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

The Effects of Free and Forced Retrieval on False Recall.

Extracts from this document...


The Effects of Free and Forced Retrieval on False Recall Experimental Psychology Section 0999 Dr. Evangeline Caldwell Duyen Hau Nguyen Abstract This experiment investigated the effects of free and forced retrieval instructions on false recall. It was hypothesised that false recall will be higher under the forced retrieval condition than under the free retrieval condition and correct recall will be unaffected. Thirty-two participants were instructed to remember 4 lists of 12 words. They were randomly assigned to either the free retrieval condition or to the forced retrieval condition. It was found that the mean number of false recalls under the forced retrieval condition was higher than under the free retrieval condition. As well, the mean number of correct recalls was even for both conditions. We often take our memory for granted, except when it malfunctions. But it is our memory that enables us to sing, find our way home, locate the food and water we need for survival and recognize acquaintances. Memory refers to the capacity of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information. Furthermore, recall is a measure of memory in which one must retrieve the information previously learned. Unlike videotapes or photocopies, memories are reconstructive as well as reproductive and hence, fallible. In an experiment by Stuart (2001) investigating false recall, a hundred students of two psychology research methods classes were asked to recall and recognize 6 lists of 14 words. ...read more.


For the forced recall condition, the mean number of intrusions is 9.2 and of central concept intrusions is 1.5. These results clearly show that there is more total false recalls for participants who were given the forced recall instructions than for those who were given the free recall instructions (10.7 > 2.8). Furthermore, the mean number of correct recalls for the free retrieval condition and the forced retrieval condition are 34.6 and 37.3 respectively. This illustrates a slightly higher correct recall for forced recall condition than for the free recall condition. From a more general conclusion however, correct recall is relatively constant for both conditions. Free Recall participants Correct recalls False recalls (Intrusions) False recalls (Central concept) Total false recalls m1 35 1 2 3 m2 31 3 1 4 m3 37 4 1 5 m4 37 1 0 1 m5 27 2 3 5 m6 38 2 0 0 m7 33 5 1 6 m8 39 2 2 4 Mean for males 34.6 2.5 1.3 3.5 f1 28 5 0 5 f2 30 0 0 0 f3 35 0 0 0 f4 36 1 0 1 f5 37 1 0 0 f6 37 0 2 2 f7 33 6 0 6 f8 40 2 0 2 Mean for females 34.5 1.9 0.25 2 Total mean 34.6 2.2 0.75 2.8 Forced recall participants Correct recalls False recalls (Intrusions) False recalls (Central concept) ...read more.


This is due to the fact that the participants perceived the words through their auditory sense since they were read to them. Many false recalls that were not the central concept but were still in the theme of the list also recurred. For example, "wheel" appeared 7 times in the list with the central concept "car". This illustrates how one may organize information into our memory by semantic groupings. Additionally, one participant under the forced recall condition, while trying to recall a particular word, reported that she had it on the "tip of her tongue". She knew its meaning and seemed to have a vague image of its syllables but she just could not recall it. This TOT state (tip-of-the-tongue) shows that information is organized also in the terms of the way words sound or look. The results of the present experiment demonstrate that every word whether at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the list, was recalled as often as another one. Hence, the serial-position effect could not be observed here. However, I suspect that this is due to lists being rather short. I believe that with longer lists, this effect will be shown. As well, the present study only tested for echoic memory since the participant perceived the words as auditory stimuli. It would be interesting to see if the same results will be obtained if the presentation of each word was done by showing a cue card on which that word will be written. ...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

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. The effect of primacy and recency on recall

    * The experimenter collected the sheets in. * The participants were debriefed and were given an opportunity to ask any questions. * Questions were answered and participants were dismissed. * Participants' answers remained confidential. * The results were taken away for analysis. Results A table to show the measures of central tendency in an experiment where lists

  2. An investigation about retrieval failure in memory (retrieval cues) whether participants can recall more ...

    I will do this by splitting the group down the middle as they are sat. The people on the left will be free recall and the people on the right cued recall. The independent variable is whether the participants have free recall or whether they have cued recall.

  1. Hypothesis 1 - Participants will have a higher recall in the cued recall condition ...

    The second level of processing is at the 'phonemic level' where a verbal stimulus is analysed according to its sound. The third level of processing is at a 'deep level' where the semantic features of a stimulus are analysed more extensively.

  2. A comparison of the ability of males and females to control their attentional processes

    Statement of Alternative Hypothesis (Directional) Therefore, the alternative hypothesis for this study is: The time taken to complete the Stroop test by female participants will be quicker than the time taken to complete the Stroop test by male participants. Statement of Null Hypothesis The null hypothesis for this study is:

  1. An investigation into the effect free and cued recall has on the retrieval of ...

    Encoding is the process by which information is extracted from a stimulus to form memory trace, storing is the process of keeping memories for retrieval and retrieving is remembering information by bringing it from long-term memory into short-term memory or working memory.

  2. An experiment to investigate whether chunking leads to better recall.

    Late items are recalled best, early items are recalled next best and middle items are recalled least well. This is because the beginning of the list has already passed into LTM and the end of the list is still in STM.

  1. Investigating the effects of organisation on learning

    those to whom they were presented randomly, suggesting that the organisation of the words upon presentation facilitated their storage in memory. A similar trait has also been observed with naturally occurring stimuli. Rubin and Olson (1980) asked students to recall the names of as many members of staff in their

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

    Doctors must carefully monitor the level of lithium in a patient?s blood. A level that is too low is ineffective, and a level that is too high can be toxic. Discontinuing lithium treatment abruptly can increase the risk of relapse. Recently developed alternatives to lithium include the drugs carbamazepine (Tegretol)

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