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Title: An investigation into pictorial memory, with particular reference to facial recognition
Author: Forbes, Douglas Donnchaidh Stewart
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1975
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The thesis is an investigation into recognition-memory for pictorial stimuli. It takes as its starting-point several published studies which suggest that pictorial memory may be significantly better than verbal memory. The possibility that the use of homogeneous sets of pictorial stimuli might result in poorer recognition memory was considered. Using pictures of faces as stimuli, early experiments tested a number of subject and procedural variables which, it was thought, might affect pictorial memory. As a result of these early experiments, two important questions were raised: 1) To what extent is interference theory, as derived from verbal memory, relevant to pictorial memory 2) Can the results of experiments performed with facial stimuli be taken to be representative of pictorial stimuli in general, or must faces be regarded as a special class of stimuli, as Yin, for example, has suggested From the results of experiments designed to test these two questions, it was concluded that interference may be responsible for the observed forgetting of faces. A theory of- subsumption, derived from the work of Ausubel, is proposed to account for these interference effects, particularly for the strong P.I. effect which was obtained. It was, in addition, felt that the evidence in support of a special facial memory hypothesis was inconclusive. No experimental justification for a specifically facial memory was obtained. It was proposed that any difference between faces and other objects may more readily be explained in terms of perceptual processing. If this conclusion is justified, it may obviate the necessity for investigating similar factors both with faces and with other pictorial categories.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available