Classic Study; the influence of accoustic & semantic similarity

Aims

To explore the effects of accoustic and semantic encoding in short and long term memory

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Procedure

Lab experiment

Ps were randomly allocated conditions to partake in

The 4 conditions were accoustically similar, accoustically dissimilar, semantically similar and semantically dissimilar

Each participant did a hearing test to ensure they knew and understood the words

Then the learning trials began, a list of 10 words is read out in a specific order, Ps then took part in a 6 digit recall task (to prevent rehearsal)

Then they had to right down the 10 words in the right order

This happened 4 times

Baddeley then did 15 minutes worth of copying 8 digit numbers down at the Ps own pace, he then asked them to write down the 10 words again

There was a list of the 10 words in a random order always visible

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Results

Different words are easier to recall in trials 1 to 3 (accoustically) 65% vs 40%

Semantically different words were significantly easier to recall in the retest 85% vs 58%

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Conclusions

STM is mainly acoustically encoded, making similar sounding words harder to recall

LTM is mainly semantically encoded, making words with similar meaning harder to encode and learn

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