The goal of the present experiment was to investigate if an individual uses self-referent encoding and structural encoding which of the two encoded styles produces higher recall performance. The measure was based on recall performance of three groups: original related, original non-related, and new items. The results reported were conducted to evaluate ones way of individual processing and the effect of performance and also the words themselves on individual performance. Results demonstrated words related to the self regardless of level of processing produced high performance in the recognition task. Suggestions are discussed for further research and theory on self-referent encoding, and semantic memory.
Key Words: college students, levels of processing, words, self-reference
Encoding Styles: Recognition performance on related vs. unrelated words
Levels of processing in memory, proposed first by Craik & Lockharts (1972) framework suggests that information is transferred easily to the long-term memory if it is considered, understood and related to previous memories to grow meaning than to be just practiced. The amount of consideration of information was given the term depth of processing, where the deeper the information is processed, the longer the memory sketch would last. They introduced three examples of levels which information could be processed; structural this is shallow processing, looking at what the composition of the word appears as, phonetic processing by the sound of the word and finally, semantic, deep processing, considering the meaning of the word. In line with past research (Craik & Lockart, 1972; Craik & Tulving, 1975), Rogers et al. found that making a semantic judgment led to better recall than did making judgments about either surface or phonetic features. Judging a word in relation to self, however, produced the best recall of all. Also supported by Morris et al. (1977) experiment on phonemically and semantically encoding words and his findings on recognition showed higher scores on semantic encoding than phonemic encoding, which was in line with the levels-of-processing paradigm (Craik & Tulving, 1975) (Roediger, Gallo, Geraci 2002) Rogers al. (1977) too hypothesized that self-reference signifies an extremely rich and deep level of encoding. Often the easiest way to find meaning of an object, experience and connect is to easily relate it to ones self, thus leading us to research on semantic deep processing in accordance to self and its affects on memory recall. Self-reference effect was related to as an addition of levels of processing. Self-reference encoding was theorized as a process in which the information is stored in memory with reference to the self. In simple terms, the individual has a connection with the information and therefore the information is orientated with ones feelings, beliefs, standards, traits, and status and processed in that way. It becomes semantic. Impact of self-referent encoding (Rogers, Kuiper, and Kirker, 1977) stated that the fundamental feature of self-reference is that the self acts as a backdrop for which incoming date can be interpreted and coded, thus the interaction between previous experience for the individual and the incoming stimuli. This interaction between new input and past understanding suggested as being crucial in self-reference goes along too with developmental and cognitive literature for schemas. (Bartlett, 1935; Posner & Keele, 1968). Craik, and Tulving conducted a wonderful depth of processing study in 1975 where many experiments were done within the levels of processing framework in an effort to achieve a better depiction of depth of processing and how it is that deeper semantic analysis aids superior memory performance. As deeply supported by research Structural encoding on the other hand is an encoding strategy in which...