The offered study tends to determine how additional semantic knowledge impacts our cognition mechanisms and the ability to memorize different details. In the course of the study, Wise and Schweinberger (2015) train participants with pairs of previously unfamiliar faces. In one case, these objects shared additionally provided semantic information (occupation, etc.), while in another, there was no background associated with the demonstrated items. Comparing results, the authors come to the conclusion that semantic relatedness has a critical importance for people’s cognition and memory as having some associations or background information about particular faces, participants demonstrated better results in describing them and memorizing them (Wise & Schweinberger, 2015).
The given study is linked to the idea of the experiment conducted in the class. Lexical decisions are usually made using previously existing semantic information. In other words, we judge the nature of certain words and decide whether they belong to a particular category or not, using links that exist in our brain and demonstrating the meaning of these very words. In such a way, this experiment and the study by Wise and Schweinberger (2015) can be viewed as related ones because of the focus on similar mechanisms of memorizing objects and determining their nature.
- IV: the semantic meaning of presented word pairs
- Whether the IV is within-subject or between-subject
- DV: time of the correct yes/no responses to the word pairs
- H: to make a correct response, a participant has to find/fail to find an appropriate meaning in his/her memory associated with a certain word
The experiment conducted during tutorial classes helps to address some vital issues. First of all, it demonstrates how the thinking and decision-making of an individual depend on semantic information linked to a particular object, word, or area. To determine whether the presented word exists in English or not, participants had to have the background knowledge of the meaning of this very word, to conclude about its nature. At the same time, decisions are made in a very short time, almost instantaneously, demonstrating the speed of reaction and the brain’s functioning. For this reason, it is possible to state that both correct and incorrect answers are given very fast as the brain processes the information and finds appropriate semantic links for presented words.
The experiment can also be used to help people improve their cognition and memorization in the long run. The existence of the connection between semantic information and the ability to make correct decisions in short periods of time is vital for the development of practices and educational approaches that will help people to think and process information faster, which is critical for the achievement of better results in various fields, such as education, science, management, medicine.
Wiese, H., & Schweinberger, S. R. (2015). Getting connected: Both associative and semantic links structure semantic memory for newly learned persons. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(11), 2131–2148.