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Lecture 13

PSY270H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Scuba Diving, Long-Term Memory, Manal

Course Code
Christine Burton

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Manal Obaid 1
1. Learning (i.e. memory) can be better when the context at encoding is
matched with the context at retrieval. Please describe three ways in which
this can be done, and provide an example for each. (6 marks)
1) Encoding Speci"city: matching the environment, or the situation at encoding
with the environment or situation at retrieval leads to better memory, thus greater
retrieval from long term memory.
For example, in the Scuba diving experiment, the memory for scuba divers
underwater and land were tested. Encoding for group 1 took place on land, and for
group 2 it took place under water. Results indicate that group 1 was more accurate
when the recall task was performed on land rather than underwater, and group 2
performed better under water than on land, which demonstrates improved learning
when environmental conditions match at encoding and retrieval. (2 marks)
2) Transfer Appropriate Processing: matching the type of cognitive processing
or task during encoding and retrieval leads to better memory and retrieval from
long term memory.
For example, in a rhyming vs. semantics experiment, during the encoding, a list of
paired words (one being the target word), were presented where
Group 1 was asked whether the words rhyme (answer: yes/no). Group 2 was asked if
these words were synonyms which as to do with meaning (answer: yes/no).
During the retrieval task, both groups were given a rhyming task in which they were
given rhyming and non rhyming words, and were asked whether each word
presented during retrieval matched the target word presented during encoding.
Group 1 indicated more correctly than group 2, whether the words rhymed with the
target words presented earlier. This was because for group 1, the task at encoding
(rhyming) matched the task at retrieval, leading to better learning and recall. (2
3) State-dependent learning: this type of learning is associated with the internal
state such as mood or state of awareness. Therefore, matching the internal state at
encoding and retrieval leads to better memory and retrieval from long term
Students can use either example for full marks:
For example, those who come to class drunk or intoxicated would perform better
during a test while drunk than if they were sober. Those who came to class sober
would recall more from memory during the test when sober than if they were drunk.
In general though, one will always perform better when sober than intoxicated.
Aside from standard-dependent learning, being sober in general while completing a
test will allow to perform better.
For example, if a person is sad and upset during encoding (e.g. while studying for a
test), during the recall task (the test time), the person will perform better when they
are in that same state of mood as they were in encoding; sad and upset. (2 marks)
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