Godden & Baddeley - Cue-Dependency Theory study

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  • Godden & Baddeley (1975) "context-dependent memory in two natural environments- on land and under water"
    • Procedure
      • 18 participants were recruited from a university diving club in Scotland - 13 male and 5 female
        • The 18 participants were divided into 4 groups and all participants took part in all 4 conditions, 1 per day - repeated measures design
      • All participants used their own SCUBA equipment and the field experiment was carried out over 4 days
      • 4 conditions
        • 1) learn on land and recall on land (dry/dry)
        • 2) learn under water and recall under water (wet/wet)
        • 3) learn on land and recall underwater (dry/wet)
        • 4) learn underwater and recall onland
      • IV - whether the learning and recall was the same or different & the DV - number of correctly recalled words
      • 1) the participants listened to the words on land or 20ft under water
        • Underwater, divers were weighted so they could sit on the bottom
        • On land, the divers sat at the water's edge with their SCUBA equipment on but without their breathing masks on
      • 2) a different word list was used for each condition, wall lists consisting of 36 unrelated words, 2-3 syllables long, that were selected at random from a word book
        • The word lists were recorded onto tapes and the divers wore Diver Underwater Communication devices, enabling them to hear the tape recorded words and instructions
      • 3) the words were presented in blocks of 3 with a 4 second gap in between each block
        • Allowed the participant to breathe air using the breathing apparatus which is very noisy and would have otherwise hampered their ability to hear the words
      • 4) the word lists were each presented twice - after the 2nd presentation there was a 4 minute gap and an interference task where they heard 15 numbers that they had to write down
      • 5) participants were then given 2 minutes to write down as many words as they could remember using a pencil and a plastic covered board
    • Aims
      • To investigate the effect of environmental encoding cues on the ability to recall
      • To investigate the role of context cues and test cue-dependency theory
        • Recall will be better if it takes place in the same environment as learning
    • Conclusions
      • The results do in fact support the claims of cue-dependency theory
      • They demonstrated that cues from the environment do aid memory
      • Forgetting occurs when there is a lack of the same cues in the environment at recall
    • Results
      • Words learnt and recalled in the same environment were better remembered
      • The mean number of correctly recalled words in the dry condition was 13.5 when learnt in the dry condition
      • The mean number of correctly recalled words in the dry condition was 8.5 when learnt in the wet condition
      • The mean number of correctly recalled words in the wet condition was 8.6 when learnt in the dry condition
      • The mean number of correctly recalled words in the wet condition was 11.4 when learnt in the wet condition
      • The mean number of words recalled was much lower when the learning and recall environment were different

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