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Thinking About Human Memory

  • Date Published: March 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107087149

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  • Thinking About Human Memory provides a novel analytical approach to understanding memory that considers the goals of the memory task, the cues and information available, the opportunity to learn, and interference from irrelevant information (noise). Each of the five chapters describing this approach introduces historical ideas and demonstrates how current thinking both differs from and is derived from them. These chapters also contain analyses of current problems designed to demonstrate the power of the approach. In a subsequent chapter, the authors discuss how memory is controlled by the environment, by others, and by ourselves, and then apply their insights to the problem solving of children, our hominin ancestors, and scrub jays. Finally, the questions of how to define episodic memory and how to investigate phylogenetic and developmental changes in memory are addressed. This book will appeal to memory researchers, including applied researchers, and advanced students.

    • Proposes a systematic way of analyzing a novel memory task, which will prove useful when working on applied memory problems
    • Discusses the control problem in human memory in order to help think about how memory is used in complex real-world tasks
    • Explores the complexity of studying phylogenetic and developmental changes in memory
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The authors provide a wide-ranging, scholarly discussion of learning and memory based on a new framework for task analysis. Particularly appealing is the emphasis on a synergistic relationship between controlled laboratory research and studies of everyday memory.' Reed Hunt, University of Texas, San Antonio

    'Memory research over the last fifty years produced astonishing advances and Michael S. Humphreys stands at the forefront of many new discoveries. This 'must read' book provides a thoughtful analysis of his and related findings and offers new challenges to current thinking about the nature of memory.' Douglas L. Nelson, Distinguished Research Professor, Emeritus, University of South Florida

    'Humphreys and Chalmers provide an in-depth review of more than 100 years (more or less) of experimental psychology research into memory, mostly based in verbal learning research. I recommend this text for anyone who is interested in or studies long-term memory and is interested in understanding the history of this field. The Gold CION analysis provided a solid framework for digesting a great deal of experimental research in memory. I also found the examples in the later chapters to put research and theory into real-world settings are well constructed and helpful.' Christopher A. Was, PsycCRITIQUES

    'Humphreys and Chalmers's stimulating book sets out a novel and ambitious approach to thinking about human memory.' Kourken Michaelian, American Journal of Psychology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107087149
    • length: 238 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 17 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Overview of how to analyze memory tasks
    2. Analysing the goals of a task
    3. The importance of thinking about cues and targets
    4. Theoretical analyses involving the use of information and its complexity
    5. Opportunity for learning
    6. The discrimination problems posed by different memory tasks
    7. Controlling human memory
    8. Episodic memory
    9. Conclusions.

  • Authors

    Michael S. Humphreys, University of Queensland
    Michael S. Humphreys is Professor Emeritus in the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland, Australia.

    Kerry A. Chalmers, University of Newcastle, New South Wales
    Kerry A. Chalmers is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

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