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

How age affects short term memory

Extracts from this document...


How AGE affects short term memory Introduction This coursework will be investigating how age affects people's short term memory. The idea was from Sperling's experiment (1960) as he did a similar experiment to the one in this coursework will be carrying out. Sperling presented his subjects with a matrix of letters in Figure 1. It was flashed onto screen for a very short period of 50 milliseconds. After he took it off the screen he said either "Top, Middle or Bottom" and participants had to recall as many letters they could from that row. Sperling found that subjects could accurately recall the letters in each row most of the time, (more than 90% accurate recall) no matter which row was specified by the tone. This showed all of the letters were momentarily available in sensory memory. ...read more.


The extraneous variable is the box of words participants have to recall. This has been controlled because the words were chosen specifically so the younger participants would be able to read them and remember them without too much difficulty. Participants My participants are ranging from the age of 8 to 60 both male and female. The participants will be doing the experiment in their home. Participants had to range from a young age to old because the experiment is looking at how age affects short term memory. Apparatus The experiment doesn't require many materials apart from, a pen, paper and a stopwatch. The pen and paper will be provided for the participants so they can write down their memory recall and the stopwatch will be used to time 30 seconds for older participants and more time will be given to the younger participants. ...read more.


After the participants had handed their recall sheets back to the experimenter they were be debriefed and told that the experiment aims to find out how age affects ones short term memory. Ethics There were not many ethical issues that arose from the experiment because participants were mainly over the age of 16. They were still told they had the right to withdraw at any point through the experiment. They were also told that it was a confidential experiment and their names will not be used. The younger participants also had he right to withdraw as it stated in their consent forms. Results The results showed that the younger you are the poorer your short term memory is thus proving the hypothesis wrong. It showed the older participants were more successful and recalled all the words or more than the younger participants did. The oldest participant aged 60 recalled all the words perfectly and in less than 30 seconds when the 16 year old recalled only 3 words in the 30 seconds provided. ...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 Developmental 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 Developmental Psychology essays

  1. "Estimation improves with age".

    Other factors weren't taken into the equation either. More children were asked than adults, which could have lead to the huge difference in the range of answers in the comparison between children and adults. If there had been and equal sample this could be some evidence to support the hypothesis.

  2. Evacuation Coursework.

    Therefore there were positive and negative reactions. An example of a positive reaction by an evacuee was safe from the bombing in the major cities. The lifestyle change was hard to get used to and was very different to green hills instead of rows of houses.

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