Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Shore, Douglas,


Psychology, Clinical.




A recently developed memory assessment procedure provides independent estimates of acquisition and retrieval efficiency, measured using a four-trial learning task. The purpose of the study was to investigate the construct validity of the acquisition measures included within this new procedure. Study participants were left (LT; n = 20) and right (RT; n = 20) temporal lobectomy patients, and control subjects (NC; n = 20), matched for age, education, gender, and intellectual level. Each subject completed verbal and nonverbal memory tests administered and interpreted using the new procedure. In accordance with the material-specific nature of memory disorders, poor acquisition was expected on the verbal test for the LT group, and on the nonverbal test for the RT group. In addition, both patient groups were expected to demonstrate better retrieval than acquisition. In general, the study results supported only the former predictions. Low acquisition estimates for the LT group on the verbal test distinguished them apart from the NC and RT groups. On the nonverbal test, the RT subjects were significantly poorer in acquisition than the NC subjects, but not the LT group. The sensitivity of the acquisition measures in differentiating the LT and RT groups apart from the NC group supports the validity of these parameters. An interesting corollary finding was that the patient groups also evidenced poor acquisition on tests on which they were expected to do well (i.e., the verbal test for the LT group, the nonverbal test for the RT group). These findings are discussed in terms of a generalized memory inefficiency, in addition to a specific, more severe, acquisition deficit for specific types of material. Finally, contrary to expectation, the LT and RT groups failed to demonstrate better retrieval than acquisition, likely due to an insufficient number of test trials to permit adequate estimation of retrieval efficiency. This finding reveals a serious shortcoming of the new procedure that limits its usefulness in evaluating memory performance. Future research should address: (1) replication of the current results; (2) revision of the four-trial version to permit greater opportunity for retrieval estimation; and (3) evaluation of the validity of the retrieval parameters included in the procedure.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .H37. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 55-05, Section: B, page: 2008. Adviser: Douglas Shore. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.