AS MEMORY - THEORIES OF FORGETTING Flashcards Preview

AQA A LEVEL PSYCHOLOGY - AS MEMORY > AS MEMORY - THEORIES OF FORGETTING > Flashcards

Flashcards in AS MEMORY - THEORIES OF FORGETTING Deck (4)
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1

Describe interference theory (IT)

Interference is when two pieces of information conflict with one another, and forgetting occurs. It affects the LTM. Interference can take two forms:

-Proactive interference: when an old memory interferes with a new one, causing forgetting.
-Retroactive interference: when a new memory interferes with an old one and causes forgetting.

Interference is more likely to occur when information is v similar.

2

Evaluate interference theory (IT)

(+) Evidence from McGeoch and McDonald (1931) gave ppts a list of words to remember until they could recall with 100% accuracy. Diff conditions were then given diff second lists of words to rememeber. Found that recall was worst when 2nd list were synonyms of 1st list compared to another condition who had antonyms of the first list; interference occurs most when info is similar
(-) Most research to support IT (like the McGeoch and McDonald study) use artificial materials e.g. word lists; low mundane realism so can't generalise findings to everyday life.
(+) BUT Baddeley and Hitch (1997) interviewed rugby players and asked them to recall which teams they'd played against that season, and found that recall didn't depend on how long ago the matches were, but how many matches had been played in between (which could interfere with the one they were trying to recall); shows that IT DOES apply in real life.
(-) Retrieval failure may better explain some types of forgetting (see Carter and Cassaday/ Goddon and Baddeley)

3

Describe retrieval failure (RF)

We may forget things due to insufficient cues; when info is encoded, the cues present are as well. RF works on the encoding specificity principle (ESP): if cues present at time of encoding are not present at time of retrieval then some forgetting will occur. Cues can come in two forms; internal (state-dependent forgetting) or external (context-dependent forgetting).

4

Evaluate retrieval failure (RF)

(+ state dependent) Carter and Cassaday gave ppts antihistamine drugs that made them drowsy (a change of internal psychological state; i.e. different from being alert and awake) and got them to do word recall. C1 learned on drug, recalled on drug, C2 learned on drug, recalled not on drug, C3 learned not on drug, recalled on drug, C4 learned not on drug, recalled not on drug. C2 and C3 performed the worst, supporting state-dependent forgetting.
(+ context dependent) Goddon and Baddeley got deep sea divers to do word recall. C1 learned on land and recalled on land, C2 learned on land and recalled underwater, C3 learned underwater and recalled on land, and C4 learned underwater and recalled underwater. Accurate recall was an average of 40% lower in C2 and C3 (where contexts were different)
(-) Baddeley then criticised this by saying that contexts may have to be very different for any significant forgetting to occur and so the normal effects of context dependent forgetting may actually be very small
(-) A lot of the supporting evidence (including both Carter and Cassaday and Goddon and Baddeley) uses artificial materials like word lists so poor generalisability.
(+) Context dependent forgetting has been applied to the cognitive interview in which interviewees reinstate the context to recall a higher level of accurate information which has had positive implications for the criminal justice system