A reminder to join us Friday afternoon for the PSYCHONOMICS SEMINAR. This week's speaker is Mike Humphreys, who will be talking about repressed memories. In his own words, he's "giving a clinical talk." But we all know he'll be "climbing the formidable peaks of repressed memory research using the ice-axe of experimental paradigms on false memories."
Join us on Friday 9 September 3-4 pm, Room 304
followed by drinks and food after 5 pm
(at 4 pm, we'll have a special School Seminar)
Title: Repression and Encoding Specificity Revisited
Authors: Michael S. Humphreys, Angela M. Maguire, and Douglas L. Nelson
Anderson and Green (Nature 2001) presented experimental results which have been interpreted as supporting a long lasting inhibition which has been likened to the Freudian concept of repression. What has not been remarked on is that the Anderson and Green think/no think paradigm is structurally similar to the well known encoding specificity paradigm (Tulving & Thompson, Psychological Review, 1973) and the poorly known Overton and Adolphson paradigm (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 1979). We have been able to reproduce the results from all three paradigms in situations where there is no hint of inhibition. Instead all of the results can be explained by the assumption that in an extended associative network the strengthening of one item can interfere with the recall of other items. Our conclusions are that there is little or no evidence for a long lasting inhibition in human memory and that the importance of encoding specificity has been overstated.
Upcoming speakers: Oct 7, Jenny Burt, Oct. 21, Bronwyn Massavelli