Academic journal article Journal of Social and Psychological Sciences

Can Perceived Schema Expectations Affect Retrieval Accuracy?

Academic journal article Journal of Social and Psychological Sciences

Can Perceived Schema Expectations Affect Retrieval Accuracy?

Article excerpt


In order to understand the dynamics between schema expectations, memory accuracy and recall, it is vital to understand what memory is and what are its principal components. As previously highlighted, it is through memory that one constructs his/her identity and thus makes sense of the self. For example, memory allows the individual to create a coherent narrative of their life story and piece together and identity which they remember to tell themselves on a daily basis. In this way, one should note that the dynamics of memory includes three key processes; (a) encoding [processing of information],(b) storage [creating a record of processed information], (c) and retrieval/recall [calling back stored information](Zimmer, Mecklinger & Linderberger, 2006). The understanding of this process is essential as it provides the foundations for theorising and conceptualising about Perceptual Schema Expectations (PSE).

Remembering and Memory Interference

It is well established that interference is one of the most prominent constructs within memory research (Nairne, 2002). Basically, the concept interference postulates that memory for items or events compete to be remembered, or indeed for the same attentional resources (Anderson, 2003). Intuitively one may assume that forgetting is the opposite of remembering. However, the process of forgetting irrelevant information can help one to remember relevant information (Bjork, 1988). In other words, the very act of remembering can simultaneously cause forgetting, albeit under certain circumstances. It is in these particular circumstances that memory representations for items or events can cause interference if related to the same queue (Anderson et al. 1994). More specifically, once activated, such memories may compete for being remembered, eliciting therefore interference (Anderson & Neely, 1996). In this way, inhibitory processes can be suitably recruited in order to stop or override memory retrieval. In this way, unwanted memories can be excluded from conscious awareness.

Another aspect of retrieval of information is present in the way in which students are required to learn new knowledge on a constant basis. To some extent, to learn is also being able to recall knowledge. In this respect, it should be evident that performing retrieval practice on studied knowledge may enhance one's long-term retention of such material (Anderson, Bjork, & Bjork, 1994). One should also notice that although researchers have advocated for frequent testing in the classroom as means of aiding student learning (see McDaniel, Anderson, Derbish, &Morrisette, 2007), it can sometimes impair retention of non-practiced items (despite increasing retention of practiced items [Anderson et al., 1994]). It should also be noted that learning occurs through the creation of perceptual representations such as schemas. These perceptual representations leave imprints in the brain every time they are recalled.

It follows that the development of neuroimaging techniques has paved the way for further research insights concerning the neural substrates of memory recall. In this respect, it is well established that a brain region known as the hippocampus plays a central role in neural systems which underpin memory (Zola-Morgan et al, 1986). In addition, it is thought that the hippocampus plays an important role in the process of encoding new memories (Milner et al, 1998). This brain region has the unique functional architecture which enables it to rapidly encode a wide range of experiences (Milner et al, 1998). It is also interesting to notice that the hippocampus has not only been research in connection with remembering, but also in relation to amnesia (Squire, 2009). In this respect, one of the most prominent theories within this area is known as Standard Model of Systems Consolidation (SMSC) which holds that initial memory traces are encoded in both the hippocampus and cortex. …

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