Baddeley 1966 (classic cognitive case study)

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  • Created by: jaaaz_v
  • Created on: 29-11-15 18:18

Background

  • Past studies into the STM showed that our recall of words was worse when the words were acoustically similar than when they were semantically similar.
  • We often view the STM and the LTM as completely separate stores but interference can cause forgetting in both which raised questions about whether theyre as separate as first thought.
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Aim

  • The aim of the research was to see if in the LTM acoustic similarity of words would lead to more memory impairment than semantic similarity of words. (This is because studies into the STM showed that acoustic similarity f words lead to worse recall than semantically similar words and they wanted to see if it waos the same case in the LTM)
  • Basically wanted to see if the stores were really that separate.

(The LTM processes semantic information and the STM processes acoustic information)

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Procedure (This is experiment 3)

  • It was a lab experiment and the participants were both male and females. There were four conditions (so four groups) and each group had about 20 participants. The participants were selected from the "applied psychology research unit".
  • CONDITION A- Participants learnt a list of 10 acoustically similar words
  • CONDITION B- Participants learnt a list of 10 acoustically dissimilar words (control group for condition a)
  • CONDITION C- Participants learnt a list of 10 semantically similar words
  • CONDITION D- Participants learnt a list of 10 semantically dissimilar words (control group for condition b)
  • Each list of words was shown to the participants on a projector where each word was shown for three seconds. After the presentation of the words the participants were made to complete six memory tasks to do with digits (an interference task). 
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Procedure (This is experiment 3) - CONTINUED

  •  They were asked to recall the word list in order one minute after completing the task and this was repeated four times. When the task was repeated the p's had to recall the words in order, and were provided with a jumbled list of the words on a piece of card. 
  • After the four learning trials they were given a 15 minute interferance task where they had to copy 8 digit sequenes. After this task they were given a suprise retest on the word sequence.
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Results

  • Recall of the acoustically similar sounding words was worse than the dissimilar sounding words in the initial phrase of learning.
  • The recall of similar and dissimilar words was not significant which demonstrates that acoustic encoding was initially difficult (when in the stm), but didn't effect long term memory recall.
  • The semantically similar words were harder to learn than semantically dissimilar words and participants recalled a significantly lower amount of semantically similar words on the retest (when they were in the ltm)
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Conclusion

  • Participants found it harder to recall the acoustically similar words in the initial prase of learning which suggests that our STM is mostly acoustic, which is why the acoustically similar words were harder to encode.
  • The later retests showed that semantically similar words were recalled worse than semantically dissimilar words, which suggests that encoding in the LTM is mostly semantic.
  • This study showed that the STM and the LTM are affected differently by different types of coding.
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