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MS Defense by Mary Bernhardt

Name: Mary Bernhardt 

Master’s Thesis Defense Meeting

Date: Friday, April 23, 2021

Time: 12:00pm 



Advisor: Dr. Mark Wheeler (Georgia Tech)


Thesis Committee Members:

Mark Wheeler, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Audrey Duarte, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Thackery Brown, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)


Title: The Influence of Testing on Memory for Context


Abstract: Context is often used as an experimental manipulation but is rarely studied as the item of interest. Employing different types of testing is a useful tool for studying changes in item memory, but this tool has yet to be leveraged to study changes in memory for context. Considering that item memory is best when testing is challenging, it was predicted that more rigorous testing will improve context memory the most and that a difficult test will support one’s ability to remember more specific contextual details better than a less demanding test. In order to test these predictions, the current study directly measured memory for context after different types of item memory retrieval attempts were made. The results showed a lack of a significant relationship between type of testing and ability to remember contextual information as well as a negative relationship between testing difficulty and context memory performance. Therefore, the main hypotheses were rejected. Despite a lack of support for the main hypotheses, the results of this study confirmed that participants were able to self-assess learning and performance, and that there may be a significant relationship between ethnicity and ability to remember contextual information. The failure of this study to yield significant results is likely due to the high cognitive demands of the task. Future directions involve implementing a study that still addresses the relationship between testing difficulty and memory for context, without being impaired by overly complex and challenging methods.

Event Details


  • Friday, April 23, 2021
    12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA; REMOTE

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