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Cognitive Psychology: Memory and Interferences Essay

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Procedural Memory

Procedural memory is a long-term memory that is responsible for remembering how to do something. In other words, procedural memory is responsible for motor skills. This type of memory allows a person to remember how to act unconsciously or automatically, which means that an individual does not have to think about it when he or she needs to perform a task. For example, I can swim, walk, and talk, and once l learned how to do it, I do not need to recall it every time because my procedural memory helps me to retain this knowledge.

Priming Memory

Priming memory is responsible for how one stimulus influences an individual’s response to a subsequent stimulus by unconscious activating as an association. For example, I am more likely to recognize what the word “sugar” means when I talk about cooking or baking than when I discuss traveling, because I associate sugar with food and not with trips. There are a few types of priming: positive and negative priming, semantic priming, masked priming, repetition priming, associative priming, and, finally, perceptual and conceptual priming.

Episodic Memory

Episodic memory is a past-oriented, retrospective memory system which is responsible for remembering certain experiences and autobiographical events in a serial form that allows reconstructing the actual events that happened at some point. For instance, I remember a summer trip to Italy that I took ten years ago. Another example might be remembering a New Year’s Eve party from my childhood years. It is one of the fundamental functions that form long-term memory.

Semantic Memory

Semantic memory is another major part that forms long-term memory and is responsible for concepts and ideas that are common knowledge. These facts get acquired from young years, and they usually depend on the cultural context as well. People also collect new knowledge over a lifetime, and, therefore, develop their semantic memory. For instance, I remember how to organize words in the right way to form a sentence and I know the capitals of countries. Semantic memories are not necessarily related to personal experience. For example, I am aware that Paris is a capital of France even though I have never been there.

Proactive Interference

Proactive interference occurs when older memories interfere with acquiring new memories. It is considered less widespread and less problematic than retroactive interference. An illustration of proactive interference might be a situation with changing the year. After January 1st, 2019, I still wrote the previous year, 2018, when I had to put a date. Eventually, I stopped doing it and remembered that the number had changed. The other example might be when my dog died, and then I got a new dog but I still called the new pet by the name of the dead one.

Retroactive Interference

Retroactive interference, on the contrary, happens when newer memories take the place of older memories, and it is difficult for an individual to recall older information because of this process. More recent information takes the place of the previously gained information. When students obtain new knowledge, they might start forgetting what they have acquired before. For example, when I was in the middle school, in the math class, I learned a new way of solving problems, and I eventually started having trouble recalling the methods I used before. The other example might be changing a phone password. When I created a new password to unlock my phone, I, eventually, forgot the one I had before.

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