METAPHOR AND THE ENHANCEMENT OF MEMORY FOR PROSE (ADVANCE ORGANIZER, ANALOGY, FREE RECALL, PROPOSITION)

SUSAN MOIRA REILLY, Fordham University

Abstract

The enhancement of memory for prose by a metaphor in comparison with an overview and schematic time line, and no enhancer, i.e., control group, was investigated. The study examined the impact of the enhancers under two instructional sets, (A), one designed to elicit positive memory strategies, and (B), one not designed to elicit positive memory strategies, and for two retention periods, immediate and one week.^ Two different measures of memory were used: (A) free recall, both in an immediate and one week retention period, and (B) performance on a multiple choice test in the one week retention period. Two approaches were taken in evaluating the free recall data: (1) a propositional approach with protocols analyzed according to (a) the total number of propositions recalled, and (b) the total number of propositions at each level of importance with levels of importance obtained using a cluster analysis; (2) a global method with protocols analyzed as though they were essay examinations.^ One-hundred and sixty undergraduate students read a 900-word passage on economics. The propositional template used to score the material was prepared using Turner and Green's (1977) adaptation of a method developed by Kintsch (1974).^ Hypotheses I, II and III were tested for free recall measures. Hypothesis I predicted a significant main effect for treatment with higher scores for the enhancer groups compared to the control group, and higher scores for the metaphor group compared to any other group. Hypothesis II predicted a significant main effect for instructions with higher scores for Instructions A. Hypotheses I and II were not supported. Hypothesis III which had predicted a significant main effect for time with higher scores for the immediate retention period was supported. Hypotheses IV and V, paralleling I and II, tested the multiple choice measure and were not supported.^ The failure of the enhancers to improve recall is discussed with regard to statistical issues, and experimental and subject variables including inhibition effects. Strengths and weaknesses of the dependent measures utilized are critically assessed. Recommendations are made regarding methodology for future research in memory enhancement. ^

Subject Area

Psychology

Recommended Citation

REILLY, SUSAN MOIRA, "METAPHOR AND THE ENHANCEMENT OF MEMORY FOR PROSE (ADVANCE ORGANIZER, ANALOGY, FREE RECALL, PROPOSITION)" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8521398.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8521398

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