Recognition and recall memory as a function of intentional and incidental learning of an eyewitness account
Date of Award
Master of Arts
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between recognition and recall memory as a function of intentional and incidental learning of a eyewitness event. A total of 188 college students participated in the experiment with 47 students in each of four conditions. The two learning conditions were produced by giving either intentional or incidental learning instructions while the two memory conditions, either recognition or recall, were defined on the basis of one of two forms of the retention questionnaire. All subjects viewed two groups of slides; the first group depicted a wallet of paired-associate nonsense syllables. The intentional learning group viewed the wallet snatching slides, which acted as a filler activity. The incidental learning group viewed the paired associated nonsense syllable slides, which acted as a filler activity. One week following viewing of the slides, all subjects answered one of two forms of a 30-item questionnaire about the wallet snatching slides. One of the questionnaires, which measured recognition memory, consisted of multiple choice questions while the second form of the questionnaire, measuring recall memory, consisted of open ended, fill-in-the-blank questions. Quantitative and qualitative scores were obtained from correct, incorrect and answered, or unanswered responses on each questionnaire. It was hypothesized that there would be a learning X memory interaction for both the quantity and quality of response. Intentional learning with recognition memory was expected to produce the least quantity of responses and incidental learning with recall memory was expected to produce the highest quantity of responses and incidental learning with recall memory was expected to produce the least quantity of responses. Intentional learning with recognition memory was also expected to produce the highest quality of responses and incidental learning with recognition memory would produce the lowest quality of responses. An additional hypothesis proposed was that a negative correlation would be found between the quantity and quality of response. ·Results indicate that there were no significant differences between the learning X memory conditions for either the quantity or the quality of response. However, recognition memory testing did produce more quantity and better accuracy of responses than the recall memory testing. In both learning conditions there were no differences found between intentional and incidental learning, therefore it was concluded that recognition memory produces better quantity and quality responses to an eyewitness event than recall memory with the type of learning, intentional or incidental, being inconsequential.
Ricke, Jill L., "Recognition and recall memory as a function of intentional and incidental learning of an eyewitness account" (1981). Master's Theses. 872.