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Cue-dependent forgetting theory by Tulving

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As Psychology Unit 3 R.Lally Coursework Introduction The theory being tested is the Cue-dependent forgetting theory by Tulving. Cue-dependent forgetting means that 'information is stored in the long-term memory but there is no suitable retrieval cue from the environment to prompt memory.' This means that information is available but is not accessible. An example of this is if you forget something about your childhood and you visit your old school/house it may help you remember by acting as a cue. Tulving split cue-dependent forgetting into two different types. One type is State dependent forgetting, which is the physical/physiological state of the person when the information is encoded and retrieved, examples of these are, happy or sad, alert or tired etc. These are internal cues. The other is Context dependent forgetting, this is the environment setting or situation in which the information is encoded or retrieved, an example of this is a particular room etc. These are external cues. A study that supports Tulving's theory is Aggleton and Waskett (1999) 'Can Viking smells aid the recall of Viking experiences?' The aim of this study was to test whether smells could act as cues to real life setting because most other studies of this nature had been done in a laboratory setting. The sample was 45 participants who had been to the Jorvik Viking Centre and used authentic smells from the actual museum in the study.


The dependent variable is how many words the participants remember from a list. Participants The sampling method used will be opportunity sampling as the experiment will take place at the college, opportunity sampling is the quickest and convenient way to get participants, there is easy access to students. There will be 30 participants taking part in the experiment (15 in each group). This experiment doesn't require certain characteristics in participants as it is testing memory. Procedure Participants will be asked if they would take part in the experiment, they were given no information about what would happen during the experiment and were given standardised instructions when they agreed to take part. (See appendix 1) The participants will be given a list of 15 words (see appendix 2) and a square of chocolate. The participants will have 30 seconds to learn the words and to eat the square of chocolate. After 30 seconds has passed a passage will be read to the participants for 2 minutes. This will be an intervening task. After the passage is read out Group A will be given another square of chocolate to eat and all participants will have 1 minute to write down the words previously learnt. An intervening task is used to cleat the participant's short-term memory. The participants will be debriefed after the experiment.


I would like to ensure you that you will not be harmed in this experiment. You have the right to withdraw at any time. Your results will remain anonymous. By taking part in this experiment you have given consent. You will be debriefed at the end of the experiment. I am now going to give you what you have to do. 1. Here is a piece of paper with 15 words on it. 2. You will be given 30 seconds to learn these words and to eat the square of chocolate. 3. After 30 seconds is up a passage will be read to you for 2 minutes. 4. After 2 minutes has passed you will write down the 15 words previously learnt. 5. I will remind you throughout the experiment the next thing you have to do. 6. At the end of the experiment you have the right to withdraw your results. Appendix 3 Debriefing Group A, You have just taken part in a study to investigate whether eating chocolate at encoding and retrieval of a list of words acts as a cue. Group B you have just taken part in the same study but you were only given chocolate at the encoding of words to see the effect on group A. The results will be available if you wish to view them. All data collected will be kept confidential. Appendix 2 Word list given to participants Words A Be It An The And See Hat Tag Tree Duck Bone Crisp Bread Jacket

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