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Context- Dependent memory experiment (Godden & Baddeley)

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Heidi Kamel

on 9 November 2014

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Transcript of Context- Dependent memory experiment (Godden & Baddeley)

By: Abdulmohsen Jaafar, Heidi Kamel, Sandy Samuel and Mayar Khalid.
Context- Dependent memory experiment (Godden & Baddeley)
Aim of the experiment?
Environment CAN act as a contextual cue for recall.
Conclusion
As words learned and recalled in the same environment was much higher.
They asked 18 participants from a university diving club to learn a list of 38 unrelated 2/3 syllable words underwater or on dry land & recall them either underwater/ on land.
Divers were randomly allocated to 1 of 4 conditions

Procedure
1. Learn on dry land & recall on dry land (context-cued condition).

2.Learn underwater & recall underwater (context-cued condition).

3.Learn on dry land & recall underwater (no-context cue).

4.Learn underwater & recall on dry land (no-context cue).
Recall was 50% higher when it took place in the same environment as learning.
Results
Mean number of words recalled in...:

Underwater learning & recall: 11.4

Dry land learning and recall: 13.5

Underwater learning & dry recall: 8.4

Dry land learning & underwater recall: 8.6
To investigate whether a natural environment can act as a cue for recall.
Aim:
Context- Dependent memory experiment (Godden & Baddeley) 1975
Procedure?
Experiment took place in an open water site in Olban, Scotland.
Due to technical reasons two participants dropped & replaced by divers tested at a freshwater site.
Study was conducted over 4 days.
Each diver experienced all 4 context conditions after a 2 hour delay- following a scheduled dive to ensure all participants were in the same wet & cold state.
Participants were fully knitted in diving gear in all conditions.
Participants being submerged for learning or recall wore breathing apparatus & a communication device, whilst those on dry land sat by the edge of the water with the breathing apparatus removed.
Tested 2 at a time, divers were submerged up to 20 feet underwater & played a tape recording of the word list through a diving communication device.
Recorded blocks were presented in blocks of three with a 4 sec interval between each block to ensure that noise of breathing apparatus did not affect hearing the words.
Each list was presented twice & after a 4 minute delay the participants had to write the words in any order, in 2 minutes.
All participants used a pencil to write down the words on a weighted clipboard sealed with plastic.
Results
Conclusion
Evaluation
Conducted in a realistic open water environment for divers, thus results have greater generalization to real life situations than laboratory research.

As participants were research scientists & tested in pairs, it is unlikely that they would have cheated by writing down the words.
Evaluation- strengths
Weaknesses
Weaknesses:
Lack of control over many parts of the procedure- equipment failure, inconsistent diving location, lack of standardisation & timing could all have affected results. No control over fitness of divers involved & weather conditions & noise levels were variable- These affect the reliability of the results.

Although unlikely that participants cheated- researchers did not see them during the learning and writing stage thus cheating is a possibility.

Possible that participants who did not have to change environments were able to rehearse more.

Participants who changed environment could have experienced interference in memory. However, Godden & Baddeley conducted a later experiment & found no difference in recall for those who experienced an interference task & those who did not.

Applications of the study within educational environments could improve recall by reinstating the learning contexts for examinations.
Practical applications of study:
Supporting studies:
Abernethy (1940): Found that students test scores improved when they were examined in their visual classroom with a teacher overseeing.

Grant et al (1998): Found that students given an article to read with loud background noise/ under silent study conditions recalled more when the same condition was reinstated for recall

Also, taking witness back to the scene of the event or getting them to recreate the event mentally could cue more memories than interviewing them at home or the police station.


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