Retrieval failure (P7)

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  • Retrieval failure
    • Absence of cues
      • Lack of cues can cause retrieval failure
        • Cues are stored at the same time as info
        • If these cues are not available at recall, we may not be able to access memories
      • Encoding specificity principle
        • Tolving suggests that cues help retrieval if the same cues are present at encoding and retrieval
        • The closer the retrieval cue is to the original the better recall is
      • Some cues have meaning linked to the memory
        • the cue STM may lead you to recall all sorts of information about short term memory
    • Evaluation
      • Strengths
        • A lot of evidence supports RF
          • e.g. Godden and Baddeley
          • High validity
          • Conducted in real life situations
        • Context related cues have real life applications
          • Context reinstatement during cognitive interview
          • E.g. going upstairs and forgetting why you did
      • Weaknesses
        • Context effects aren't actually very strong in real life
          • Baddeley: argued that different contexts had to be very different before an effect is seen
        • Context effects only occurs when memory is tested in certain ways
          • Godden and Baddeley recreated their underwater test for recognition instead of recall
            • there was no context dependent effect
            • Performance was the same in all 4 conditions
            • Limits retrival failure as an explanation for forgetting because the presents or absence of cues only effects memory when you test recall rather than recognition
        • Encoding specificity principle (ESP) cannot be tested and leads to circular reasoning
          • there is no way to independently establish whether or not the cue had actually been encoded
            • We can only assume that the cues were/were not present

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