MS Thesis defense by Mary Bernhardt

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Name: Mary Bernhardt  Masters Thesis Defense Meeting Date: Thursday, October 28th, 2021 Time: 1:00pm  Location: https://bluejeans.com/7486333249   Advisor: Dr. Mark Wheeler (Georgia Tech)   Thesis Committee Members: Mark Wheeler, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech) Audrey Duarte, Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin) Thackery Brown, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)   Title: The Influence of Testing on Memory for Context   Abstract: Employing different types of testing is a useful tool for studying changes in item memory, but this tool has sparsely been leveraged to study changes in memory for contextual information. Memory for contextual information is a crucial component of the study of episodic memory and source memory. There is evidence that contextual information is reinstated during a retrieval attempt alongside the information being retrieved. Considering that item memory is best when testing is challenging, it was predicted that more rigorous testing will improve memory for context the most and that a difficult test will support one’s ability to remember more specific contextual details better than a less demanding test. In order to test these predictions, the current study measured memory for context after different levels of difficulty of item memory retrieval attempts were made. The results demonstrated a lack of a significant relationship between testing difficulty and ability to remember contextual information as well as a negative relationship between testing difficulty and context memory performance. Therefore, the main hypotheses were rejected. Despite this, the results confirmed that participants were able to self-assess learning and performance, and that there may be a significant relationship between ethnicity and memory for contextual information. The failure of this study to yield significant results may be due to the flawed task design, high individual variability in contextual learning ability, overshadowing, and/or shallow elaboration during encoding. Future directions involve implementing a study that still addresses the relationship between testing difficulty and memory for context while controlling for individual differences and potential design flaws in the original study. 


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Created: 10/14/2021
  • Modified By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Modified: 10/14/2021