Godden and Baddeley (1975)

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  • Godden and Baddeley (1975)
    • Aim
      • To investigate whether a natural environment can act as a cue for recall
    • Procedure
      • 18 participants from a university diving club
        • Learnt a list of 38 unrelated 2 or 3 syllable words underwater or on dry land
          • Divers were randomly allocated to 1 of 4 conditions
            • 1- learn on dry land, recall on dry land. 2- learn in water, recall in water. 3- learn on dry and recall in water. 4- learn in water, recall  on dry land
              • Took place in an open water site in Scotland
                • Study was conducted over 4 days with 24hrs between each condition
                  • Divers were submerged 20 feet and were played a recording of word list. After 4 min delay, pp's had to write down words in 2 mins
    • Results
      • Recall was 50% higher when it took place in the same environment as learning
      • Mean number of words recalled on dry land learning and recall was 13.5
        • Mean number of words for water learning and dry recall was 8.4
    • Conclusion
      • Environment can act as a contextual cue for recall
    • Evaluation
      • Experiment was conducted in a realistic open water environment for divers, so results have greater generalisability to real-life situations than lab research
        • Ecological validity was high as it was conducted in a natural environment
          • However, leaning/recalling words underwater is an unrealistic task
      • There was a lack of control over many parts of the procedure
        • Inconsistent diving location, equipment failure and lack of standardisation could all have affected the results
          • Although it is unlikely pp's cheated, it is still a possibility as the researchers did not see them underwater
            • It is possible the pp's who did not have to change location to recall the word list were able to rehearse more


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