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Psychology - interference theory - AO3 Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

Memory - Interference theory - AO3

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


a weakness of research into interf­erence theoryis that it uses artificial stimuli
for example in a study that supports retroa­ctive interf­erence postman asked pts to memorise a list of paired words and then asked them to recall them.
this matters because the tasks do not reflect real life activities so we should be cautious about genera­lising them to real life memory tasks
therefore the research lacks mundane realism


a strength of interf­erence theory is that there is real life applic­ation
for example Danaher et al. found that both recall and recogn­ition of an advert­isers message were impaired when exposed to advert­ise­ments from two competing companies within a week they suggested running exposures of advert­ise­ments on one day rather than spread these out in a week
this matters because research on interf­erence can help advert­isers maximise cost effect­iveness and reduce interf­erence.
therefore research into interf­erence theory is useful.


a weakness of interf­erence theory is that there are individual differ­ences.
for example Kane and Engle demons­trated that indivi­duals with a greater WM span were less suscep­tible to to proactive interf­erence. they tested this by giving pts three word lists to learn. pts with a low WM span showed greater proactive interf­erence than the pts with greater WM spans
this matters because there is evidence that suggests that some people are less effected by proactive interf­erence so it I not applicable to all people
therefore interf­erence theory lacks population validity.