grant et al

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  • context dependent memory: memory is improved if the environment that the learning takes place in is the same as the environment where memory is recalled.
  • recall memory= when you have to remember information with no prompts to remind you.
  • recognition memory= another way to remember things is to recognise them from a list.
  • context dependent memory will benefit recall but not recognition tasks because the recognition items act as such strong retrieval cues that they "out shine" environmental cues
  • aim: to investigate context dependent memory effects on both recall and recognition for meaningful information as opposed to just a list of words.
  • sample: 8 psychology students from iowa state university acted as experimenters in the study. they each recruited 5 people as participants in the study. one ppts was omitted , 39 ptts who ranged in age from 17-56, 17 females, 23 males.
  • procedure part one:to read once through a 2 page article on psychoimmunology while wearing headphones 1/2 bg noise from cafeteria, other in silence.
    • procedure part two: completed 10 recall questions and 16 multiple choice questions on what they read. they did repeated this.
      • procedure part three: the time taken to read the article was timed and recorded. ptts were given a 2 minute break before the test. 10 short Qs (recall) 16 multi choice Qs (recog). score was recorded.
  • controls: 1. standardised instructions given telling them to read article once. 2. all participants read the same 2 page article on psychoimmunology.
    • 3. all participants wore headphones in both study and test phases. 4. noisy condition involved BG noise from uni cafeteria rather than music which may effect performance depending on taste.
      • 5. same recall and recognition tests used for all participants. 6. always completed recall test first so recall was not influenced by the questions from the recognition test. 7. noisy condition played moderately loud level. 8. ptts were always tested individually so performance was not influenced by others.
    • ethics: fully conforms to ethical guidelines.
      • validity: high design validity due to high levels of control and standardised procedure. poss of individual differences effecting results.
  • results: recall test: "SILENT/SILENT: 6.7"/// "SILENT/ NOISY: 5.4" /// "NOISY/NOISY: 6.2" /// "NOISY/ SILENT: 4.6"
    • recognition test: "SILENT/ SILENT: 14.3"/// "SILENT/ NOISY: 12.7" /// " NOISY/NOISY : 14.3" /// "NOISY/SILENT: 12.7"
      • conclusions: context memory is found for meaningful prose rather than a list of unrelated words.
        • ptts recall more info when the conditions matched
  • reliability : high levels of control and standardised procedure possible to replicate large sample to establish consistent effects.
    • ethnocentrism: cognitive processes considered species specific.


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