197 - Retrieval Cues are pieces of stimuli you encounter that trigger the retrieval of a memory. Many different stimuli can serve as retrieval cues. A very unique smell may take you back to a memorable episode where last encountered that smell. This can also happen if there was a very specific smell during a meaningful event in your life. Music can often do this, listening to certain songs that I haven’t heard in a very long time bring up emotions I had experienced during that period of my life.
The two most common retrieval cues that we use in everyday life are the spoken and written word. When people say someone elses name it will bring up a slew of associations if you know that person. When you read a term or concept on a page it can invoke associated concepts or the terms definition.
The word being defined serves as the retrieval cue for its actual definition. You don’t evoke a definition, instead the word that represents it
Related Term - Cue Dependent Forgetting APA Definition
Related Term - Ecphory APA Definition
1. the activation of a memory, which involves the retrieval of a memory by a cue. A retrieval cue that matches information stored in memory results in access to that memory. Cues or conditions that were present when the memory was formed are stored with the memory; therefore, those same conditions need to be reinstated at retrieval to provoke ecphory.
2. the process in which a memory, emotion, or the like is revived in the mind by a stimulus. Also called ecphoria. [defined by German biologist Richard Semon (1859–1918)] —ecphoric adj.
Related Term - Encoding Specificity APA Definition
the principle that retrieval of memory is optimal when the retrieval conditions (such as context or cues) duplicate the conditions that were present when the memory was formed. [proposed in 1983 by Endel Tulving]