BIG 12 - Powerpoint #1 Loftus & Palmer 1974; Bartlett 1932.

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BIG 12 - Powerpoint #1 Loftus & Palmer 1974; Bartlett 1932

Loftus and Palmer (1974) Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction Aim: To investigate whether the use of leading questions would affect recall in a situation where participants were asked to estimate speed. This is a situation that could happen when people appear in court as eyewitnesses.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction Procedure: The student participants saw videos of traffic accidents and had to answer questions about the accident.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction In experiment 1, the participants were asked to estimate speed of the cars based on a critical question: “About how fast were the cars going when they smashed/hit/collided/ bumped/ or contacted?”

Loftus and Palmer (1974) Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction Results: The mean estimates of speed were highest in the “smashed condition” (40.8 mph). Lowest in the “contacted group” (31.8 mph).

Loftus and Palmer (1974) Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction Results: Were the results just lucky? The p-value Anything p<.05 or less is significant. Which means there is a 5% chance the study is BS. The results in Loftus were significant at p<0.005 (.5% chance of that result occurring due to chance). The results indicate that memory is not reliable and can be manipulated by using specific words.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction The critical word in question consistently affected the participants' answer to the question. One explanation could be that the use of different words influenced the participants’ mental representation of the accident…. i.e., the verb smashed activates a cognitive schema of a severe accident and therefore speed estimates increase.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction It is not the actual details of the accident that are remembered but rather what is in line with a cognitive schema of a severe accident. Like reconstructive memory. Or maybe they just suck at estimating speed?

Loftus and Palmer (1974) Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction Evaluation: The experiment was conducted in a laboratory setting so maybe an ecological validity problem. Maybe too artificial. Use of just students as participants. But the controlled IV (words) and DV (speed) made it possible to establish cause/effect relationship.

Bartlett (1932) “The War of Ghosts” Aim: To investigate whether people’s memory for a story is affected by previous knowledge (schemas) and the extent to which memory is reconstructive.

Bartlett (1932) “The War of Ghosts” Procedure: Bartlett asked British participants to listen to a story. After a while he asked them to reproduced (repeat) the story. He asked them again and again (over a period of months and years) which he called serial reproduction.

Bartlett (1932) “The War of Ghosts” The story was an unfamiliar Native American legend called “The War of Ghosts”.

The War of Ghosts One night two young men from Egulac went down to the river to hunt seals and while they were there it became foggy and calm. Then they heard war-cries, and they thought: "Maybe this is a war-party". They escaped to the shore, and hid behind a log. Now canoes came up, and they heard the noise of paddles, and saw one canoe coming up to them. There were five men in the canoe, and they said: "What do you think? We wish to take you along. We are going up the river to make war on the people." One of the young men said,"I have no arrows." "Arrows are in the canoe," they said. "I will not go along. I might be killed. My relatives do not know where I have gone. But you," he said, turning to the other, "may go with them." So one of the young men went, but the other returned home. And the warriors went on up the river to a town on the other side of Kalama. The people came down to the water and they began to fight, and many were killed. But presently the young man heard one of the warriors say, "Quick, let us go home: that Indian has been hit." Now he thought: "Oh, they are ghosts." He did not feel sick, but they said he had been shot. So the canoes went back to Egulac and the young man went ashore to his house and made a fire. And he told everybody and said: "Behold I accompanied the ghosts, and we went to fight. Many of our fellows were killed, and many of those who attacked us were killed. They said I was hit, and I did not feel sick." He told it all, and then he became quiet. When the sun rose he fell down. Something black came out of his mouth. His face became contorted. The people jumped up and cried. He was dead.

Bartlett (1932) “The War of Ghosts” Results: The participants remembered the main idea of the story (the gist) but they changed unfamiliar elements to make sense of the story by using terms more familiar to their own cultural expectations.

Bartlett (1932) “The War of Ghosts” The story remained a coherent whole although it was changed. It became noticeably shorter after each reproduction. Bartlett concluded that remembering is an active process. Memories are not copies of experience but rather “reconstructions”.

Bartlett (1932) “The War of Ghosts” Evaluation: The results of the study confirm schema theory (and reconstructive memory). But is was performed in a laboratory and might lack ecological validity.

Bartlett (1932) “The War of Ghosts” Participants did not receive standardized instructions and some of the memory distortions may be due to simple guessing (demand characteristics such as the Hawthorne effect) Still, this study is one of the most important in the study of memory.

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