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Gardner, R.W. (1960). Studies in Remembering: The Reproduction of Connected and Extended Verbal Material. (Psychological Issues, Vol. I, No. 2.): By Irving H. Paul. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1959. 152 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 29:410-413.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:410-413

Studies in Remembering: The Reproduction of Connected and Extended Verbal Material. (Psychological Issues, Vol. I, No. 2.): By Irving H. Paul. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1959. 152 pp.

Review by:
Riley W. Gardner

Paul, who reminds us that psychoanalytic theory provides no comprehensive explanation of memory, employs Bartlett's concept of the schema, supplemented by Hebb's concepts of fractionation and recruitment, in discussing his series of experimental studies of learning and recall. Bartlett's schema takes full cognizance of the active nature of learning and remembering and avoids the pitfalls of theories based upon the assumption that the human being is a tabula rasa upon which experience is registered. Paul's handling of this concept is at the same time sensitive and creative as he applies it to his experiments. In exploring some of the basic determinants of the functioning of schemata, Paul has used a variety of procedures including an original variation on proactive and retroactive inhibition methods in which the subject reads a list of story themes several times, recalls the themes, then composes a story using the themes, and again recalls the themes. In several of the experiments, groups of extreme performers (e.g., in respect to accuracy or spontaneous introduction of new material) were tested further by the method of serial reproduction.

By careful variation of experimental conditions, Paul shows unequivocally that explication, familiarity, and coherence 'facilitate learning and remembering' and that 'their absence led to fragmentation, distortion, and forgetting'. In addition, he has carefully isolated striking individual consistencies in recall of verbal material and in importation of new material into the material learned.

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