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«By Zachary Alexander Rosner A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology ...»

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1.1C; Table 1.1). In the Synonym Immediate Recognition experiment, participants recognized an average of 92% of generated items and 67% of read items, t(39) = 9.53, p.001. In the Synonym Delayed Recognition experiment, participants recognized an average of 86% of generated items and 56% of read items, t(40) = 11.87, p.001. Thus, this set of experiments demonstrated the generation effect’s durability over a 24-hour retention interval.

Experiments 1.2A and 1.2B (Antonym Focused Attention; Antonym Divided Attention) The purpose of these experiments was to test the resilience of the generation effect in the face of divided attention. Previous studies have shown that tasks intended to reduce the attention to, and rehearsal of, generated items may also reduce the size of the generation effect (Slamecka & Katsaiti, 1987). Specifically, if generation requires increased cognitive effort, semantic processing, or attention, as many theories posit, then increasing cognitive load during encoding may prevent the positive generation effect on item memory. In this experiment, participants read (e.g., NORTH - SOUTH) or generated (e.g., NORTH – S__TH) antonyms while performing a working memory task in which they were required to keep count of the number of times a fixation was presented.

Materials and Methods Participants Forty-six UC Berkeley undergraduate students participated for one hour of research participation credit for partial fulfillment of a psychology course requirement. Twenty-two of these students participated in the Antonym Focused Attention experiment and 24 participated in the Antonym Divided Attention experiment.

Design and Materials Encoding stimuli consisted of 40 antonym word pairs. Half of the stimuli were presented in the read condition, meaning that antonym pairs were presented in complete form (e.g., NORTH - SOUTH). The other half of the stimuli were presented in the generate condition, meaning that only the first letter of the second word was presented (e.g., NORTH – S____).

Additionally, half of the stimuli were presented in green, while the other half were presented in red. Both encoding strategy (generate vs. read) and color (green vs. red) were manipulated within participants and counterbalanced such that each antonym pair appeared in each possible combination of conditions with equal frequency. Only antonym pairs in which participants were able to correctly generate the second word with at least 99 percent accuracy (demonstrated through prior experiments to pilot stimuli) were used. For the Antonym Divided Attention experiment, fixation slides displaying “+” or “o” were presented during each inter-trial interval.

The distractor task consisted of a worksheet of 162 simple arithmetic problems, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The recognition portion of the experiment contained 80 randomly ordered items. Forty of these items were old, consisting of the second, target word of each antonym pair from the encoding phase. The other 40 items were new, consisting of the second, target word of unused antonym pairs. Stimuli appeared as old and new with equal frequency over all participants.

Procedure

10 Participants were led into the testing room and seated facing a computer. They were told that they would see a series of antonym pairs, and while some pairs would be complete, the second word of other pairs would only contain the first letter. Regardless of condition, they were asked to write down the second word on a provided response sheet. This ensured that the correct word was generated, enabling the elimination of incorrectly identified words from future analyses. In the Antonym Divided Attention experiment, participants were also told that between each trial, a fixation of either “+” or “o” would appear, and that they should keep count of the total number of “+” fixations presented during the encoding phase. Participants were also told to remember target words for a later memory test. Before beginning the encoding phase, 2 practice encoding trials (1 read and 1 generate) were performed to ensure that participants sufficiently understood the task.

Participants then viewed a series of 40 randomly ordered read and generate antonym pairs. In the Antonym Focused Attention experiment, each trial began with a 2-second “+” fixation, while in the Antonym Divided Attention experiment, each trial began with a 2-second randomly ordered “+” or “o” fixation. Both experiments followed the fixation with a 2-second presentation of an antonym pair (Figure 1.1B). In the Antonym Divided Attention experiment, following the encoding portion of the experiment, participants were asked for the total number of “+” fixations presented. Then, they performed the math distractor task by answering as many of the problems as they could in 2 minutes. The purpose of the distractor task was to prevent the rehearsal of recently presented word pairs, and ensure that long-term memory would be tested.

During recognition, participants viewed a series of 80 randomly ordered words. Forty of these words were old, consisting of the second, target word of each antonym pair from the encoding phase. The other 40 words were new, consisting of the second, target word of unused antonym pairs. Participants decided if each word was new or old with a keypress.

Results and Discussion For the Antonym Focused Attention Experiment, participants recognized an average of 88% of the generated items and 60% of the read items, t(21) = 9.55, p.001. For the Antonym Divided Attention experiment, participants recognized an average of 85% of generated items and 53% of read items, t(23) = 13.18, p.001 (Figure 1.1C; Table 1.1). Thus, the positive generation effect was 28% in Focused Attention experiment and 32% in the Divided Attention experiment.





These results indicated that the positive generation effect persists, and may even increase, when attentional resources are divided. The possibility does exist that the divided attention task was insufficient to detract from attentional resources necessary at encoding. However, overall memory was 5% better in the focused than the Divided Attention experiment, suggesting that the divided attention manipulation succeeded.

