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

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

to recall the heroes/heroines and villains in the story and what these characters did; in the interview, they would be asked to recall who participated in the debate and what was said there. Subjects would be assessed for their beliefs relative to the actions of the story characters and relative to the positions of the debate participants.

We predict that the subjects would recall more details verbatim in the laboratory memory task than in the survey memory task, because the material to be recalled in the laboratory is more recent than the material to be recalled in the survey interview, and because in the laboratory an implicit demand exists to recall verbatim that does not exist in the survey interview. We also predict that the subjects' recall would covary with their personal values more for the survey memory task than for the laboratory memory task. That is, we believe that people will invest their values more in an event of everyday life that will be influential in their future than they will invest in a laboratory memory task.


CONCLUSIONS

As discussed previously, we conclude that the differences between memory and survey approaches are attributable to the differences in the approach of basic and applied research. But we would argue that these differences reflect a difference in philosophy of what processes should be modeled. Basic research focuses on processes that are intrinsic to memory (e.g., encoding, retrieval), whereas applied survey research focuses on both intrinsic and extrinsic processes (e.g., motivation, physical state) ( Mullin et al., 1993). Thus, we conclude that memory and survey models are special cases of a general model, yet to be developed, that may be adapted to the laboratory or interview contexts. Failing the development of a general model, basic researchers could assist applied researchers if they produced a model that is as close as possible to that needed for a particular application. To develop such a model, we recommend that our basic research colleagues give greater consideration to extrinsic processes, such as social editing, in the development of future memory models.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments of Roger Tourangeau and Gordon B. Willis on an earlier version of this chapter. Jared B. Jobe is at the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health. Douglas J. Herrmann is at the Department of Psychology, Indiana State University.

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