Chapter 7 - Memory

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Chapter 7, titled Memory, dealt with explaining how memories work within our minds. While everyone knows what memories are, few know specifics when it comes to knowing how it works. For example, short-term memory is much shorter than I assumed; short-term memories only last about 10-15 seconds until it becomes a fuzzier depiction of whatever that memory was. Additional interesting statistics about short-term memory explain the number of things that can be remembered. For example, page 248 explains that "the digit span of most adults is between five and nine digits" and "applies to just about all information we encounter: Numbers, letters, people, vegetables, and cities" (249). Beyond just the three types of memories, chapter 7 describes memory's level of function in regard to age, going into the specifics beginning with an infants' limited memory functions to an elderly person's. Another interesting discussion was one I found very relatable to as a student. When it comes to relearning, or studying in our case, the law of distributed versus massed practice means that one is more likely to learn something if restudied over long intervals rather than only a few times. While this is something I've heard before, this is proof.


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I enjoyed reading your summary about chapter seven. I look forward to learning more about memory and the mechanics behind it. I had no idea short term memory was actually so short. In fact I thought it meant it was a memory that had occurred recently. It was also interesting to have proof that memory and function correlate to age. I also had no idea there were different types of memories. I always thought we just had one kind of memory. Like you I have heard its better to study over periods of time but I usually procrastinate and wait to study, it will be interesting to read about the effects of those who study over longer periods of time compared to those who study in short periods of time.

Learning about memory was one of the main reasons I decided to take this course-- things like that completely interest me! Thanks for the summary. The main points you talked about seemed to capture the main essence of the chapter without going into too much detail about the confusing biological underpinnings of how memories are physically made. Like the last commenter, I had no idea short-term memory was just 10-15 seconds! When we use the term in common speech it usually refers to perhaps a couple of weeks. I found the concepts you explained concerning digits very interesting as well. Is that why phone numbers are only 7 digits long? Would we not be able to memorize them otherwise? (...That is, of course, if anyone even memorizes phone numbers anymore with digital contacts programmed right into cell phones and such.) Thinking about memories is an intriguing feat of metacognition and I look forward to reading Chapter Seven to learn more!

Your summary on memory was very interesting and had a lot of facts that I didn't know before reading your blog. I am shocked that short- term memory only lasted 10-15 seconds, I thought it lasted much longer than that. Its no wonder why when I put off all my studying till the end I get worse grades. Now I have no excuse to put off my studying for the psych test! Memories are really intriguing and it is really amazing how the brain is able to remember digits 5-9 easier than lower digits. I would never have thought that this was true. I actually can't wait for Chapter 7 because I want to learn more on how to use tactics to help me remember things I have studied.

Massed practice is a strange thing. I'm sure that anyone who has seriously crammed for an exam the night before/morning of may have felt like the information was at risk of just slipping right out of your memory. I wonder if there is a certain period of time in which your memory will continue to cycle information and 'perpetuate' your short term memory, since that's primarily what is being done by massed practice.

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This page contains a single entry by lund1454 published on January 25, 2012 12:56 AM.

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