Basic and Applied Memory Research: Practical Applications - Vol. 2

By Douglas J. Herrmann; Cathy McEvoy et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO Personal Reflections on the Study of Practical Memory in the Mid-1990s: The Complete Cognitive Researcher

Michael Pressley State University of New York, Albany

In my career, I have conducted basic, ecologically valid, and practical research on cognition (see Herrmann & Gruneberg, 1993, for a review of the distinctions among these types of research), with much of my work focused on cognitive strategies and development of their use through instruction. What is the difference between these three types of research in my case?


BASIC, ECOLOGICALLY VALID, AND PRACTICAL RESEARCH

My laboratory-based research typically has involved paradigms familiar to experimental psychologists (e.g., free recall of word lists, paired-associate learning, memory of isolated sentences) and carefully controlled experiments. The instructions to participants take a few minutes at most (e.g., construct interactive images involving paired items, say vocabulary words and their meanings over and over, imagine the meaning represented in sentences, etc.). Participation in this work was short term for subjects, and relatively short term for me. Even for the most ambitious of my basic research studies, conception of experiments to final writeup of the study, never required more than a couple of years.

The ecologically valid work has differed a little bit from the more basic research in that participants in the studies have been asked to learn the types of materials presented to students in school, such as new vocabulary and

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