Experiments by Craik and Tulving (1975) suggest recall is enhanced using deeper levels of processing by giving meaning to words, semantic processing, combined with requiring more attention resources at encoding. Based on this an experiment was designed to test if non-matching olfactory triggers presented at encoding improved recall. This was done by presenting words paired with matching, non-matching, or no smell conditions, then measuring the number of words recalled by 20 female and 13 male participants in a controlled experiment. Data was analyzed using a one way independent ANOVA and Post Hoc tests. Results, F (2.33) =4.638, p = 0.018, showed that recall was improved when matching olfactory triggers were presented however no significant difference was found between the non-matching and control conditions. This suggests the more successful recall, due to the matching condition, may be linked only to deeper semantic processing of words and triggers presented.
[...] However in a retrospective commentary on research in this area Craik and Lockhart (1990) would seem to acknowledge that giving meaning to the information via different input modalities more significantly improves retention and recall. This later stance would seem to support Tulving's (1972) and Baddeley's (1966) studies which suggested that semantic processing was associated with higher recall performance levels. The clarification of this seemingly confusing message engenders much debate and this experiment looked to provide more information for positions supporting earlier explanations for enhanced retention and recall. [...]
[...] Interestingly it does seen to demonstrate the "Proust Effect" named after Marcel Proust (1871-1922) who described the recognition of a familiar smell evoking a vivid and complex memory in "Swann's Way". An interesting proposal could be to test the “Proust effect” by inviting participants to recall " Sunday lunches" and analyzing their recollection for a significant smell then introducing this as a matching olfactory trigger (gravy?) and requesting the memory again, comparing the two texts for enrichment of memory in the second recounting using both qualitative and quantitative methodology to gain a greater understanding of the concept of memory. Bibliography Baddeley, A.D. [...]
[...] Using the participant's feedback sheets [app.A.(ix)] as reference we can also draw on subjective evidence. Comments and all relate to participants remembering the smell as well as the word. Feedback being the most positive by interestingly coinciding with a perfect recall score. Feedback indicates realization of the difference in smell/word and yet still only achieved a relatively average score. The success of the matching olfactory trigger condition does raise some questions about methodology. The use of everyday items/smells could be seen as complicit in the participant's ability to remember [app.A.(ix)(c)] these "everyday" items. [...]
[...] (1871-1922) Swann'sWay, viewed at: http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/p/proust/marcel/p96s/ ( date visited 14/08/ GMT ) Briefing for calling of words In a moment you will be blindfolded. When you are comfortable you will be read a list of words at an interval of seven seconds between each word. Try to remember as many of the words as you can. After the list of words have been read you will then be able to remove the blindfold, and you will be lead to a different room for [...]
[...] (2004) pp119-121 & in DXR222 exploring psychology: project, memory offprints booklet (2003) pp98-120 Milton Keynes, The Open University. Craik, F.I.M. and Lockhart, R.S. (1990) in DXR222 exploring psychology: project, memory offprints booklet (2003) pp98-120 Milton Keynes, The Open University. Craik, F.I.M. and Tulving, E. (1975) in Brace, N. and Roth, I. (2004) pp120- 121 & in Gross, R. (2005) pp255-256 & in DXR222 exploring psychology: project, memory offprints booklet (2003) pp98-120 Milton Keynes, The Open University. Tulving, E. (1972) in Gross. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee