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An investigation in to the effects of time on memory.

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An investigation in to the effects of time on memory Author: Kevin Walker Location: Castle College Sheffield Date: October 2003 Index Ref. Page 1.0 Abstract 3 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Introduction * Aims * Experimental Hypothesis * Null Hypothesis 4 6 6 6 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Method * Design * Participants * Apparatus/Materials * Standard Procedures * Controls & Ethics * Pilot Study 7 8 8 9 9 10 10 4.0 4.1 4.2 Results * Raw Data * Graphical Representations 11 11 12 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Discussion * Explanation of Findings * Relationship to Background * Research Limitations and Modifications * Implications and Suggestions 13 14 14 14 15 6.0 Conclusions 16 7.0 Appendices * Mann-Whitney Statistical Test * Instructions * Questions * Data Analysis * Book & Study References 18 19 20 21 22 23 1.0 Abstract Peterson & Peterson's studies show that traces of memory disappeared over a period of time from short-term memory. Baddeley & Hitch and Atkinson & Shiffrin produced models of memory that state rehearsal is necessary to encode short-term memories in to longer-term memories. However, Craik & Lockhart argued that cognitive processes encode information to long-term memory and stated that 'If the information has more meaning then it should be more memorable'. My study sets out to test the prediction that a time delay will affect the amount of information that can be recalled from memory. The participants will be given a stimulus material to watch. Half the participants will answer questions immediately after the viewing and half after a 1-week time delay. The study was a laboratory experiment and individual group design with two groups of four female and one male answering questions on the stimulus material. Comparisons between the free recall of information by the two group conditions were analysed and statistically tested by the Mann-Whitney test. The results suggest that less relevant information is displaced or subject to trace decay from short-term memory and more meaningful information is encoded to long-term memory over the delayed time period. ...read more.


I also told the participants that they could ask to leave the experiment at ant time during the video if they found any of the source material offensive or distressing. 6. The lights were dimmed and the video was played 7. The participants were split in to two groups of five and the groups were called the GREEN & BLUE groups. As previous stated they were so designated to avoid experimental apprehension due to being labelled group 1 or A. 8. The BLUE group were invited to leave the viewing room and the GREEN group remained behind. 9. The GREEN group were given a standard question & answer sheet (see appendix 3) and I read through the instructions at the top of the sheet. I explained the following points: a. We wanted the participants to answer the questions in the order they were asked and to leave answers blank if they could not remember the information the question solicited. This was to avoid cued recall i.e. information in a later question reminding them of the answer to an earlier question. b. Not to guess answers as this is an experiment in to free recall of memory and guesswork could give a negative or positive distortion to the results. c. Their identity and results would remain anonymous at all times, however, the results they produced would be analysed as part of the experiment. 10. The participants were given the opportunity to withdraw. 11. The answers were completed collected and retained by the experimenter. 12. The Condition BLUE group were taken through exactly the same procedure 1-week later. 3.5 Controls & Ethics - To ensure the well-being of the participants taking part in the experiment I made a conscious effort to ensure: * No deception took place. * Each participant understood the aims of the experiment and what was expected of him or her. Emphasis was placed on the confidentiality of the participant and results to ensure they did not feel apprehensive about their performance and ...read more.


The calculated value of U' (25) is checked against the Mann-Whitney tabled value for a one-tailed hypothesis at 5%. NA = 5 NB = 4 2 Conclusion. As (U') 25 is greater than 2 from the Mann-Whitney table the Null Hypothesis should be rejected i.e. Participants recall of details contained in videotape will not be affected by a time delay of 1-week. Instructions Questions Book & Study References APPENDIX 2 - INSTRUCTIONS TO PARTICIPANTS You have given your permission to participate in our experiment. The experiment we are carrying out is about memory. You will all be shown a short video clip (approx. 10 mins) after that you will be given some questions about the clip to answer. You are asked to concentrate on the video clip and to sit in a position of good visibility and we would request that you do not take notes as this is a test of memory. None of your names will be used and we can assure you full confidentiality will be observed. Although this is not a test of your individual ability the answers you give to the questions will be analysed and used for the purposes of this experiment. We would warn you that from the outset the video clip does contain some strong language. You also have the right to withdraw from the experiment at any time be it before, during or after the video clip. You also have the right to ask any questions about the procedures. You are asked not to discuss the contents of the video of the questions with other participants until the experiment is fully complete and the results obtained. Is everyone happy to continue? Thank you. APPENDIX 3 - INSTRUCTIONS TO PARTICIPANTS & QUESTIONS Answer the questions in the order they are given. Please do not guess answers, this is a free recall memory experiment, only write in an answer if you think you know the correct answer. Please do not go back to earlier questions that you did not answer, leave them blank. ...read more.

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