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Welcome to PSYC2215

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Ullrich Ecker ullrich.ecker@uwa.edu.au

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Experiment for Lab Report
Testing will stop April 26 Please sign up for a session It will REALLY help you with your lab report

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Principles of Memory (II) Learning Objectives
Explain the principle of abstraction, using empirical evidence Understand how false memories can be considered an effect of abstraction Explain the principle of hyperspecificity, using empirical evidence Discuss the encoding specificity principle, using empirical evidence Discuss which factors determine whether abstraction or hyperspecificity is observed

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memory II
Abstraction & generalisation
Hyperspecificity Break Encoding specificity Transfer-appropriate processing (brief sketch) Abstraction vs. hyperspecificity

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Abstraction
Another principle that is more encompassing than localised theories Abstraction and generalisation

A famous study by Sachs (1967)
Presented people with a paragraph like the following:

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Sachs (1967): Abstraction in Memory
Holland, a man named Lippershey was an eye-glass maker. One day his children were playing with some lenses. They discovered that things seemed very close if two lenses were held about a foot apart. Lippershey began He sent a letter about it to Galileo, the great Italian scientist. Galileo at once realized the importance about the discovery and set about to build an instrument of his own. He used an old organ pipe with one lens curved out and the

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Sachs (1967): Recognition Test
a.) He sent Galileo, the great Italian scientist, a letter about it. b.) Galileo, the great Italian scientist, sent him a letter about it. c.) A letter about it was sent to Galileo, the great Italian scientist. d.) He sent a letter about it to Galileo, the great Italian scientist.

One item is completely wrong (b) Others share gist Results of recognition test: Immediately after the sentence: d > a=c > b: Gist + Surface 80 syllables later: d=a=c > b: Gist only

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Harris (1977):

do that may help. Have him gargle with Gargoil Antiseptic. Gargoil him fight off colds. During the cold catching season, have him gargle twice a day with full-strength Gargoil. Watch

Does gargling with Gargoil Antiseptic help prevent colds?
Ahm, no, not really. But 90% of people say it does.

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Harris (1977):

do that may help. Have him gargle with Gargoil Antiseptic. Gargoil What people walk away with is him fight off colds. During the cold catching season, have him gargle twice a day with full-strength Gargoil. Watch often what they infer, what they

have abstracted.
Does gargling with Gargoil Antiseptic help prevent colds?
Ahm, no, not really. But 90% of people say it does.

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Relevance of abstraction
The Gargoil study was used in a
U.S. against Listerine mouthwash Beware: Abstraction helps people who want to lead you to believe something that they only hint at (advertising, politicians, etc.)

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Bransford & Franks (1971)
Constructed sentences with FOUR ideas (=declarative parts)
The ants in the kitchen ate the sweet jelly which was on the table Ants were in kitchen Ants ate jelly Jelly was sweet Jelly was on table

These 4-idea sentences were never presented

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Bransford & Franks (1971)
THREE ideas
The ants ate the sweet jelly which was on the table

TWO ideas
The ants in the kitchen ate the jelly

ONE idea
The ants ate the jelly

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Bransford & Franks (1971)
For example, participants studied:
The ants ate the sweet jelly which was on the table. (3) The man was old. (1) The ants in the kitchen ate the jelly. (2) The jelly was on the table. (1) The man was resting on the couch. (2) The old man read the story in the newspaper. (3) In this study, participants' confidence when accepting test items as "old" was mainly a function of the number of familiar idea units, meaning participants confidently recognised sentences they had not studied because...
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