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A Level Psychology/ memory and organisation

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Introduction: Does organisation aid memory? One reason that studying memory and organisation may be interesting is because the area was neglected, up until the 1990's, when psychologists became interested in how an 'enormously important but complex facility operates in people' after being stimulated by the attempts to provide information about computer systems and how information is organised.( R.Gross, Hodder and Sloughton) One theory in relation to memory suggests that organisation may occur at two separate stages of memory. Meyer said 'to remember is to have organised' and suggested that organisation either occurs at storage or at retrieval. Meyer suggested that at storage organisation serves to reduce the amount of material to be remembered and does this by grouping it hierarchically or by chunking it (putting it into chunks to remember).At retrieval he argued that organised items have greater uniqueness and therefore more retrieval routes assocciated with them.This suggests that organisation aids memory either by reducing the amount of information or by providing items with more reason to be remembered.( Broadbent, D.E., Cooper, P.J. ...read more.


Therefore it implies that semantic meaning is stored in a hierarchy to aid memory in terms of its organisation.(R.Gross, Hodder and Sloughton) In 1953 Bousfield conducted a study where he asked subjects to learn 60 words that derived from 4 categories (animals, names, professions and vegetables), which the participants were not aware of. The categories had 15 examples which were all mixed up so did not appear to already be in a category. Bousfield found that when participants free recalled they tended to naturally cluster similar items, for example, if someone recalled 'potato' it was likely that other vegetables followed. This concludes that although participants had not been told of the categories, they recalled in clusters and so therefore suggested that they tried to organise the data themselves and so proves in order to remember better the participants organised the data.(R.Gross, Hodder and Sloughton) Bower,(1969) investigated the effects of hierarchy in recall memory, and compared the results of these with those using word lists in a random order.The hierarchy provided a context for ...read more.


Directional Hypothesis: The directional hypothesis which was chosen was that partcipants will remember a greater number of words if they are presented in an organised way rather than if they are presented in a random list (an organised list will be made up of a heirarchy of words into sub categories and a random list will consist of all the words mixed up in list format) . The lists will be divided into 4 categories: Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. There will be 10 words in each category and will be randomly mixed up by picking them out of a hat. The null hypothesis is whether the list is organised or not will not affect the number of words that the participant remembers and any difference is due to chance. The chosen hypothesis is one tailed and is used because Bowers findings concluded it to be true as there was a 65% recall rate for organised lists in comparison to just 18% recall rate for an unorganised list.. Rachael Dunn 12M ...read more.

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