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An investigation into the effect of chunking on recall.

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An investigation into the effect of chunking on recall Abstract My was to complete a experiment successfully to find out if chunking information affects your memory and to see if Millers theory is correct. I have been using the experimental method as this had many advantages like I could control the variables and I have past experience with writing experiments up. I used fellow class mates to carry out my experiment and were all from the same college and of the same age. My results show that chunking information does help to increase memory in your STM and so I can conclude that Millers theory was correct. Introduction I am going to be investigating if chunking affects your memory. I will be setting up two groups each consisting of 10 people. 1st group will have a letter string, which has 24 letters with no gaps in between; they will all be abbreviations of real things but in just 1 long list. The 2nd group will have the same abbreviations but with gaps in between each abbreviation. Each group will be having the exact same abbreviations to try and keep my experiment as fair as possible. There are two basic types of memory, which in 1890 was discovered by William James. There was knowledge or information, which he believed, lasted for a very short period of time known as STM (short term memory) ...read more.


He closed his theory with an experiment, in his experiment he gave a string of numbers to individuals, which they would most likely to forget after 30sec but this time he gave a meaning to the numbers like each number is the square root of 2 and also put the numbers into smaller groups. This proved that people could remember more than 7 + or - 2 if the information was chunked or given meaning to. Some methodological considerations that may affect my results are things like the people I choose to take part in my experiment, if I choose the wrong people this could show a red hearing in my results for example if I chose a psychology student they would most likely know what I am doing and may previously have done the experiment them selves so would know the general idea behind the experiment. Another consideration is to make my instructions as clear and accurate as possible and make sure everyone has the same exact instructions to keep it fair and so that the situation does not change. I will also consider having each sample under the same exact conditions and at the same time of day so it's fair and everyone has an equal chance to do the best. The general aim of my experiment is to see if Millers theory is correct and that I can prove it in a practical way with taking practical problems into consideration and to prove that chunking information and giving meaning to information helps you remember more than you usually can. ...read more.


Another thing I would change is that I would use only students who do not do psychology because people who do psychology mite now what's going on and may have already done the experiment before so this could affect the results if they know the theory behind the experiment. Criticism with my experiment is the location because the canteen was to noisy, I would like it be in a quite room were I could ask all the participants at the same time of day on the same day so it would be as fair as possible. If I was able to make these changes this may have affected my results because people may have remembered more letters in each situation and this may have even affected my hypothesis. Again the confounding variables were the noise, location, people may not have been at there best at that time of day and other general distractions occur in the canteen. Ethical issued were that I never forced anyone into participating and always gave them the option of withdrawing anytime during the experiment but also told them that all information would be kept confidential. Further work from this experiment is that I could use it to revise for final exams as it has lots of vital information. Results My results show that my prediction was correct and that chunking information increases capacity in your STM and also that Millers theory was correct ...read more.

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