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Describe the Cue Dependent Theory of
Forgetting (6 marks)
The cue dependent theory of forgetting was proposed by Tulving
(1974). He suggests that we forget because we do not have a
cue and that forgetting is a problem with the accessibility of
the memory (so the memory is there, but cannot be found). A
cue is a trigger that is connected to the memory. The cue
must be encoded at the same time as the memory in order
for the recall of the memory. Tulving suggests that there are
two types of cues; the first being internal/state dependent
cues such as smells or moods and the second being
external/context dependent cues such as environments
(childhood home).…read more

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Evaluate the Cue Dependent Theory of
Forgetting (6 marks)
The cue dependent theory of forgetting is supported by Godden
and Baddeley (1975) who tested context dependent cues.
They found the recall was better for the divers when the
recalling of the words took place in the same environment as
the encoding of the words. Their study was standardised and
well controlled, which meant that the study had high internal
validity. Their study supports the idea of context dependent
forgetting
^this is worth 2 marks…read more

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Evaluate the Cue Dependent Theory of
Forgetting continued...
The theory is also supported by Baker (2004) whose study
supports the idea of state dependent cues. In this study the
participants were told to chew gum whilst encoding. The
study had two conditions; in one condition the participants
chewed gum whilst recalling (as well as encoding) and in the other
they did not chew gum while recalling (but did whilst encoding).
Baker found that participants who chewed gum whilst both
encoding and recalling had a better recall rate. Therefore
supporting the idea of state dependent forgetting.
^this is worth 2 marks…read more

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Evaluate the Cue Dependent Theory of
Forgetting continued...
However, the theory arguably ignores the emotional factors of
forgetting. For example, Sigmund Freud suggested that
memories that were emotionally painful would be forgotten
even if the participant tried to recall the memory whilst in the
same state as they were when the memory was encoded.
Freud referred to this as repression. This therefore implies
that cue dependency is incomplete.
^this is worth 2 marks…read more

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