past century has followed Ebbinghaus (1895) in using tightly
controlled experiments that facilitate the quantification of memory
(see Baddeley, 1990; Schacter, 1989). This tradition has been strongly
criticized in the past two decades, however, most notably by Neisser
(1978), who provocatively dismissed the laboratory research of the
past 100 years as largely worthless for answering "the important
questions about memory," and called for a shift to the "realistic"
study of memory. Since Neisser's call, there has been a growing number
of studies on such varied topics as autobiographical memory,
eyewitness testimony, prospective memory, "flashbulb" memory, memory
for action, memory for faces, memory for places, etc. (see, e.g.,
Cohen, 1989; This new wave of everyday memory research has resulted in
a proliferation of research methods that are quite removed from those
traditionally employed in the laboratory.
The rift between proponents of naturalistic and laboratory memory
research, as well as efforts at reconciliation, may be seen in the
lively debate) sparked by Banaji and Crowder's (1989) paper. It is
apparent from the commentaries that "everyday memory" is an
ill-defined category (Klatzky, 1991), and that the dimension...
... middle of paper ...
...gn. In that study and others
like it (e.g., Boon & Davies, 1988; Wagenaar & Boer, 1987), memory
accuracy is assessed simply by noting whether the provided answer is
correct or incorrect. This might be compared to the hypothetical case
in which a studied list of paired associates is followed by a single
probe and two alternative responses, e.g., "SIGN - STOP/YIELD," and
the intention is to assess memory quantity. Operationally, the two
measures, accuracy and quantity, are equivalent; the difference
between them is solely a matter of the experimenter's intent. Whereas
in the former case the test is designed to examine whether the
person's memory is a faithful reproduction of the witnessed event, in
the latter case the intent has traditionally been to determine whether
the designated item is still in store and accessible.
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