Evaluation of the Cue-Dependency theory

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  • Evaluation of Godden & Baddeley's study
    • Although a field experiment, there were a number of controls, increasing the reliability of it
      • The timings between the presentation of words was controlled in all conditions
    • It was a valid test of the theory; the situations clearly demonstrate the two different context conditions to test the effect of context cues
    • There are other studies that support the findings of this experiment
      • Agglteton & Waskett (1999): effects of context dependency (smell cues) at the Jorvik museum
        • Smells present at encoding acted as cues and aided the recall of the participants
    • Unreliable because of flaws within the procedure
      • Equiment failing may have led to an unreliable experience for some participants
      • Participants spent the same amount of time underwater but the time of day and location differed
        • Contextual cues were not all controlled
      • Other variables which couldn't be controlled include the divers' fitness, noise and weather conditions
    • Lowered ecological validity: the changes in environment were so extreme that this is not a normal occurance in everyday life
      • Experience was artificial: use of word lists
      • Nonetheless the participants were divers and so they were used to being underwater whilst carrying out different tasks
    • Low population validity: participants were all experienced divers, which isn't representative of the general population
      • Might be something about them that makes their responses to cues different to the rest of the population
    • Useful applications, eg. in the training of divers - they should be taught safety information underwater


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