MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences : Memory Recall

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Example Questions

Example Question #6 : Consciousness And Thought

Two close friends are having a conversation on the phone. One of the friends asks the other if she can have the phone number of one of their classmates, so that she can speak to him about forming a study group for the MCAT exam. After hanging up the phone, the girl can only remember the last few digits of the phone number. This phenomenon is known as which of the following?

Possible Answers:

The recency effect

The primacy effect

Classical Conditioning

Encoding

Correct answer:

The recency effect

Explanation:

The girl in the question only remembers the last few numbers, which is known as the "recency effect." The recency effect occurs when someone attempts to memorize information and can only recall the last pieces of information that they are attempting to memorize. This likely occurs because the information is still readily available in the phonological loop, and has not yet truly been committed to memory. On the other hand, the "primacy effect" describes the opposite phenomena, when only the first pieces of information are recalled. "Encoding" is the process of transferring information from our senses to memory, and is not descriptive enough to properly answer the question. Finally, "classical conditioning" involves pairing an arbitrary stimulus with a behavior, and has more to do with learned behaviors than memory.

All MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences Resources

133 Practice Tests Question of the Day Flashcards Learn by Concept
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