Strategies for memory improvement- Attention

These cards are aimed to provide some research on the memory improvement strategy of active attention. 

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Active Attention- memory improvement

The theory that if we want to memorise something, we will put a lot more effort into doing so, therefore being actively attentive.

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1. Overview on active attention

2. What is attention

3. Research into Active attention

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Overview on active attention

Active Attention

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If a person is serious about remebering something they need to attend to it. This means that in class it is important to avoid distractions and focus on what they need to learn. Likewise when studying alone, it is important to choose a location where a person can fully commit themselves to a task and not be distracted by the environment around them.

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What is attention?


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What is attention?

Definition (from

Attention is a conecpt studied in cognitive psychology that refers to how we actively process specific information present in our environment. According to psychologist and philosopher William James, attention is, "the taking possession of the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what may seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thoughts...... It implies withdrawal from some things in order to effectively deal with others."   

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Relationship between recall and environment

(Godden and Baddeley's stdy, 1975)


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Godden and Baddeley's (1975) study

Aim- To investigate the relationship between learning and retrieval environments

Procedure- Divers acted as participants and learned a list of 40 unrelated words, either on land or 15 feet under water.Their recall was then tested either in the same or a different location. That is half of the divers switched locations before they all tried to recall teh 40 words

Findings- Those who learned and recalled in the same location remembered the most words- 12.5 on average

Conclusion- The findings support the encoding specifity principle: information about the learning environment was encoded along with the words. When participants were tested in the same location they benefited from retrieval cues that were denied to those who recalled the words in a different environment.

Evaluation- The findings of this scientific study have useful practical applications. For example, some of the complex skills required by divers working in the oil and gas industries are now practised in the underwater situtaions where these skills will be used.

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