Experiments 1.3A, 1.3B, and 1.3C (Idiom Text Color; Idiom Text Location; Idiom Background Color) While positive generation effects appear to be relatively widespread, negative generation effects have been restricted to certain conditions. Nairne et al., (1991) found that while generating information benefitted memory for item information, it impaired memory for order information. This led to the item-order tradeoff account. In another study, participants had better memory for topics (item memory), but worse memory for which face presented the topics (source memory), when presented as questions (e.g., Which sport do you think is the most fun?) rather than as statements (e.g., Basketball is a fun sport) (Jurica & Shimamura, 1999). These 11 findings expanded the item-order tradeoff account to a more general item-context tradeoff account in which actively generating information forces one to attend to generated items at the expense of forming contextual associations. Further, Mulligan (2004) found generation to have a positive effect on item memory, a negative effect on color memory and font memory (Mulligan et al., 2006), and no effect on location memory. Instead of a tradeoff account, Mulligan (2004, 2011; Mulligan et al., 2006) adopted a TAP account in which active generation promotes conceptual processing, which generally enhances memory for item information. More passive study, on the other hand, promotes perceptual processing, which in turn enhances memory for intrinsic contextual information such as color or font type and ignores extrinsic contextual information such as location. Still, Marsh et al., (2001; 2006) found that generation can benefit memory for item information and various forms of contextual information such as word color, word location on a computer screen, and participant location (the location of a participant when performing the task). Since positive, negative, and null generation effects have been found for source memory tasks, the purpose of this set of experiments was to investigate the effects of generation on various aspects of context memory including text color, text location, and background color using an idiom generation task.

Methods and Materials Participants One hundred forty UC Berkeley undergraduate students participated for 1 hour of research participation credit for partial fulfillment of a psychology course requirement. Fifty students participated in the Idiom Text Color experiment, 48 participated in the Idiom Text Location experiment, and 42 participated in the Idiom Background Color Experiment.

Design and Materials Encoding stimuli consisted of 40 idioms. Half of the stimuli were presented in the read condition, meaning that idioms were presented in complete form (e.g., a penny saved is a penny (earned)). The other half of the stimuli were presented in the generate condition, meaning that idioms were presented without the last word (e.g., a penny saved is a penny ( )). In either condition, the last word, or space for the last generated word, of each idiom was presented within parentheses. Additionally, for each experiment half of the stimuli were presented in one context, while the other half were presented in another. In the Idiom Text Color experiment, the idiom was presented in either red or green. In the Idiom Text Location experiment, the idiom was located on either the top or bottom of the screen. In the Idiom Background Color experiment, the idiom was presented on either a red or green background. Both encoding strategy (generate vs.

read) and source were manipulated within participants and counterbalanced such that each idiom appeared in each possible combination of conditions with equal frequency. Only well-known idioms in which participants were able to correctly generate the last word with at least 99 percent accuracy (demonstrated through prior experiments to pilot stimuli) were used. The distractor task consisted of a worksheet of 162 simple arithmetic problems, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The recognition portion of the experiment contained 80 randomly ordered words. Forty of these words were old, consisting of the last word from idioms previously read and generated at encoding. The other 40 were new, consisting of the last word from unused idioms. Stimuli appeared as old and new with equal frequency over all participants.

Procedure 12 Participants were led into the testing room and seated facing a computer. Participants were told that they would see a series of idioms, and that some of them would be complete, and others would be missing the last word. Additionally, they were instructed that some of the idioms would be presented in one context, and others in a different context (red or green colored words, located on the top or bottom of the computer screen, or presented with a red or green background). Regardless of condition, they were asked to write down in black ink the last word of each idiom. This ensured that the correct item was generated, enabling the elimination of incorrectly identified idioms from future analyses. Participants were also told to remember both the idiom, and its context, for a later memory test. Before beginning the encoding phase, 2 practice encoding trials (1 read and 1 generate) were performed to ensure that participants sufficiently understood the task. Participants then viewed a series of 40 randomly ordered read and generate idioms. Each trial began with a 1-second fixation inter-trial interval, followed by the presentation of an idiom for 7 seconds (Figure 1.2A-C). Following the encoding portion of the experiment, participants performed the math distractor task. They were asked to answer as many of the problems as they could in 3 minutes. The purpose of the distractor task was to prevent the rehearsal of recently presented idioms and ensure that long-term memory would be tested.

During retrieval, participants viewed a series of 80 randomly ordered words. Forty of these words were old, consisting of the last word from idioms previously read and generated at encoding. The other 40 were new, consisting of the last word from unused idioms. Participants decided if each word was new or old, and if it was old, in which context it was previously presented by making the appropriate keypress (Idiom Text Color experiment: N = new, R = old / red, G = old / green), (Idiom Text Location experiment: N = new, T = old / top, B = old / bottom), (Idiom Background Color experiment: N = new, R = old / red, G = old / green).

Results and Discussion There was a positive generation effect for item memory in all three experiments (Figure

1.2D; Table 1.1). For the Idiom Text Color experiment, participants correctly recognized 69% of generated items and 57% of read items, t(49) = 4.17, p.001. Color accuracy was 59% in the generate condition and 68% in the read condition, t(49) = 2.65, p =.01. For the Idiom Text Color experiment, participants correctly recognized 71% of generated items and 60% of read items, t(47) = 5.36, p.001. Location accuracy was 73% in the generate condition and 68% in the read condition, t(47) = 1.80, p =.08. For the Idiom Background Color experiment, participants correctly recognized 72% of generated items and 60% of read items, t(41) = 3.99, p.001.

Background color accuracy was 52% in the generate condition and 55% in the read condition, t(41) =.43, p = 0.67.

Thus, while consistently benefitting item memory, generation had a negative effect on color memory, a nonsignificant positive effect for location memory, and no effect for background color memory. These results are consistent with Mulligan’s (2004; 2006) previous research and support his (2011) account of the generation effect. Generation appears to increase conceptual processing, which benefits later item recognition. However, this positive effect is not always accompanied by the negative effect for context memory that would be predicted by tradeoff accounts. Rather, generation may impair memory for intrinsic contextual details (font color) while leaving memory for extrinsic contextual details unimpaired (location; background color).



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