grant et al

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To investigate whether manipulating study contexts produced positive context-dependency effects on memory in standard academic tests.
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sampling method?
Snowball – 8 psychology students recruited 5 acquaintances each as participants.
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sample characteristics?
Acquaintances of 8 Psychology Laboratory Class students at Iowa State University 23 male; 17 female. Age range 17-56
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Laboratory experiment. Independent Measures Design
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Researcher tests each participant individually. * Given the article to read once, with a highlighter, in silent or noisy conditions, wearing headphones provided by the experimenter. 2min break
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what were they given last?
Given short-answer test, then multiple-choice test, so suggested answers in MCQs did not improve recall on SAQs. Tests sat in silent or noisy conditions, wearing headphones.
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materials/ equitment? 1
The audio context in the noisy condition was exact copies, on cassette, of background noise from the uni cafeteria where complete sentences could not be made out.
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materials/ equitment?2
A 3-coulmn, double-sided A4 article on psycho-immunology, judged to be interesting and understandable by the experimenter was the study material.
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materials and equitment?3
16 multiple choice qus (1 correct stem taken verbatim or paraphrased from the article, and 4 alternatives), were designed to test recognition and not comprehension
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materials and equitment? 3
10 short answer questions, with unambiguous answers, on the same topics as the multiple choice qus, were designed to test recall.
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main findings?
One male was omitted as an outlier (over 2.5SDs from the mean score on both tests).
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main findings 2?
Participants remembered significantly more, in both short-answer and multiple-choice tests when studying and being tested in matching auditory contexts than mismatching
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main findings 3?
In the short-answer-test, the silent study-silent test condition had a mean score of 6.7/10 and the noisy study-noisy test condition had a mean score of 6.2/10, whereas the mismatching conditions had lower mean scores of 4.6/10 and 5.4/10.
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main findings 4?
In the multiple-choice test, the matching context conditions had a mean score of 14.3/16, and the mismatching context conditions had a mean score of 12.7/16.
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main findings 5?
There was no significant effect of reading time suggesting this variable did not influence the difference in amount recalled between context conditions
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There are context-dependency effects for newly learned meaningful material (the kind of material a student would study as part of their undergraduate degree) when a short-answer recall test or multiple-choice recognition test is used to assess memory
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conclusion 2?
Students are likely to do better in exams if they study with a minimum of background noise (even though this doesn’t affect performance- the difference in recall in matching noisy study/test conditions and matching silent conditions= not significant)
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Told participation in the study on memory was voluntary, at the start of the study phase.
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purpose of the study, to test context-dependent memory, was explained at the end.
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protection from harm?
Anxiety from SAQ and MCQ memory tests.
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: All wear headphones in study/test phase to control for effect of headphones as contextual cue.
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population validity?
Acquaintances of students do not represent the target population of students, so the conclusion that revising in silent conditions, to match the context of the exam will improve recall, may not be generalizable to university students.
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sampling method?


Snowball – 8 psychology students recruited 5 acquaintances each as participants.

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sample characteristics?


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