Explanations for Forgetting: Retrieval Cues

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  • Explanations for Forgetting: Retrieval Cues
    • AO1
      • We forget because of lack of cues
        • Encoding specificity principal
          • If a cue is to help us recall information, it has to be present at encoding and at retrieval
          • If the cues available at encoding and retrieval are different or absent, then there will be forgetting
      • Types of cues
        • Context-Dependent Forgetting
          • Setting or situation in which information is encoded and retrieved
          • Examples
            • A particular room
            • A rainy day
        • State-Dependent Forgetting
          • Physical or psychological state of the person when information is encoded and retrieved
          • Examples
            • Happy / Sad
            • Drunk / Sober
    • AO3
      • Godden and Baddeley: Context can affect the recall of info
        • Got divers to learn a list of words either underwater or on land and then recall the words
          • Learn on land: Recall on land
          • Learn on land: Recall underwater
        • Found that in 2 of the conditions, the environmental contexts of learning and recall matches
        • Accurate recall was 40% lower in the non-matching conditions
        • Suppports that lack of retrieval cues may be based on context which is caused by forgetting
      • Baddeley: Diver research lacks ecological validity
        • Unlikely we come across such different contexts in real life
        • Used a recognition text instead of recall
          • Ps said if they recognised a word from a list instead of retrieving it
          • When recognition was tested, there was no context-dependent effect
        • Presence / absence of cues only affects memory when you test it
      • Carter and Cassidy: Research on state-dependent forgetting
        • Anti-histamine drugs to ps - had a mild sedative effect (ps slightly drowsy)
        • Creates an internal physiological state different from normal state
        • Ps learnt list of words then recalled info
          • Learn on drug: Recall on drug
          • Learn on drug: Recall when not on it
        • Found there was a mismatch between internal state at learning and recall
          • Performance on memory test significantly worse
      • Useful real-life applications
        • Recalling context of memory triggers its recall, therefore knowledge has been used to improve EWT using cognitive interview
          • One aspect includes 'context reinstatement' where witness returns to crime scene in their mind and imagines environment
          • Produced better recall in witnesses


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