Cognitive Psychology

            For the first set of non-sense words, my friend only recalled four out of fifteen words. When I repeated the process with a new set of non-sense words, my friend’s recollection worsen by recalling only two out of fifteen words. This is what we expect with proactive interference—the number of words recalled by my friend in the second set has decreased compared to the number of words he was able to recall during the first set. That is basically how proactive interference works. His ability to recall the words I showed him in the second round has worsen because he seemed to have mixed some words in the second set with the non-sense words I showed him in the first set. Most words were misspelled and most of his errors are words which sounded like those words in the first set. That happens with proactive interferences. The current information or knowledge can be lost or forgotten because it is mixed with similar information learned previously. The past information interferes with the current information so the result is the trouble of absorbing or comprehending the current information we wish to absorb.

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For the second round, I showed my friend another set of non-sense words. For List A, he was able to recall three out of fifteen words. For List B, he was able to recall four out of fifteen words. When I told him to recall as many non-sense words as he can in the List A, he recalled two of the fifteen words.  This result is expected and consistent of a retrospective interference. The information acquired in the past has been lost or forgotten because of newer information acquired. This newer information has interfered with the past information especially that they are similar (both non-sense words).

It is difficult to judge whether retroactive interference is stronger than proactive interference. Based on the result of my experiment, they are the same. In the demonstration for the proactive interference, two words were recalled. For the demonstration for the retroactive interference, two words were also recalled. But I think retroactive interference is more stronger than proactive interference because with proactive interference, you can have recognition of whatever similarities the current information have with the past information, but, with retroactive, it would be difficult to recognize them since the current information is what the mind processes and recalling past information wouldn’t be easy.

To tell whether a person shows retroactive interference or will show simple decay or forgetting due to time, I’ll perform an experiment similar to what we did for retroactive interference demonstration. I will present a set of non-sense words to my friend and I will take time before I ask him to recall the words I would present to him. I will conduct another experiment with my same friend by showing two sets of non-sense words, just like what we did earlier for retroactive interference demonstration. For the first set-up, only time between the presentation of the word and recollection is the factor. For the second set-up, the factor would be distraction or the interference of the second set of words to the first set of words.  The result would tell me the factor which affected how much my friend remembers.

For my last experiment, I tested the memory of my friend by reading to him sets of words with different kinds of voice. The first set of words was read in a higher pitch. I told my friend that I will be reading to him another set of words and he has to write down if the word I said is originally from the first set of words I told him. I read this new set of words in my natural voice. My friend got 14 out of twenty. Then, I read another set of words, again, in a high pitch. I mixed the words in this set with another set of words and then, I read it to him. This time, I read to him the old words the way I initially read it. This time he got it perfect. These results support context-reinstatement. Context-reinstatement is based on recognition and the attention is higher. An individual can associate a certain event, sound, or look so they can easily recognize a thing when the situation is similar to how they’ve acquired the information.



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