Craik & Tulving - levels of processing study evaluation

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  • Evaluation of the Craik & Tulving (1975) study
    • Very highly controlled; they used standardized procedures
      • the time for which the words were displayed was controlled by the high-tec tachistoscope so every word was displayed for exactly the same length of time
    • Easy to replicate the study;  the  high level of control - high reliability
      • Basic procedure has already been replicated several times finding similar results
    • High experimental validity; counter-balanced repeated measures design
      • Participants tested their recall in all of the conditions of the independent variable so it makes comparisons between their performances across the conditions fair
      • Counter-balancing controls for order effects as participants had to answer the question for each condition in no set order, so how they processed it in one way would have no effect on how they processed it in other ways
    • Variable depths of processing was clearly operation-alised in the experiment through the way the questions were asked
      • Each question related to a different type of processing
    • You could generalize to males and females of different ages
    • Extremely small sample size of only 24 participants
    • Supporting evidence; Hyde & Jenkins (1973)
      • When participants carried out different orienting tasks recall was affected by the depth of processing required by the task
        • When asked to judge something about the meaning of the words, this led to 51% more recall than when they were asked to perform non semantic tasks such as crossing out vowels
    • Studies have shown that there are other factors that can affect how well material is remembered
      • Reber et al. (1994) emotional content of words can affect the ability to recall
      • Morris et all (1977) information that is relevant to the individual is often remembered best regardless of how they were told to process it
    • Low in ecological validity; experiment was a laboratory experiment and required participants to recall a word list which is not a true to life experience of how people would normally use their memories
      • Participants were required to process information under test conditions which might affect effort; in reality people aren't usually asked if a word is written in upper or lower case and then perform recognition tests - very artificial
    • Participants did take longer to answer the semantic type questions so perhaps their memory was better due to longer processing time rather than type of processing


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