The Phenomenon of Memory & Memory Loss and Memory Feats

Topic: Skinner's Legacy

Posted by: Brian Lee

Key Terms:
memory: the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information
flashbulb memory: a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event
encoding: the processing of information into the memory system- for example, by extracting meaning
storage: the retention of encoded information over time
retrieval: the process of getting information out of memory storage


Memory is any indication that learning has persisted over time. It is our ability to store and retrieve information.
Psychologists studied extreme cases in order to learn more about the process of memorization. Some people suffered strokes and were not able to memorize stuff when they were distracted. For example a old man who suffered a stroke would forget about movie he watched yesterday. He won't even remember watching a movie. On the other hand some people can memorize lines for 3 seconds and recall them easily backwards and forwards. They would even memorize them 15 years later.
We tend to memorize surprising and significant moments better than other memories. For example, car accidents, first kiss or your first day to school will stay in your memory better than the vocab words you tried to memorize last night. These are called flashbulb memories.

Podcast Summary:

See Also:

Information processing (pg.345)
How we encode (pg.347)
What we encode (pg.349)
Retaining information (pg.354)

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