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|Title:||Isolating Stage-Specific Mechanisms of Desirable Difficulty in Learning|
|Abstract:||According to the theory of desirable difficulty, conflict during practice can elicit a greater degree of processing and result in a later memory benefit (Bjork & Bjork, 1994). The present paper extends the work by Thomson et al. (in prep) that there may be a stage-specific mechanism involved. They found a desirable difficulty effect when directing a conflict towards the categorization stage through classifying names by gender. However, no such effect was seen when classifying words by size. They provided evidence that gender classification is more semantically central than categorizing items by size, which tends to be relative and depend on context. We took the same stimuli used in the Thomson et al. (in prep) but had participants make animacy judgments (animal or “thing”) on words. A subsequent memory test revealed a desirable difficulty effect for incongruent words compared to congruent. Interestingly, animal words were better remembered overall compared to “thing” words. A second experiment directed a conflict towards the categorization and response processing stages through classifying names as male and female with semantic (male/female) and response selection (left/right) primes. A subsequent memory test revealed a desirable difficulty pattern of results (although non-significant) where incongruent compared to congruent words were better remembered for the sematic primes and congruent compared to incongruent words were better remembered for response primes. These results suggest to-be-remembered material needs to be the focus of attention and increasing difficulty to any stage of processing does not give you a guaranteed desirable effect.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Ptok_Melissa_J_oct2015_MSc.pdf||MSc Thesis||278.9 kB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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