- How do declarative and non-declarative memories differ? Provide two specific examples of each.
Both declarative and non-declarative memories are types of long-term memories. Declarative memories contain facts and information that is conscious and known. For example, if one were asked to list the capital of Alabama, one would be using their declarative memory to retrieve the fact. Another example would be defining classical conditioning for a test. Non-declarative memories, on the other hand, contain habits and procedures that are not conscious but affect conscious behavior. For example, tying shoes does not take effort to remember and is not conscious, but affects conscious behavior. Another example would be riding a bike. It does not take much thought and is more of a skill than a conscious memory.
- How might you explain the different reasons why you may forget the process of classical conditioning if you were tested on it today?
There are a few ways that may cause me to forget the process of classical conditioning. First, I could be having retroactive interference. In this case, the newer information that I am just now learning about could be interfering with my retrieval of previous information. Second, I could be experiencing decay. This would mean that it’s been so long since I’ve learned about classical conditioning that my memory trace has not been used and I’ve started to forget about it. Finally, I also could simply have failed to process the memory in a process known as encoding failure. (One more option is that I am suffering from retrograde amnesia, but that is unlikely).
- Provide two specific examples each of proactive and retroactive interference from your life.
Whenever I drive my dad’s car, I experience proactive interference. The car I usually drive has a regular key and a regular ignition, while my dad’s car has a push-button ignition. This is proactive interference because when I am about to turn off my dad’s car, I try to twist the key out instead of pushing the button. Another example is when I tell people my age right after my birthday. This year, I turned sixteen and the day after my birthday someone asked how old I was. I was about to say fifteen, but had to stop myself. Next, an example of retroactive information in my life is when I try to remember what team won the Super bowl the year before. This happens every, single year and will most likely happen again this year. This also happens on my birthdays, when I try to remember what I did the previous year for my birthday.