Psychology Essay

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Distance Effects and Recency Discrimination Genaya Nahu Griffith University Gold Coast Abstract Three-hundred and forty-five undergraduate students enrolled in a first year psychology course at Griffith University participated in an experiment using recency discrimination tasks to test temporal-order memory, and, assess distance effects on recency discrimination. Distance effects were investigated in word and picture stimuli and included an experimental and control condition with separate study and test phases. The results provide evidence of significant effects of distance in both test and study phases for the word and picture stimuli; however emphasisng the temporal sequence to facilitate recency discrimination was not supported. Furthermore, based on these findings there is potential for further investigation into emphasising the temporal sequence of items to facilitate recency discrimination and to determine if there is recency discrimination within children. Distance Effects and Recency Discrimination Gerrig, Zimbardo, Campbell, Cumming and Wilkes (2012) define memory as “the capacity to store and retrieve information” (p. 239). Episodic memory is a form of declarative memory that preserves specific events or episodes and requires retrieval cues from the context in which an event occurs (Gerrig et al., 2012). Episodic memory is assessed using recency discrimination tasks to assess memory for the temporal context. Participants are shown a continual sequence of items after which some were repeated and the subjects had to judge which of two items occurred more recently. Previous research supports the hypothesis that recency discrimination is more difficult than item recognition. For example Fabiani and Friedman (1997) conducted experiments in which young and old subjects participated in new-old recognition and recency discrimination. Both study and

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