How Different Levels of Processing Effect the Accuracy of Word Recall

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How the change between physical and semantic processing affects the accuracy of word recall Psychology group 11-1
Siobhan Mackenzie

The level of processing approach, founded by Craik and Lockhart, 1972, is a theory of memory in which the accuracy of recall is directly affected by the level of analysis of any given material. The level of processing model of memory was put forward to try and overcome criticism aimed at an earlier research multi store model. Shallower processing has proven through research, to only retrieve physical characteristics whereas deeper processing is linked to the retrieval of semantic information. Deeper levels of processing have shown to result in better memory recall than shallower processing. Hyde and Jenkins (1973) findings supported Craik and theory; they found that during different orienting tasks participants recall was affected by the level of processing that the task required. The more complex processing resulted in a 51% more recall of stimuli compared to weaker, semantic processing methods. Some researchers into this field of research believe that processing leads to memory traces being formed in the brain for the stimuli presented. Morton(1970) suggested that deeper levels of analysis of the stimuli is linked to more elaborate traces, and so stronger recall. Craik and Tulving (1975) conducted a study which aimed to investigate how these different types of processing, semantic and physical, affected the accuracy of memory recall. The study looked at the depth of processing which involved two tasks, a superficial task in which the participants were asked about the physical characteristics of a given stimulus word and a semantic task in which the participants were asked a question in which they had to process the information at a more complex level. The results were derived from an unannounced memory test within which participants were instructed to recall as many words as they were able to, these findings...
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