Reflection Paper

The memory paper will test your ability to think, generate hypotheses, and, in general, apply psychological science. The task will be to take a position in a current debate in memory science. You will then have to support your position by drawing on the data that are available on the topic. The goal is to convince readers that the position you take is correct by presenting the relevant data on the topic. Writing that both positions are correct will automatically result in a deduction of points. Think of this as a “debate” in which your job is to argue one of the positions. This paper will require you to go beyond the textbook. You will need to refer to journal articles, book chapters, and, if you must, websites. Each student must read journal articles for the paper. At least three journal articles must be referenced. If you use websites, you are responsible for any misinformation you get from the website (the best websites to use are those of the researchers themselves). Your view in the reaction paper must be supported by psychological science (including neuroscience, social psychology, neurobiology). Your feelings and impressions are not relevant in this paper; rather it is scientific data that you must draw upon. You do not have to be balanced. Choose arguments that support your position, and refute arguments that may support the other position. You will be graded on your ability to do both.

Choose one topic from the list below. If the topic is pre-approved by your professor (that is, from the list below), you do not require the professors pre-approval. However, if you wish to pursue a topic not on the list below, please obtain your professors permission first. This is to insure that the topic is appropriate for memory science. Approval cannot occur after the paper has been handed in. You must also answer the question in approximately 1,000 words. You must craft your arguments to fit into the word limit. The word limit refers to the body of your paper and does not include title page, references, and any supplementary material you add.

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This is an individual project. You may discuss this project with other students in the class, but you may not collaborate. Each paper must be your own. If your reaction paper is plagiarized, you will fail the course and be reported to the appropriate Dean at the University.

Topics:

Distributed vs. Massed practice: which produces better learning.
Visual mnemonics: Does the method of loci improve the learning of lists?
Childhood amnesia: theoretical explanations
Survival processing: Nairne and Pandeierada (2007)
The generation effect
Flashbulb memories: special mechanism or general mechanism.
Critical Intrusions: What causes false memories in the DRM?
Diary studies: what, when, and where cues.
Encoding specificity
Interference between visual and auditory working memory
Part-Set Cueing: Recall of the U.S. states.
Retrieval practice: do you do better after self-testing
Overlearning: savings score and studying past the point of perfect retention
Own-race bias and memory for faces.
The accuracy of cue-only vs. cue-target judgments of learning
Imagery-based mnemonics vs. one the four principles.

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