Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Alan John Yablonski Jr.

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

Kethera A. Fogler, Ph.D

Bryan K. Saville, Ph.D.

Janna Taft Young, Ph.D.

Abstract

To current knowledge, the emotional literature has not included the proposal to conceptualize experimental designs in terms of item vs. hippocampal-dependent relational memory representations. Through utilizing the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm the current study targets two memory mechanisms: item-specific memory (i.e., font color) and relational memory. In addition, relational-binding memory was also assessed. The current study consists of three hypotheses: (a) negatively-valenced critical lures will be correctly recalled by participants more than neutrally-valenced critical lures (increased relational memory for negatively-valenced words), (b) participants will more accurately recall studied negatively-valenced words with the correct color compared to neutrally-valenced studied words (increased item-specific memory for negative words), and (c) participants will less likely accurately recall negative critical lures with their correct color compared to neutral critical lures (decreased relational-binding memory for negative words). Both neutrally and negatively-valenced word lists were organized under a non-studied overarching theme (critical lure), and were counterbalanced according to the font color of the word. Once participants viewed each word list during the study phase, they participated in a recognition test in order to determine whether these two memory mechanisms were enhanced for negatively-valenced word lists compared to neutrally-valenced word lists. Results were consistent with the hypotheses in that, participants had increased relational and item-specific memory for negative words yet decreased relational-binding memory for negative words.

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