ON THE ANALYSIS OF THE FACTOR OF RECALL IN THE LEARNING PROCESS


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Abstract

Certain results obtained in an experiment ‘On the Analysis of the Memory Function in Orthography’ conducted in the psychological laboratory of the University of Illinois in the year 1907-08, led to the conclusion that the opportunity for recall, during or immediately after the learning process, was of great benefit to the individual. It has been the aim of the present experiment to determine more carefully the nature of the influence of this recall and the conditions under which it could be used most favorably. In other words, to determine, when a definite length of time is given in which to learn a given amount of material, whether it is of the greater advantage to spend all the time in actual perception of the material, or part of the time in perception and part in recall; and also whether the recall should be interspersed with the perception or should follow it immediately or after an interval. We have also attempted to make some analysis and explanation of the factors which are of influence in this recall period and particularly to determine the effect of localization. The work already done along the line of economy of learning has shown that the relative value of many of the so-called methods of learning depend in a large measure on the memory type of the individual who is to use the method. A condition which would be of great advantage to a visually-minded individual might prove positively distracting to one of the auditory-motor type and again might have no appreciable effect on the individual of a mixed type. In view of this, in the present experiment care was taken to determine from introspective analysis the type of imagery of the subjects and in general the mental processes which they went through in learning the material presented to them.

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