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Reconstructive Theory
Bartlett - 1932…read more

Slide 2

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Brief Outline
· Aims:
­ Investigate the way that memory stores meaningful
· Procedure:
­ Ps presented with a story The War of the Ghosts. Ps were
asked to recall the story repeatedly at different time
intervals: minutes, days, months and years.
· Findings:
­ The recalled story became shorter, more coherent, more
conventional, and more cliched.
· Conclusion:
­ Memory is reconstructive, and people try to make
memories fit in with whatever personal schema they
have.…read more

Slide 3

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· Memory = not tape recorder
· Memory not perfectly form = depends on how
well even processed
· Backed up by multi-store model ­ memory
retrieved in STM
· Knowledge, expectations, beliefs, experience,
attitude =affect memory
· Input (perception) processing
(interpretations)…read more

Slide 4

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· Used ides of Chinese whispers
· Native- American folks story (War of the Ghosts)
· Story unfamiliar = different culluture = not fit with
particpants exisiting schemata
· Made them recall it varous stages, (day, month,
· Story got shorter every time
· Reduced from 330 words to 180…read more

Slide 5

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· Assimilation: The story became more consistent with
the participants' own cultural expectations - that is,
details were unconsciously changed to fit the norms of
British culture.
· Levelling: The story also became shorter with each
retelling as participants omitted information which was
seen as not important.
· Sharpening: Participants also tended to change the
order of the story in order to make sense of it using
terms more familiar to the culture of the participants.
· Memory reconstructive rather than reproductive…read more

Slide 6

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Evidence FOR theory
· One of the first experiments to study complex
memories; provides evidence for reconstructive
memory and stimulated much further research
· important at the time in that it pointed towards
the possibility of studying cognitive processes like
memory scientifically and the research resulted in
support for schema theory and the theory of
reconstructive memory
· Loftus study on EWT
· Tested experimentally…read more

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