One Of The First Debates Initiating The Rise Of Cognitive Psychology Concerned The Issue Of Memory



One of the first debates initiating the rise of cognitive psychology concerned the issue of memory. The traditional approach, inherited from the learning theories of the behaviorist school, argued that forgetting was the result of interference between new learning and old learning. The cognitive school argued for a duplex memory system in which the processes responsible for forgetting depended on which components of the memory system were being tested.
a. Assume a group of subjects is presented 25 words in a serial learning task such that the words are presented one at a time with about a three second interval between each word. What pattern of results would you expect if you were to measure the probability of correct as a function of position on the list on a free recall task
b. How would a learning theorist who was an advocate of the unitary model of memory explain the pattern of results?
c. How would an advocate of the duplex model explain the results?
d. Describe at least one experiment comparing a free recall with a serial recall task and explain how these results would be interpreted by advocates of each of these models
e. Describe Glanzer’s experiment using the Peterson task and explain how this experiment answers the objections made by the unitary theorists to the duplex theorists’ interpretation of the results in “d” (above)

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