Explanations for forgetting: Interference (Evaluation (Individual…
Explanations for forgetting: Interference
Real-world application to advertising
Accessibility versus availability
Interference only explains some situations of forgetting
Research is quite artificial
Description Of Interference Theory
A real-world study
If interference theory is correct then those players who played most games should forget proportionately more because of interference - which is what Baddeley and Hitch found, demonstrating the effect of interference in everyday life.
If decay theory is correct then all players should recall a similar percentage of the games played because time alone should cause forgetting.
Investigated interference effects in an everyday setting of rugby players recalling the names of the teams they have played against over a rugby season
Similarity of Test Materials
If List B was a list of synonyms of List A, recall was poor (12%); if List B was numbers this had the least effect (37% recall). This shows that interference is strongest the more similar the items are. Only interference, rather than decay, can explain such effects.
McGeoch and McDonald experimented with the effects of similarity of materials.
If they only learned one list recall was over 70%. These results can be seen in the graph on the right.
Underwood found that, if ppts memorised 10 or more lists, then, after 24 hours, they remembered about 20% of what they learned.
The intervening tasks produced RI because the later task interfered with what had previously been learned
Performance was less good if ppts had been given an intervening task between initial learning and recall
They gave ppts a list of nonsense syllables to learn for 6 minutes and then, after a retention interval, asked ppts to recall the lists.
Retroactive interference (RI)- current attempts to learn something interfere with past learning.
Proactive interference (PI)- Past learning interferes with current attempts to learn something.
Interference- an explanation for forgetting in terms of one memory disrupting the ability to recall another. This is most likely to occur when the two memories have some similarity