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Cognitive Science Jose Tabares Psych 202B January 23, 2006.

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1 Cognitive Science Jose Tabares Psych 202B January 23, 2006

2 Creating False Memories: Remembering Words Not Presented in Lists. Henry L. Roediger III and Kathleen B. McDermott Rice University Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 1995, Vol 21, No.4, 803-814

3 False Memories  Remembering events that never happened.  Or, remembering them quite differently from the way they happened.

4 Reconstructing Memories  Sir Frederic Bartlett, a prominent English psychologist.  Had his subjects read “War of the Ghosts”  Subjects read the story twice and waited 15 minutes.  Then they were asked to write down the tale as best they could recall it.

5 War of the Ghosts  So what did Bartlett find?  Subjects frequently changed the story.  Bartlett concluded that the subjects reconstructed the story to fit with their established schemas.  Reproductive memory  Reconstructive memory

6 Elizabeth Loftus

7 Misinformation Effect


9 Definitions  Hits (Hit) – number of words from List A recognized (out of 15)  Correct Rejections (CR) – number of words not on List A that were correctly identified as not being on the list.  Misses (Miss) – number of words on the list that were not recognized.  False Alarms (FA) – number of words indicated as being on the list that were, in fact, not.

10 Roediger and McDermott  Two experiments  Modeled after J. Deese’s 1959 study.  Sweet: sour, candy, sugar, bitter, good, taste, tooth, nice, honey, soda, chocolate, heart, cake, tart, and pie.  First recall test  Then recognition test.


12 Summary  Studies of memory suggest that people can have the subjective experience of remembering an event that never actually occurred. This happens either when people mistakenly associate a memory with the wrong source, or when they have seen so many things consistent with the event that the event that did not happen is somehow represented as well.


14 Contextual Prerequisites for Understanding: Some Investigation of Comprehension and Recall John D. Bransford and Marcia K. Johnson State University of New York, Stony Brook Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11, 717-726.

15 Tree structure of a sentence Sentence Noun phrase Adjective Visiting Noun Relatives Verb phrase Modal can Verb be Noun phrase article a noun nuisance


17 Comprehension  Involves the recovery and interpretation of the abstract deep structural relations underlying sentences.  One type of error occurs because the act of comprehending sentences often includes plausible inferences, and the results of these inferences may be indistinguishable in memory from information actually given (Bransford, Barclay, and Frank, 1972).

18 Example  Three turtles rested on a floating log and a fish swam beneath it.  Subjects create semantic products that are a joint function of input information and prior knowledge.

19 Experiment 1  “Would subjects who receive appropriate prerequisite knowledge be able to comprehend the passage quite easily, and hence would subsequently be able to recall it relatively well.”  Acquisition phase followed by two tasks— comprehension rating and recall. comprehension rating and recall.

20 Methods  Five groups -No Context -No Context 2 -Context After -Partial Context -Context Before


22 Results  Context Before Group had the best recall and rated the passage easier to comprehend than the other groups.

23 Experiments 2  Experiment 2 heard one a shorter version of a passage on washing clothes.  Three groups -No Topic -Topic Before -Topic After

24 Experiment 3  Experiment 3 heard a passage similar but longer than the groups in Experiment 2.  Only two groups -Topic Before -Topic After

25 Experiment 4  The groups in Experiment 4 heard a passage on making a kite  Again, three groups -No topic -Topic before -Topic After

26 Results  Both in Experiment 2 and 3, the Topic Before groups rated the passage easier to comprehend than the other group(s).  Also, then showed better recall.  Similar results occurred in Experiment 4.

27 Discussion  Prior knowledge for a situation does not guarantee its usefulness for comprehension.  For maximum benefit, the appropriate information must be present during the ongoing process of comprehension.


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