Bower Research

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Empirical Research Summary Chart|
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Researchers|  Gordon H. Bower|
Year|  1970|
Aim|  To determine if mental imagery improves paired-associate (PA) learning relative to overt rehearsal.| Methods| Three groups of Subjects studied word-word paired associates after receiving instructions to learn using either (a) overt rote repetition of the word pair, (b) construction of an interactive scene in imagery, or (e) imagery of the objects non interacting and separated in "imaginal space." The study trial was followed by a test for stimulus recognition and for PA recall given recognition. The procedure was repeated on three different lists of 30 PAs. All words were concrete nouns selected for high imagery. There were 90 pairs shown in three lists of 30, each pair was presented for 10 sec in the window of a memory drum. Followed by a test list of 60 words, the left-hand (“stimulus”) members of the 30 pairs of the study list scrambled in with 30 new concrete nouns (as “distractors or lures”). Each test word appeared for 10 see during which Subject (a) rated the likelihood that he had seen it on the prior study list by checking off a 5-point scale ranging over the values "Sure Old, Think Old, Don't know, Think New, Sure New," and (b) if Subjects thought the word had appeared in the prior list, he tried to recall the other word paired with it. No feedback was given on test trials. Each list received one study trial followed by one test trial. The three lists were presented in the same order to all subjects, with a 60 sec rest between lists. Emphasized overt repetition of each word pair. Subjects were 30 high school graduates (ages 17-22) solicited through an ad in a local newspaper. Paid for their 1-hr participation. Ten subjects, five males and five females, were assigned in random alteration to three instructional conditions.| Results| Sure Old" and "'Think Old" were counted as recognitions of an Old stimulus. Since the rote Ss were slightly lower...
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