Memory metaphors and the real-life/laboratory controversy: Correspondence versus storehouse conceptions of memory

Asher Koriat, Morris Goldsmith
1996 Behavioral and Brain Sciences  
The study of memory is witnessing a spirited clash between proponents of traditional laboratory research and those advocating a more naturalistic approach to the study of "real-life" or "everyday" memory. The debate has generally centered on the "what" (content), "where" (context), and "how" (methods) of memory research. In this target article, we argue that the controversy discloses a further, more fundamental breach between two underlying memory metaphors, each having distinct implications
more » ... memory theory and assessment: Whereas traditional memory research has been dominated by the storehouse metaphor, leading to a focus on the number of items remaining in store and accessible to memory, the recent wave of everyday memory research has shifted toward a correspondence metaphor, focusing on the accuracy of memory in representing past events. The correspondence metaphor calls for a research approach that differs from the traditional one in important respects: in emphasizing the intentional-representational function of memory, in addressing the wholistic and graded aspects of memory correspondence, in taking an output-bound assessment perspective, and in allowing more room for the operation of subject-controlled metamemory processes and motivational factors. This analysis can help tie together some of the what, where, and how aspects of the "real-life/laboratory" controversy. More important, however, by explicating the unique metatheoretical foundation of the accuracy-oriented approach to memory we aim to promote a more effective exploitation of the correspondence metaphor in both naturalistic and laboratory research contexts. Abstract: Koriat & Goldsmith raise important questions about memory, but there is need for caution: first, if we define accuracy by output measures, there is a danger that a perfectly accurate memory can be nearly Abstract: The novel correspondence metaphor outlined by Koriat & Goldsmith offers important advantages for studying critical issues of memory-accuracy. It also fits well with the current emphasis on the reconstructive nature of memory and on the role of cognitive, metacognitive, and motivational factors in memory performance. These positive features notwithstanding, the storehouse/correspondence framework This commentary was written during a sabbatical stay at Abstract: The value of accuracy and quantity as memory measures is assessed. It is argued that (1) accuracy does not measure correspondence (monitoring) because it ignores omissions and correct rejections, (2) quantity is confounded with monitoring in recall, and (3) in recognition, if targets and foils are unequal, both measures, even together, still ignore correct rejections.
doi:10.1017/s0140525x00042114 fatcat:22l22czjorhm3ib6tk27aepxpe