• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Have You Been Drinking…or Just Thinking? A Look into the Effects of Drinking on Memory.

Extracts from this document...


Running Head: MEMORY LOSS FROM DRINKING Have You Been Drinking...or Just Thinking? A Look into the Effects of Drinking on Memory Simon Fraser University Have You Been Drinking...or Just Thinking? A Look into the Effects of Drinking on Memory Alcohol consumption is an evident epidemic among today's vast society, and overwhelming evidence from past research supports the idea that alcohol intoxication has observable effects on memory (Kirchner & Sayette, 2003; Parker, Birnbaum, & Noble, 1976; Tracy & Bates, 1999). There is a common aspect about memory which is discussed within these experiments. Mainly, all three experimental procedures directly identify two important affected phases of memory, "learning" and "recalling". Research by both Kirchner & Sayette (2003) and Tracy & Bates (1999) respectively studied the combination of effects on "Controlled and Automatic" memory and "Automatic and Effortful" memory, by alcohol. Although the two different experiments used different words to describe the aspects of memory they were studying, it turns out that they were both regarding the same thing. The "controlled" phase from Kirchner & Sayette (2003), along with the "effortful" phase from Tracy & Bates (1999) both refer to the "learning" phase of memory. By the "learning" phase they refer to the slower more effortful processes which are subject to conscious awareness (Kirchner & Sayette, 2003; Tracy & Bates, 1999) for example the practice or studying (learning) of examinable material. The "automatic" phase parallel in both experiments refers oppositely to the effortless, unintentional uncontrolled processes which occur without awareness. ...read more.


The measure of memory efficiency will be recorded, as previously explained, by calculating the scores from administered tests of the study material. In general, from past experimental data (Kirchner & Sayette, 2003; Parker, Birnbaum, & Noble, 1976; Passer & Smith, 2001; Tracy & Bates, 1999) it is expected that as a result of alcohol consumption, performance on the given memory test will suffer. I expect that group one (expect alcohol/receive alcohol) will exhibit the greatest degradation in performance. The group which expects to receive alcohol but does not, should not exhibit any loss in performance since memory, I believe, should not be affected by psychological stimuli. The group which is told they are not receiving alcohol but is administered a dose, will show losses in performance comparable to those in group one. Group four should theoretically have highest average scores for the memory test since past experimental data has shown a negative correlation between alcohol consumption and memory. I wish to have a representative sample for a typical university campus; therefore random sampling from within different university campuses around British Columbia would provide an accurate representation of a university population. Random informational pamphlet dispersion throughout these different campuses would be used to attract a random sample of the population in question. Once gathered, this sample would then by a random process i.e., names out of a hat, be assigned to one of the four independent variable groups. The random assignment attempts to balance many of the differences which may be apparent between individuals in the sample. ...read more.


To obtain a 'proper' sample, the number of surveys distributed needs to be very high. This proves costly. Also, the validity of responses from participators remains questionable. The lack of controlled conditions will limit the causality achievable from such a design. The lack of controlled laboratory conditions where empirical measurements can be made makes causality impossible; however, different relationships between the independent and dependent variables may be uncovered. This design uncovers any relationships which may be evident, so that they then can be recreated in the laboratory setting to be further investigated. Conclusion The experimental design proposed previously, specifically looks at the psychological and chemical effects of alcohol consumption on the "learning" phase of memory. By using two independent variables, effects (psychological or chemical or a combination) of intoxication can be uncovered. With the correlational design, a relationship between alcohol consumption and memory may be uncovered, however due to a lack of controlled environment and conditions this procedure is very susceptible to error and inconsistencies. This specific research takes into account another aspect which may be contribute to the cause of detrimental effects on memory by alcohol. Previous experiment had not included the psychological aspect of influence; the proposed experimental design incorporates this factor to possibly provide more sound evidence that alcohol is responsible for decreases in memory or oppositely provide evidence which may disprove previous findings that alcohol's chemical properties are the cause of decreases in memory. Not only does the proposed design provide important incite on the specific effects on memory, but it may also serve as a window which helps uncover other mysteries of psychological influences affecting other various aspects of our daily lives. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology essays


    The 2nd strength of the research is that the standard deviation calculated for group 1 was 3.5. This means the results recorded for this condition are fairly reliable making it easier to conclude and generalise. Discussing my experiment it is also important to list as strength that extraneous variables or confounding variables were controlled due all ethical issues being addressed.

  2. Investigation into the relationship between an individuals precieved ugliness, harmfullness and an individuals fear ...

    There were three response sheets for each participant, (an example of each is included in the appendix), one for harmfulness, one for fear and one for ugliness. Participants then had to rate each of the animals on a scale of 1-5, one being low and five being high for each.

  1. Is performance of memory affected by environmental stimuli?

    Further research has, however, indicated that different individuals react differently to exposure to noise within the environment. Research into the influences of music on performance has, indeed, suggested that music actually improves performance. Dr. George Lozanov suggests that non-verbal classical music by artists such as Mozart and Baroque, can aid

  2. The study that is to be investigated is derived from the cognitive area of ...

    Rationale The issue to be investigated in this study is the serial position effect in memory. Glanzer and Cunitz's study demonstrated the effects of delaying recall on the recency effect. Repeating the experiment with a completely new set of words (using words that are of one syllable)

  1. Investigating the effects of organisation on learning

    Bower et al. (1969) presented participants with words which were arranged into conceptual hierarchies. For one group, these were arranged in hierarchical form, and for the other they were listed randomly. The participants who were presented with the words in hierarchical form recalled almost 31/2 times as many words as

  2. Free essay

    Correlation between age and sleep

    To the some participants set of documents related with the study (the briefing letter, an agreement and sleep diary) was delivered personally. Most of participants received the information in digital form via email post. 3. Each participant was given more than 3 weeks to fill the sleep diary (Appendix 2).

  1. Investigating the short-term memory

    Here there will be 2 groups of 20 participants. This is split into 2 sets of 10 in which will see 10 do the experiment in the morning and 10 in the afternoon. This will be repeated with the 2nd group where the distraction would be tested.

  2. Report on Psychological Research into Eyewitness Testimony

    The internal psychological state of a person can act as a retrieval cue in a similar way to external contexts (such as the atmosphere or setting of a scene). For example, is a person is happy when a memory is encoded they will find it much easier to remember the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work