AP Psychology : Memory

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Memory

Which of these most accurately describes the difference between iconic and echoic memory?

Possible Answers:

Iconic memory is short-term; echoic memory is long-term

Iconic memory is visual; echonic memory is auditory

Iconic memory deals with factual information; echoic memory deals with sensory information

Iconic memory can be improved with selective attention; echoic memory cannot

Iconic memory deals with sensory information; echoic memory deals with factual information

Correct answer:

Iconic memory is visual; echonic memory is auditory

Explanation:

Iconic and echoic memory are two forms of sensory memory, which momentarily stores information from our senses before it is encoded in short-term memory. Iconic memory is the storage of what we see, while echoic memory is the storage of what we hear. Both of these functions can be improved with selective attention.

Example Question #2 : Memory

Which of these is an example of a type of implicit memory?

Possible Answers:

Autobiographical

Episodic

Semantic

Procedural

None of these

Correct answer:

Procedural

Explanation:

Implicit memory refers to memories that do not rely upon conscious recall activities. Procedural memory is the type of memory that we use to do everyday tasks like tying our shoes or riding a bike. These activities do not require our conscious awareness of our previous attempts.

Example Question #3 : Memory

Which of the following is an example of explicit memory?

Possible Answers:

Semantic memory

Familiarity

Classical conditioning

Priming

Procedural memory

Correct answer:

Semantic memory

Explanation:

Explicit memory refers to memories that can be consciously recalled. Semantic memory is memory about facts, like that Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. The other types of memory listed are types of implicit memory, which cannot be explicitly recalled.

Example Question #4 : Memory

How long do short-term memories last?

Possible Answers:

1-2 minutes

3-5 minutes

10-15 seconds

10-30 seconds

Correct answer:

10-30 seconds

Explanation:

Short-term memories are stored differently than long-term memories. Short-term memories generally include quick observations, and are only stored for 10-30 seconds. Short-term memories must be processed and stored as long-term memory in order to be accessible for any longer period of time.

Example Question #5 : Memory

What is mood-congruent memory?

Possible Answers:

Mood-congruent memory is when our ability to remember is diminished when we experience intense emotions, which could be either positive or negative in nature.

Mood-congruent memory involves how emotions filter what we are experiencing around us, affecting what we will remember later. For example, if we are happy, we are most likely to remember positive things about that particular time.

Mood-congruent memory is when negative feelings impede us from storing long-term memories.

Mood-congruent memory is when we feel a specific emotion, which triggers the accessibility of memories during which we felt the same way.

Correct answer:

Mood-congruent memory is when we feel a specific emotion, which triggers the accessibility of memories during which we felt the same way.

Explanation:

Mood-congruent memory is when we feel a certain emotion, and then are able to access memories during which we felt similarly. For instance, if we are feeling frustrated in an intimate relationship we are more likely to remember another event during which we felt that same way.

Example Question #6 : Memory

How long is information stored in our short-term memory?

Possible Answers:

5 minutes

30 seconds

5 seconds

24 hours

30 minutes

Correct answer:

30 seconds

Explanation:

Information only remains in our short-term memory for about 30 seconds. At the end of this time, this information is either forgotten or transferred to long-term memory.

Example Question #7 : Memory

Which of the following is a mnenomic strategy?

Possible Answers:

Learning

Conditioning

Clustering

Heeding

Chunking

Correct answer:

Chunking

Explanation:

Mnemonic devices are memory aids that seek to improve recall of information. Chunking is a popular memory aid that involves organizing items into familiar, manageable units. 

Example Question #8 : Memory

According to George Miller, about how many items can we store in short-term memory?

Possible Answers:

Ten, plus or minus three

Three, plus or minus one

Five, plus or minus one

Seven, plus or minus two

Nine, plus or minus two

Correct answer:

Seven, plus or minus two

Explanation:

Influential cognitive psychologist, George Miller, conducted a series of experiments in which it seemed that there is a "magical number seven," meaning that we can usually hold about seven items in our short-term memory at once. This has been supported by many studies, but also disputed among cognitive psychologists.

Example Question #9 : Memory

Which of the following events may be considered an episodic memory?

Possible Answers:

Hiking with your parents in Sedona when you were twelve

The dates of important battles in World War II

Tying a shoelace

Mnemonic devices

A series of words in a language you don't know, but have memorized through repetition

Correct answer:

Hiking with your parents in Sedona when you were twelve

Explanation:

An episodic memory is a recollection of specific events, usually one's personal experiences. Remembering specific details is an example of semantic memory. Learning a skill, like tying a shoelace, is procedural memory. Mnemonic devices are a tool for remembering detailed information. Remembering words one doesn't understand through repetition is a prime example of rote memorization.

Example Question #10 : Memory

The saying "you never forget how to ride a bike" describes the persistence of which type of memory?

Possible Answers:

semantic

priming

explicit

episodic

procedural

Correct answer:

procedural

Explanation:

Riding a bike is a type of procedural memory, the memory of a participating in a physical or cognitive process. Procedural memories are implicit (implied) rather than explicit (conscious). 

Episodic memory is the memory for events in one's life (your 10th grade birthday party), and semantic memory is the memory for facts and knowledge (the first US president).

Priming is not a type of memory at all, but rather a method of affecting implicit memories in which exposure to one stimulus affects subsequent exposure to another stimulus. An example of priming might be that exposing someone to the word "rocket scientist" before taking a science test might make them get a higher score.

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