Olfactory Memory and Verbal Overshadowing: Experts, Novices and the Effect of Objective Descriptions

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Abstract: Examining the relation between olfactory memory and verbal processing, this study aimed at exploring the phenomenon of verbal overshadowing and its effect on novices’ and experts’ memory performance. Two main questions were asked; would olfactory memory be susceptible to overshadowing and would subjects, not only generating their own verbalizations but also being given objectively correct ones, show signs of recognition impairment? The results were predicted to show impaired performance for the novices in the verbalization conditions but not for the experts. The over all performance on the recognition test was too weak for allowing any generalizations, but in line with the hypothesis the weakest performance for novices was observed to be the self-generated verbalization condition. Surprisingly and contrary to the hypothesis, not only experts but also novices seemed to benefit from the objective descriptions.

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