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Memory for Everyday Activities
Attention: limited-capacity processes devoted to the monitoring of internal and external
Multimode Theory: a theory of attention positing that we can engage in early or late
selection depending on the situation; late selection requires more attentional resources than
early selection
Working Memory: the processes involved in examining, considering, manipulating, and
responding to internal and external events
Divided Attention: monitoring and responding to more than one source of information
Psychological Refractory Period: a period of time during which the response to a second
stimulus will be significantly slowed because of the processing still occurring on a stimulus
presented earlier
Stimulus Onset Asynchrony (SOA): the time that lapses between the presentation of two
Memory for Everyday Activities (page 2)
Automaticity: the tendency for cognitive processes to occur nonintentionally,
unconsciously, and with little effort after extensive practice
Action Slips: absentminded actions that are often the result of automatic processing
Modal Model: the information-processing view of memory that postulates a series of
chronologically arranged stages through which incoming information
passes (sensory memory, STM, and LTM)
Sensory Memory: proposed by the modal model of memory; an extremely brief
representation of a just presented stimulus
Long-Term Memory (LTM): the representations of experiences, knowledge, and skills that
we have accumulated throughout our lifetimes
Short-Term Memory (STM): the set of processes that we use to hold and rehearse
information that occupies our current awareness
Visual Persistence: the continuation of the neural response to a visually presented
stimulus after its removal; experienced as a fading icon or image
Memory for Everyday Activities (page 3)
Brown-Peterson task: a sequence of letters is encoded, followed by a distraction
task of counting backward, followed by recall of the letter sequence
Magical Number: 7 ± 2, the number of items we can hold in STM
Memory Span: the capacity of STM; the longest string of information a person can
immediately recall
Retention Interval: the amount of time between encoding and retrieval
Chunking (recoding): regrouping items in STM
Word-Length Effect: the finding that STM span is negatively related to the length of
encoded items
Memory for Everyday Activities (page 4)
Phonological Similarity Effect: the finding that lists of similar-sounding items are more
difficult to keep track of in STM than are lists of different-sounding items
Decay: the loss of information from memory with the passage of time
Interference: when information currently in memory is negatively influenced by the
presentation of other information
Proactive Interference: occurs when earlier information interferes with the ability to retain
information that comes later
Retroactive Interference: occurs when later information interferes with the ability to retain
information that came earlier
Release from Proactive Interference: the release from the cumulative effects of proactive
interference when there is a change in the nature of the stimuli
being encoded
Articulator Loop: a subcomponent of working memory that allows for the mental rehearsal
of incoming information
Memory for Everyday Activities (page 5)
Articulatory Suppression Task: a task designed to prevent the rehearsal of information in
the subvocal rehearsal mechanism of the articulatory loop
Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad: a subcomponent of working memory that allows for the
processing of spatial information and manipulation of visual images
Central Executive: a limited-capacity control mechanism for working memory that is
responsible for the higher-level thought processes involved in planning, reasoning, and
language comprehension
Episodic Buffer: component of working memory that is responsible for integrating
information processed by the articulatory loop and the visuospatial sketchpad, as well as
relevant information from long-term memory
Executive Attention: function of working memory whereby we control the allocation of
Working Memory Span: a measure of the cognitive processing capacity that is available
when a person does two tasks (e.g., memory and computation) concurrently