference occurs (Willingham, 2007). Decay contributes to forgetting because it is a spontaneous decomposition of the representation over time (Willingham, 2007).

Another characteristic of primary memory is the format in which it codes information. It codes material in three ways, which are visual-spatial, acoustic, and semantic. Evidence points to a primary memory component that can store tactile memories (Willingham, 2007). One last characteristic of primary memory is the amount of information that it can hold, or the capacity of primary memory (Willingham, 2007). Studies show that the capacity of primary memory is between five and nine digits, therefore an individual usually can recall five to nine digits relayed to him or her (Willingham, 2007). It appears that primary memory has limitations of two seconds of acoustic code and four of visual-spatial objects. Semantic-based memory is quite flexible because of chunking, which appears to increase primary memory’s capacity because secondary memory encodes through...

References: Willingham, D. T. (2007). Cognition: The thinking animal (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
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