Final_Paper - Memory Retrieval Running head ROLE OF SHOCK...

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Memory Retrieval Running head: ROLE OF SHOCK IN MEMORY RETRIEVAL The Effect of Emotion on Memory Retrieval: The Role of Shock Value in Free Recall and Recognition Kiki Veralrud, Amy Kott, and Ben Hejna University of California, Los Angeles 1
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Memory Retrieval Abstract Using a within-groups two-way factorial design, the accuracy of two distinct memory retrieval techniques, employed by undergraduate students to remember either shocking or non- shocking film clips were investigated to test if the presence of a shocking stimulus would produce significantly greater accuracy of memory retrieval in recall questionnaires than in recognition questionnaires. Accuracy of memory retrieval was defined at the number of questions answered correctly in questionnaires administered after viewing the different types of film clips. Consistent with previous research, the results indicated that accuracy of memory is greater when employing recognition memory retrieval than when employing recall memory retrieval. However, inconsistent with previous findings, there was no support for the hypothesis that shocking film clips would produce a greater number of correct answers, regardless of type of memory retrieval employed. The results showed no support for the hypothesized interaction, with no greater accuracy of recall memory retrieval compared to recognition memory retrieval for shocking film clips. 2
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Memory Retrieval The Effect of Emotion on Memory Retrieval: The Role of Shock Value in Free Recall and Recognition Many people make the observation that their most accurate memories tend to surround events that elicited an emotional reaction of some sort, which is an assumption supported by numerous studies conducted over the last decade. Specifically, previous research shows memory is greatly enhanced when the event caused a negative emotional arousal within individuals (Kern, Libkuman, Otani, & Holmes, 2005). Additionally, efficient memory retrieval varies greatly depending on the method with which we attempt to call upon stored information, exemplified in the relatively dominant preference for multiple-choice examinations rather than free response or short answer formats among college students. Undergraduates are correct in this preference, as cognitive psychologists contend that this type of memory retrieval employed in answering multiple-choice questions, recognition memory, produces more accurate memories of stored information (Robinson, Johnson, & Herndon, 1997). The two dominant memory retrieval types established in the field of cognitive psychology are referred to as free recall memory and recognition memory. Results from experiments measuring this effect led researchers to hypothesize that this difference is due to the fact that recognition memory is based on familiarity-based processing rather than the retrieval- based processing of free recall. Familiarity-based processing requires the retrieval of stored information after being prompted with a number of potential explanations, while retrieval-based processing requires the intentional search for a relevant explanation within stored memory. The
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