Retroactive Inhibition Experiment in psychology

Retroactive Inhibition Experiment

Introduction: memory is the process of encoding retrieving and subsequently staring as well as recalling information from the past experiences.

According to Hilgard and Atkinson,” To remember means to show in present responses and saved a sign of earlier long responses.” The failure to retain or recall information is called forgetting. Forgetting can occur various causes, one among which is the influence of new activity upon previously learned information. The theory of memory was proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin in 1968 which is also know as multi store model, which states that,” people forget not because memories are actually last form of storage but because other information gets in the way of what people want to remember.

Retroactive: Interference with retention of information already present in memory by new information being entered into memory that is the tendency of later learning to hinder the memory of previously learned material.

Purpose: To see the effect of interpolated activity on a previously learned task.

HYPOTHESIS: The interpolated activity (List B) will interfere with the recall of previously learned task (List A).

VARIABLES:

  • Independent Variable –Interpolated activity (List B)
  • Dependent Variable – Recall of List A

DESIGN:            

Experimental Subject

Learns List A

Learns List B

         Recalls
List A

Control Subject

Learns List A

Rest

Recalls List A

MATERIALS USED: Memory Drum,
Metronome, Two lists of nonsense syllables (CVC), and writing material.

Metronome

 

SUBJECTS’ DETAILS: Two subjects were taken
matched in Age, Sex, and Educational Qualification

                                                                            METHOD

Preliminary
Set up:
Two lists of 10 nonsense syllables
each (CVC) were prepared. Metronome was set at 60 beats per minute. List A was
pasted on the memory drum.  Some plain
paper slips were kept ready for the subjects to take their recalls in different
trials.

Procedure:  Two subjects were called to the laboratory and
were given the following instructions for learning list A which was pasted on
the memory drum- “I am going to show you a list of some nonsense
syllables one by one for a very short time; you need to see them carefully and
recall when I tell you to do so. So try to learn the syllables to the best of
your memory as early as possible.”                    Thereafter the subjects were given a signal of
‘ready’. The nonsense syllables were exposed from the memory drum. The exposure
time was controlled with the help of metronome. Each nonsense syllable was
exposed for two beats with a gap of two beats for each word. After the first
exposure of the 10 syllables, the subjects were given paper slips to recall.
The same procedure was continued till one of the subject accurately recalled
all the syllables or 10 trials whichever is earlier. The subject who had learnt
list A was asked to go out and rest (he/she served as control subject).
Meanwhile, the other (ES) was given list B to learn repeating the same
instructions. Lastly both the subjects should be asked to recall the words of
List A in free recall manner.

Precautions:

1.       Nonsense syllables were made removing all association both
in terms of meaning and phonetics.

2.       Words were legible and easily visible while rotating the
memory drum.

3.       The lists were not shown to the subject before the
experiment.

4.       Both the subjects were matched for  gender, age and educational qualification.

 

                                                                      RESULTS

 The results section would comprise of:

Qualitative Data : Verbal Report

Quantitative data :

TABLE 1:  Recall of List A
by the experimental subject.

 

Trials

 

 

Nonsense Syllables

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE 2:  Recall of List A by
the control subject.

 

Trials

 

 

Nonsense Syllables

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE 3: Recall of List B by the experimental subject.

 

Trials

 

 

Nonsense Syllables

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE 4:  Recall of List A by
the experimental and control subject.

Nonsense Syllables

Experimental Subject

Control Subject

 

 

 

Calculations:

1.       Recall percentages of control and experimental subjects are
calculated, that is number of nonsense syllables correctly recalled divided by
total number of nonsense syllables multiplied by 100.

2.       Retroaction inhibition %= recall by control subject –
recall by experimental subject        100

recall by control subject

3.       A Bar graph is plotted showing recall percentage of control
subject and experimental subject.

Points to ponder


Concept of forgetting

1.       Perseveration – Consolidation Theory – Muller and Pilzecker
(1900)

2.       Competition of Response Theory- Mc Geoch (1932)

3.       Two Factor Theory- Melton and Irwin (1940)


Concept of Inhibition
and its types – Retroactive and Proactive Inhibition


Factors affecting
Retroactive Inhibition


Interference Theory

REFERENCES
:

Baron. R.A. (1995). Psychology: The
essential science. New York: Allyn & Bacon.  

Morgan, C.T., King, R.A. Weisz, J.R.,
Schopler, J (2001). Introduction to Psychology. Tata McGraw and Hill.

Woodworth R.S. and Schlosberg H.
(1971).  Experimental Psychology.
Third  edition.

 

 

 

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