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Craik and Tulving (1975)
To investigate how deep and shallow processing affects memory recall.
Participants were presented with a series of 60 words about which they had to
answer one of three questions. Some questions required the participants to process
the word in a deep way (e.g. semantic) and others in a shallow way (e.g. structural and
phonemic). For example:
Structural / visual processing: `Is the word in capital letters or small letters?
Phonemic / auditory processing: `Does the word rhyme with . . .?'
Semantic processing: `Does the word go in this sentence . . . . ?
Participants were then given a long list of 180 words into which the original words
had been mixed. They were asked to pick out the original words.
Participants recalled more words that were semantically processed compared to
phonemically and visually processed words.
Semantically processed words involve elaboration rehearsal and deep processing
which results in more accurate recall. Phonemic and visually processed words involve
shallow processing and less accurate recall.
Real Life Applications
This explanation of memory is useful in everyday life because it highlights the way in
which elaboration, which requires deeper processing of information, can aid memory.
Three examples of this are.
· Reworking putting information in your own words or talking about it with someone
· Method of loci when trying to remember a list of items, linking each with a familiar
place or route.
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Imagery by creating an image of something you want to remember, you elaborate on it
and encode it visually (i.e. a mind map).
The above examples could all be used to revise psychology using semantic
processing (e.g. explaining memory models to your mum, using mind maps etc.) and
should result in deeper processing through using elaboration rehearsal.
Consequently more information will be remembered (and recalled) and better exam
results should be achieved.…read more
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However, recent studies have clarified this point - it appears that deeper coding
produces better retention because it is more elaborate. Elaborative encoding
enriches the memory representation of an item by activating many aspects of its
meaning and linking it into the pre-existing network of semantic associations.
· Later research indicated that processing is more complex and varied than the levels
of processing theory suggests. In other words, there is more to processing than
depth and elaboration.
· For example, research by Bransford et al.…read more