Godden And Baddeley Study Evaluation Essay

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Term
Why is this study generalisable?
Definition
Conducted in participants' natural setting, results generalised to real-life situations. It may not matter that the sample is not representative; cognitively, everyone's brain works in much the same way.
Term
Why is this study not generalisable?
Definition
There were only 18 divers, so the sample is too small to represent the general population
Term
How is this study reliable?
Definition
It used a standardised procedure (same list of words) so can be replicated.
Term
How is this study not reliable?
Definition
Some things couldn't be controlled, eg the weather and noise levels. Affects the experiment's replicability
Term
What are the applications of this study?
Definition
Police: Reconstruct crime scenes to make eyewitness testimonies more reliable. Schools: Boost exam results, make exam room more like classroom
Term
Definition
Ecologically valid: Conducted in participant's natural setting. Experimental validity: High due to level of control over rate at which words were read.
Term
How is this study not valid?
Definition
Listening to a list of words and recalling them underwater is a very artificial task
Term
How is this study ethical?
Definition
No harm was caused to participants and no ethical guidelines were breached, that we know of.
Term
How is this study not ethical?
Definition
The participants were underwater so may have been at risk, but they were all trained divers to the risk was minimal
Godden & Baddeley

Aim: To investigate the effects of context cues on recall. To see whether words learned in the same environment they are recalled in are recalled better than in a different environment to learning. To see if this applies in a natural setting, words learned and recalled either on land or under water.

Procedure:18 diving club pp’s took part in a repeated measures design consisting of 4 conditions – learning words on land and recalling on land, learning words on land, recalling under water; learning under water recalling under water, learning under water, recall on land. In the underwater condition this was at 20ft below surface.

They had to learn 38 unrelated words which they heard twice during the learning stage. This was played through a diving communication device and the words were presented in blocks, with a 4 second interval in between to ensure the noise of the breathing apparatus did not affect hearing. As a distraction they then had to listen to and write down 15 numbers. There were 24 hours between conditions and the study conducted over 4 days. PP’s were tested in pairs.

Findings: Around 50% better recall when learning and recall are the same, 40% more words were forgotten when the condition changed. Recall for learning on land and recall on land was 13.5 compared to 8.6 when they learned the words on land and had to recall under water.

Conclusion: environmental cues do improve recall and supports cue dependent theory

Evaluation:

Generalisability: The sample of divers is representative only for other divers. The findings cannot be generalised to all cases of context cues. 18 pp’s is a small sample size to generalise from, and the divers had different diving ability, so it may not represent the target population fully.

Reliability: They controlled times of learning and recall and intervals between conditions. All pp’s experienced the same controls therefore it is reliable as it can be replicated. However, not everything was controlled fully such as weather conditions or fitness of the divers. Although it is unlikely, there is also the possibility that the divers cheated. Also when changing environment there may have been more opportunity to rehearse...or greater interference. This may make the findings unreliable. Also a high number of words were still not recalled even when in the same learning environment. This suggests there must be other explanations for forgetting other than cues.

Application to real life: As it shows recall is increased when in the same environment, this is useful for police collecting information as it suggests taking witnesses back to the scene of the crime could help them recall more information.

Validity: PP’s were divers so this was a natural environment for them so it has ecological validity. However Learning/recalling words under water is an unrealistic task which means it lacks ecological validity due to the nature of the task.

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