Effects of context encoding and cuing: tests of the outshining and overshadowing hypotheses
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The following experiments looked at how encoding information and available cues at test can influence context effects. More specifically, the present experiments investigated the overshadowing and outshining hypotheses. Experiment 1 established a new method for attaining robust reinstatement effects by using movie scenes. Experiment 2 found support for the outshining hypothesis. So, if verbal and contextual cues were encoded and verbal cues were present at test, then context reinstatement through the reinstatement of the movie scenes would have little effect on memory. However, in the absence of verbal cues at test, significant context effects were found showing that the verbal cues were able to outshine the context (i.e., the movie scenes). Experiment 3 extended the outshining hypothesis by showing that strengthening the association between the verbal cues and the target items led to greater outshining of the movie scenes by the verbal cues. Experiment 4 looked at the overshadowing hypothesis and showed that if the context (i.e., the movie scenes) was not encoded well, but the verbal cues were then the context was overshadowed by the verbal cues. Further, if the association between the verbal cue and target items was encoded, then the overshadowing effect was greater as compared to cases where the association between the two items was not encoded. Finally, Experiment 5 found that if context was well encoded but verbal cues were not well encoded then the verbal cues were overshadowed by the context. It was also found that encoding the association between the context and target led to a more robust overshadowing effect as compared to cases where the association was not encoded.
Manzano, Isabel (2008). Effects of context encoding and cuing: tests of the outshining and overshadowing hypotheses. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from