Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this experiment was to determine if an intense novel, interpolated activity such as a flash of light would interfere with retention. If the flash interfered with retention the experiment was designed to determine whether the interference was due to interference with the perseverative process or to other factors such as competition of response, negative conditioning, and the learning of a fear response. All Ss observed a pattern of 5 lights for 5 seconds. Ten seconds later they were tested for retention of the light pattern. Experimental group 1 had an intense flash of light interpolated immediately after the first test for retention. Experimental group 2 had the flash of light interpolated immediately before the first test for retention. A control group received no flash. All Ss were retested 24 hours later. The retest scores were then analyzed by t tests. The two experimental groups did not differ significantly from each other or from the control group on either the test or retest. The hypotheses were not supported. The similarity of the retest means and variances for the two experimental groups suggested that the flash of light interfered just as much when it was presented after the response as when it was presented before the response. Further evidence is necessary to either substantiate or refute this observation.


Committee Chair

Date of Award

Summer 1959

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1959 Albert D. Wright


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