521-Class 11

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Language and Memory[edit]

Readings: Loftus & Palmer, 1974; Fausey & Boroditsky (2011).

Study Questions[edit]

  • For each experiment you read, you should be able to answer the following questions after reading the paper. You don’t need to memorize the answers, but if you take notes along these lines when reading about each experiment (see also the QALMRI) reading, you’ll be all set for the exams.
  1. What motivates the study? Why would someone think to do it?
  2. What’s the hypothesis?
  3. How is the hypothesis tested?
  4. Do the results support the hypothesis? In entirety or just somewhat?
  5. What’s the safest conclusion one can draw from the results? What’s a “could be true, but need to do more experiments to know” sort of conclusion one can draw?
  6. Are you convinced by the author’s conclusions? If not, why? What would convince you?

Loftus & Palmer (1974)

  • Why does the first study not necessarily demonstrate that the participant’s memory has been affected by the leading questions? What main change was made to the second experiment to demonstrate that memory was being effected by leading questions?
  • Is it possible to have false memories of your own childhood? Why or why not?
  • How does a better understanding of how memory works help us prevent wrongful convictions? What advise would you give to professionals such as the police who have to take eye witness statements from people?

Fausey & Boroditsky (2011)

  • What difference between Spanish and English are the authors exploiting? For what purpose?
  • What are “agentive” and “non-agentive” expressions?
  • What do the authors mean by these questions? How do they relate to Whorf?

“...are speakers of different languages habitually operating in different linguistic framing conditions as a function of how events are normally described in their linguistic community? Can effects of these differences be seen even in the absence of explicit linguistic framing during the task?”