Human Memory and Retention Essay




Read and respond to the questions provided below under “Specific Question Prompt Instructions”.  Your response must include references to the lecture, powerpoint, and/or text to ensure you have studied the material before you begin applying the material. See the rubric for guidelines regarding the exact manner in which you should reference the material. Your response must be ONE page in length and must be written in essay style consisting of paragraphs.  There is no need to refer to the question numbers in your response.  See the rubric for guidelines on how you will be graded with regard to length.  Find ONE article to support your answer to the questions, and refer to it ANYWHERE in your response and upload the article with your Word document. If you include a quotation, you must explain what your quotation means and why it is relevant. Refer to the rubric to see how you will be graded in reference to incorporating the article within the text of your response. Include a reference page in APA style for each submission. The articles must be 7 to 20 pages long, published within the last 10 years, and peer reviewed. See the rubric for specifics on how you will be graded.


Comparing Memory for Amnesic & Normal Individuals 

Graf and Schacter (1985) conducted an experiment in which participants were shown pairs of unrelated words (e.g. “computer,” “building”). After the presentation of each word pair, they were told to construct a sentence that contained each word pair (“The office building contains 54 computers.”). Two tasks were then administered. In the first task, fragment completion (the first three letters for each word fragment was provided), participants were to fill in the blanks to complete the word (e.g. cog _ _ _ _ _ _ = cognitive). Some of these items were in fact from the word pairs shown earlier (participants were not told that their memory was being tested of the prior word pairs (hint, hint)). The second task was (cued) recall. Half of each pair is presented and the participant is to provide the other word from the pair (e.g., s/he was provided the word “computer” and his/her response should be “building”). For this task, participants did know their memory for the prior word pairs was being tested (hint, hint).

Here are the approximate percent correct for the various conditions:


Cued Recall

Fragment Completion

Normal Subject



Amnesic Subject




Graf, P., & Schacter, D. L. (1985). Implicit and explicit memory for new associations in normal and amnesic subjects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition11(3), 501.

Please see attached article: Graf & Schacter 1985.pdfPreview the document


  1. Interpret the results.
  2. Using concepts from the chapter on memory, provide some potential explanations for their results.
  3. Explain what implications these results have for the notion that individuals with anterograde amnesia cannot learn new information.
  4. Find an additional article to support your response.


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