Complex and Simplex Melodies as Retrieval cues for High and Low Imagery, Aggressive or Neutral Words

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Education
Department Educational Psychology
Author Solari, Stephen Louis Jr.
Title Complex and Simplex Melodies as Retrieval cues for High and Low Imagery, Aggressive or Neutral Words
Date 1977
Description A research project was undertaken to explore the effects of music on the recall of words rated on two dimensions; imagrey (high, low) and connotation (aggressive, neutral). Complex or simplex synthetic, 10-second duration, computer generated melodies (similar to those developed by Vitz, 1966) were utilized as retrieval cues for words varying in connotation and imagery. Music has been described by many authors as posing great problems in experimental studies due to its elusive qualities (Simon & Wohlwill, 1968; Werbik, 1969). In attempting to analyze an artistic medium such as music, a synthetic approach to art has been proposed by Berlyne (1974). By utilizing the synthetic approach to musical investigation, researchers have been able to isolate particular variables or factors which play a part in aesthetic appreciation (Konecni, 1976). It has been demonstrated that cues are an aid in the retrieval of previously learned material (Tulving & Thomson, 1971, 1973). Recent authors have shown that high or low imagery can also effect recall of aggressive or neutral words (Turner, Fenn, & Layton, 1972; Turner & Layton, 1976). Sixty-one undergraduate subjects first completed the seashore Measures of Musical Talents test, revised 1960 (Seashore). The Seashore acted as a ovariate in controlling for the usical ability and/or talent level of subjects. In a 2 x 2 x 2 within factorial design, varying word imagery and musical complexity, sujects attempted to memorize three sets of eight word-melody pairs utilizing a modified imagery mnemonic techniqe (Paivio, 1971). Upon hearing each eight word-melody set the melodies were played back in a different order; subjects were to recall the appropriate word paired with the presented meoldy. Within this research the analysis of intrusions (within word-melody presentation and word-melody placement) was undertaken to further explore word-melody pairing errors. Intrusions were defined as occurring within the connotation or imagery dimension. A connotation-melody and imagery-melody analysis was also utilized to locate intrusions across the connotation-melody and imagery0melody word pairings.Results from this research revealed significant findings for two of the three main effects: Music and connotation. For the music variable, words were remembered significantly more often with complex rather than simplex melodies, F (1,60) = 10.78, p < .002. For the connotation variable, neutral words were retrieved more often than aggressive words, F (1, 60) = 5.87, p < .02. Neither the imagery main effect, F (1, 60) = 1.16, p < .29, nor any of the interaction effects achieved significance. A connotation-melody analysis revealed that neutral words were recalled significantly, p < .01, more often than aggressive words when paired with simplex melodies. Speculation upon the results has included (a) the imagery evoking potential of complex and simplex meoldies; (b) the incompatibility of simplex music with more aroused effective states (with the implications of therapeutic use noted); (c) the application of an information processing paradigm in an evaluation of complex and simplex melodies; and (d) the use of a divided-attention paradigm in pairing words with melodies.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philsosphy
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Stephen Louis Solari, Jr.
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s6cg5dvt
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2020-10-20
Date Modified 2020-10-27
ID 1602047
Reference URL
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