• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Memory research

Extracts from this document...


Much of the traditional laboratory research on memory conducted in the past century has followed Ebbinghaus (1895) in using tightly controlled experiments that facilitate the quantification of memory (see Baddeley, 1990; Schacter, 1989). This tradition has been strongly criticized in the past two decades, however, most notably by Neisser (1978), who provocatively dismissed the laboratory research of the past 100 years as largely worthless for answering "the important questions about memory," and called for a shift to the "realistic" study of memory. Since Neisser's call, there has been a growing number of studies on such varied topics as autobiographical memory, eyewitness testimony, prospective memory, "flashbulb" memory, memory for action, memory for faces, memory for places, etc. (see, e.g., Cohen, 1989; This new wave of everyday memory research has resulted in a proliferation of research methods that are quite removed from those traditionally employed in the laboratory. The rift between proponents of naturalistic and laboratory memory research, as well as efforts at reconciliation, may be seen in the lively debate) sparked by Banaji and Crowder's (1989) paper. It is apparent from the commentaries that "everyday memory" is an ill-defined category (Klatzky, 1991), and that the dimensions of the controversy are not simple to specify. In general, the battles appear to be raging on three distinct fronts: what memory phenomena should be studied, how they should be studied, and where. ...read more.


. Most of all, it will have to deal with functional issues" . The implication is that studying the same phenomena in the laboratory and in natural settings may lead to very different conclusions. Indeed, Gruneberg, Morris and Sykes (1991), point to findings (Morris, Tweedy, & Gruneberg, 1985) in which "the real-life nature of the experience made a considerable difference to memory processing" Importantly, however, although the three dimensions--the what, how, and where dimensions--are correlated in the reality of memory research, they are not logically interdependent. For instance, many everyday memory topics can be studied in the laboratory (Neisser, 1991; Roediger, 1991), and memory research in naturalistic settings may be amenable to strict experimental control (Conway, 1991; e.g. Loftus, 1979a). I propose that the everyday-laboratory controversy harbors what appears to be a more fundamental breach--a difference in the very metaphor of memory implicitly espoused by each camp. These metaphors, the storehouse and correspondence metaphors, embody two essentially different ways of thinking about memory and about how memory should be evaluated: The storehouse metaphor, which likens memory to a depository of input elements, implies an evaluation in terms of the quantity of items remaining in store. In contrast, the correspondence metaphor, which treats memory as a perception or description of the past, implies an evaluation in terms of the accuracy or faithfulness of that description. ...read more.


As "metaphorical pluralists," we would advocate otherwise: Rather than attempt to bridge between the two fundamentally different treatments of memory represented in the traditional and everyday memory camps, or perhaps to merge them, we would prefer to see their differences sharpened and cultivated. In that way, each horse will be able to draw the chariot of science, as far and as fast as it can. Consider a simple situation in which memory is tested for only one single item of information using a forced-choice procedure. For example, in the well-known study by Loftus, Miller, and Burns (1978), subjects were required to decide whether the traffic sign in the witnessed event was a stop or a yield sign. In that study and others like it (e.g., Boon & Davies, 1988; Wagenaar & Boer, 1987), memory accuracy is assessed simply by noting whether the provided answer is correct or incorrect. This might be compared to the hypothetical case in which a studied list of paired associates is followed by a single probe and two alternative responses, e.g., "SIGN - STOP/YIELD," and the intention is to assess memory quantity. Operationally, the two measures, accuracy and quantity, are equivalent; the difference between them is solely a matter of the experimenter's intent. Whereas in the former case the test is designed to examine whether the person's memory is a faithful reproduction of the witnessed event, in the latter case the intent has traditionally been to determine whether the designated item is still in store and accessible. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)


The writer could improve upon this work if they used their own words throughout the essay. Quotes are fine but are not to be over used. Also, by explaining research on memory in the writer's own words it becomes clear that they really understand what they are writing about. Because of the over use of quotes and the copying of chunks of the authors' work, the essay will have to be marked down. The writer, however, appears to have got the gist of the research argument and so a simplification of the writing would improve the score.

3 *

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 07/08/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In this essay I am going to contrast and compare three approaches in psychology ...

    4 star(s)

    Humanism has been very practical on the assessment of self-concept and on the development of therapies that encourage self-respect and autonomy in individuals which contribute to the development of self-esteem in individuals. Although the humanistic approach has been very useful on psychotherapies and counselling methods such as marriage counselling it

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Are memories permanent and unalterable?

    4 star(s)

    repressed feelings and wishes which have been frustrated in childhood, such as memories referring to painful incidents which are not recalled in order to avoid anxiety. This suggests that memory's retrieval mechanism may be responsible for repression phenomena. Despite apparent success in using psychoanalysis to recover memories, the technique is subject to many criticisms.

  1. Experiment to Test Memory Using Recognition and Free Recall.

    The Mann-Whitney U Test produced a U1 of 6; this resulted in the H1 being accepted at the 5% level of significance. This indicates that a difference did occur that was not due to chance. In this case it supports the view that recognition is a more effective way of remembering than free recall.

  2. Critically assess Piaget's theory of cognitive development

    concluded that it was a lack of understanding rather than egocentrism that prevented them from doing the task correctly (http://www.psychology4a.com). Pre-operational children also lack the ability to understand that some things remain unchanged despite them looking visibly different. Piaget thought that this was because children of this age are unable

  1. Investigating the short-term memory

    Acoustic and semantic coding are not the only types of coding, other coding may have been used and therefore ignored thus being unreliable. Strengths of this study are that the investigation supports the view of Baddeley that short-term memory uses an acoustic code.

  2. "An experiment to see the effect of chunking on short-term memory recall".

    Chunking significantly helped the participants remember more in Test A with the chunked words, than Test B with the un-chunked words. The letters in Test A also had meaning for the participants as they were actual words that they would use in everyday life which meant that this would be

  1. Stroop Test Experiment

    For example, blue would be written in red ink and red would be written in yellow ink. There will also be a control, where the words will match the ink colour that they are written in.

  2. Evaluate 3 Approaches to treating Mental Disorders: Psychodynamic, Biological and Behavioural Approach.

    Another source of support comes from earlier research by Hopï¬eld et al (1983) on neural networks, in which computer simulations were used to mimic the action of the brain, these simulations showed how neural networks deal with an overloaded memory by combining or condensing memories.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work