Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Psychology

University of Sheffield - Psychology

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology

Project title: The role of reminding in learning

Primary supervisor: Dr Katarzyna Zawadzka

Project description:  The traditional approach to memory emphasises a distinction between encoding – the process of committing information to memory – and retrieval – the process of accessing information stored in memory. Recently, however, the field has witnessed a surge in studies looking to overcome this distinction. Research on the topic of reminding (e.g., Tullis, Benjamin, &Ross, 2014) shows how repeated episodes of encoding of the same or somehow related materials benefit from spontaneous retrieval of the previous encoding episodes. The work on reminding is in its early stages and thus the exact determinants and consequences of reminding remain inchoate. The present project will provide an opportunity for conducting empirical investigations at the cutting edge of memory studies by focusing on the conditions necessary for eliciting the instances of reminding and on the effects reminding has on learning. The first theme within the project will be devoted to elucidating the role of similarity between different encoding episodes in eliciting reminding, with an overarching prediction that reminding is governed by similarity both in a superficial form of to-be-remembered elements (e.g., modality of presentation, visual context) and in processing to which to-be-remembered elements are subjected (e.g., whether processing of both the original and repeated episode necessitates access to the meanings of the processed words). The second theme will be devoted to examining the consequences reminding has on learning, by looking not only at memory for the elements shared by the original and repeated study episodes but also for the elements unique to these episodes. Overall, the project will thus aim at developing a comprehensive picture of how reminding works in the laboratory. It will thus also constitute a good background for further applied work on how the phenomenon of reminding can be used in educational setting to improve students’ learning.

Tullis, J. G., Benjamin, A. S., & Ross, B. H. (2014). The reminding effect: Presentation of associates enhances memory for related words in a list. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(4), 1526-1540.

Start date: 1 October 2018

Requirements:  Applicants must have a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

Funding: Tuition fees £4194 per year Living Expenses £14,500.00

Science Graduate School

As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you'll be part of the Science Graduate School. You'll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You'll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/sgs to learn more.

Closing date for applications is 5pm Wednesday 24 January 2018

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