The Psychology of Human Memory

The Psychology of Human Memory

1st Edition - January 1, 1981

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  • Authors: Arthur Wingfield, Dennis L. Byrnes
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483259437

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The Psychology of Human Memory presents a comprehensive discussion on the principles of human memory. The book is primarily concerned with theories and experiments on the acquisition and use of information. Topics on theoretical ideas that formed the basis for the earliest studies of memory; memory processes; aspects of association theory; capacity limitations; coding processes; types of memories; and applied memory research are also tackled. Psychologists, educators, psychiatrists, and students will find the book a good reference material.

Table of Contents

  • Contents

    1 Introduction and Overview

    Topic Questions

    What is Memory?

    Memory Processes




    Memory Structures

    Sensory Memory

    Short-Term Memory

    Long-Term Memory

    Levels of Processing

    Theoretical Approaches to Memory


    Cognitive Psychology

    Information Processing

    The Search for Memory

    Chapter Summary

    2 Long-term Memory and the Ebbinghaus Tradition

    Topic Questions

    Historical Background

    The British Associationists

    Ebbinghaus and the Nonsense Syllable

    Procedures in Verbal Learning

    Methods of Learning

    Measures of Retention

    Recall versus Recognition

    Interference in Memory

    Decay versus Interference

    And So to Sleep

    The Status of Decay Theory

    Varieties of Interference

    The RI Paradigm

    The PI Paradigm

    Context-Dependent Memory

    Acquisition and Interference

    Stage Analysis of Interference Tasks

    Transfer Experiments and Similarity

    Interference and Ordinary Forgetting

    Chapter Summary

    3 Associations and Forgetting in long-term Memory

    Topic Questions

    Interference Theories of Forgetting

    Research Strategy

    Response Competition


    Unlearning as Extinction

    Testing the Two-Factor Theory

    Some Problems for Factor X

    Measuring Unlearning

    Evaluation of the Two-Factor Theory

    Elaborations and Amendments to Interference Theory

    Response Set Interference

    Stimulus Encoding Variability

    Interference and Forgetting: Conclusions

    The Concept of Mediation

    Natural Language Mediation

    Image Mediation and Mnemonics

    Organization in Free Recall

    Associative Clustering

    Category Clustering

    Organization: Storage or Recall?

    Mediation and Organization: Conclusions

    Chapter Summary

    4 Meaning and Knowledge: Studies of Semantic Memory

    Topic Questions

    The Bartlett Tradition: Reconstructive Memory

    Memory and Meaning: Another Look at Interference

    Memory for Themes

    Inference in Memory

    Studies of Semantic Integration

    Imagery and Inference

    The Role of Context in Thematic Memory

    Organization in Memory

    The TOT Phenomenon

    A Case of Impaired Memory Search

    Models of Semantic Memory

    A Network Model of Semantic Memory

    Human Associative Memory (HAM)

    A Semantic Features Model

    Spreading Activation within a Network Model

    Episodic and Semantic Memory Revisited

    The Intelligent Computer

    Constructive Memory: A Model that Reasons

    The Talking Computer 128

    Another Look at Inference: Script and Text Processing

    Chapter Summary

    5 Coding Processes: I. Sensory MemorY

    Topic Questions

    A Memory System: Structure versus Process

    A Structural Model of Memory

    A Process Model of Memory

    The First Stage: Sensory Memory

    Visual Sensory Memory

    How Much Can We See in a Glance?

    The Duration of Iconic Memory

    The Content of Iconic Memory

    Interpretations of Iconic Memory

    Auditory Sensory Memory

    The Cocktail Party Problem

    The Duration of Echoic Memory

    The Content of Echoic Memory

    Sensory Memory and a Process Model

    Chapter Summary

    6 Coding Processes: II. Attention and Capacity

    Topic Questions

    Aspects of Attention

    Definitions of Attention

    Some Limits on Attention: Back to the Cocktail Party

    Two Concepts of Selective Attention

    The Early Experiments

    Shadowing Experiments

    Split-Span Experiments

    Time-Sharing Models of Attention

    Broadbent's Filter Theory

    An Attenuating Filter

    Further Evidence

    Capacity Models of Attention

    It Takes Attention to Pay Attention

    What Requires Capacity?

    Flexibility and Task Demands

    Data-Limited versus Resource-Limited Processes

    Early versus Late Selection: Take Your Choice

    Chapter Summary

    7 Short-Term Memory

    Topic Questions

    Approaches to Short-Term Memory

    Consciousness and Primary Memory

    Short-Term Memory as a Structural Store

    Process Views of Memory

    The Duplex Hypothesis

    The Capacity of Short-Term Memory

    Retrieval from Short-Term Memory

    The Content of Short-Term Memory 253

    Acoustic Confusions in Short-Term Memory

    Acoustic versus Articulatory Coding

    Coding Formats in Short- versus Long-Term Memory

    Forgetting in Short-Term Memory

    Distractor Tasks

    Serial Probe Tasks

    Serial Position Effects

    Chapter Summary

    8 Levels of Processing and Mental Representation

    Topic Questions

    Levels of Processing

    Depth of Processing and Retention

    Task Demands and Depth of Processing

    Rehearsal Revisited

    Elaboration and Retrieval of Memory Codes: Amendments to the Framework

    Elaboration and Spread of Encoding

    Encoding Distinctiveness

    Encoding Specificity and Compatibility

    Depth and Attentional Resources

    The Status of Short-Term Memory

    Memory Deficits Following Brain Damage

    A Concluding View of Short-Term Memory

    Visual Memory

    The Early Confrontation

    Studies of Picture Memory and Mental Rotation

    Concepts of Visual Imagery

    Dual-Coding versus Abstract Coding

    Detection in Memory: An Extended Analogy

    Signal Detection Theory

    Back to Recognition Memory

    Chapter Summary

    9 Memory Research on Applied Problems

    Topic Questions

    Eyewitness Testimony

    Estimator Variables

    System Variables

    Learning How to Learn

    Knowing About Remembering

    What Children Know About Knowing

    Strategies for Remembering

    Overcoming Short-Term Memory


    Meaningful Organization

    Individual Differences and Memory

    An Extraordinary Memory

    Abilities and the Functions of Memory

    Aging and Memory

    Memory Constraints and Modern Technology

    Capacity and Processing Limitations

    Sleep and Biological Rhythms

    Chapter Summary


    Name Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 444
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1981
  • Published: January 1, 1981
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483259437

About the Authors

Arthur Wingfield

Affiliations and Expertise

Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Dennis L. Byrnes

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