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Imperfect Memory - Essay Example

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Summary
In Roediger and McDermott's 1995 experiment, students remembered a false word from a list of 15 semantically related words. After memorizing lists of 15 words, the participants in my experiment were shown three words - 1 word from the list, 1 word visually similar to the list and 1 word unrelated to the list…
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Imperfect Memory
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Download file to see previous pages Roediger & McDermott's (1995) had Rice University undergraduate students review six lists. The lists were drawn from listed in Deese's 1959 article. After the students reviewed the list, they were presented with another list of words. They were asked to identify the words that were on the first word list. Of the 42 words, 12 were from the original list and 30 were word lures. The 30 word lures fell into three categories: 6 words that inspired the original word lists, 12 words unrelated to the earlier list and 12 words slightly related to the list. The Roediger & McDermott experiment focused on semantically similar words. Sematically similar words are words that share an association. For example, bed is semantically similar to sleep and night. Roediger & McDermott's results noted that words that appeared visually different than list words were not falsely remembered. Subjects distinguished these false words easier than false words that resembled list words.
This experiment also used three types of word lures. Instead of using a group of slightly related words, visually similar words were added. Visually similar words were tested to see if subjects remembered the image of the word as well as its meaning. Visually similar words look alike. For example, blade is visually similar to blank. ...
Semantically similar words will be remembered more often than visually similar words.
Method
Participants: 101 ARU first year psychology students.
Materials:
The six semantically similar word lists were based on the lists used in the Roediger & McDermott study. A computer program was designed to create the visually similar word lists. From a list of 12000 words, the program chose ones that fit the following criteria: a). At least 5 characters long, b). Words do not have common English endings (ing, ed, s) and c). Each word must have at least 15 other words that differ from it by no more than 2 letters.
Design:
Both the visually and semantically similar lists were refined. The semantically similar list was refined to reflect different types of word associations. Words in the same category (chair and bench), common word combinations (needle and haystack), opposites (mountain and valley), adjective to noun (rough ground) and noun to adjective (needle knitting).
From the computer generated visual list, six word groups were hand selected. These groups were required to meet additional criteria. First, the finalists had a common and concrete target word. Secondly, the final word groups did not include words that all sound alike or had the same first letter. Six word lists were chosen for the visual test set.
Procedure:
Participants are asked to memorize a list of 15 words. After each list, the participants are presented with three words. One word is from the earlier list. The second word is one unrelated to the list. The third word is either visually or semantically similar to the word list. Participants indicate how confidant they are that the word is from the earlier list. They use a scale of 1 to 4: 1 meaning the word was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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