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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Imagery as a mnemonic device in the flotation method of the restricted environmental stimulation technique (Rest) Eichhorn, David


This paper describes an attempt to experimentally combine the theories and methods behind research into imagery and cognition with those associated with the Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST). The review of the literature focuses upon changes in imaginal activity attributable to (or easily influenced by) changes in an individual's state of mind (broadly defined) and aspects of the effects of REST, flotation REST in particular, that may contribute to any such state. The choice of changes in memory performance as the dependent measure in the current study is discussed in terms of the broad research base covering the effects of imaginal activity upon memory, and frequent references in the REST literature to both imaginal activity and memory. The reconciliation between the hypothesis that flotation REST would facilitate the beneficial effects of imagery instructions and stimulus attributes upon memory and the failure to support that hypothesis proceeds along two courses. First, the logical approach accepts the statistical evidence as an indication of the limitations to the beneficial effects of flotation REST. The second approach considers the possible role of the curvilinear nature of REST effects and other explanatory concepts which may aid future studies that may yet tap the elusive potential of this environment.

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