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Title: The 'First Letter Retrieval Strategy' in episodic and semantic memory
Author: Sergeant, A. J.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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The First Letter Retrieval Strategy (FLRS) involves proceeding through the letters of the alphabet in order to cue the first letter of items to be recalled. Eight studies were conducted to test the effectiveness of the FLRS in both episodic and semantic memory. The three experiments that sought to test the effectiveness of the FLRS in relation to episodic memory, demonstrated that the FLRS was successful at aiding the recall of information in two of the experiments. In the remaining five studies, which aimed to measure the ability of the FLRS to aid the recall of semantic memory, the FLRS was again found to be a highly effective aid to memory. An interesting finding throughout this research was that in six of the experiments, where the FLRS did produce a significant increase in recall, it only did so for the female participants. This gender difference was a persistent effect and cannot be easily explained. Finally, the last two experiments (in chapter five), tested participants from two different clinical populations. In the first experiment, participants were clients suffering from a variety of neurological disorders where memory was impaired, the results found that the FLRS was particularly effective as an aid to the recall of semantic memory. This finding was supported in the second experiment, in which participants consisted of clients who had been diagnosed as suffering from senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type (SDAT). In this final study, the FLRS also lead to significant gains in the recall of information, from two distinct semantic categories. To summarise, a number of studies are reported, which show how the FLRS can be an effective aid to the recall of material from semantic memory and to a lesser extent episodic memory. The implications for research into clinical psychology and eyewitness memory are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available