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Investigate into the Primacy and Recency effect

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Table of Contents Abstract 2 Introduction 2 Experimental hypothesis 2 Null hypothesis 2 Method 2 Materials used 2 Procedure 2 Experiment 1 - With Interference task 2 Experiment 2 - Without Interference task 2 Results 2 Discussion 2 Conclusion 2 References 2 Appendices 2 Appendix A - Sheet given to participants Appendix B - Results (Interference) Appendix C - Results (Non Interference) Appendix D - Calculations Appendix E - Graph 1 Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate into the Primacy and Recency effect. The study was based on Glanzer and Cunitzs research (1966) who suggested that when remembering words, if given an interference task, the recency effect will be virtually eliminated. It was therefore predicted that when a group of participants were recalling words after having an interference task there would be little, if no recency effect. However it was also predicted that when an interference task was not involved there would be both a primacy and recency effect. The experiment was conducted on two groups of participants, 20 in each group. They were all students between the age of 16 and 18. This was an independent experiment. The findings form this study indicated that there was less of a recency effect when using an interference task then when not. Introduction The aim of this investigation to find out whether people remember material at the beginning of a list better than material at the end. A further aim is to show that when participants take a memory test with the involvement of an interference task there is no recency effect. ...read more.

Middle

Experiment 1 - With Interference task 1. Participants were asked if they were willing to participate in a psychological investigation. 2. Participants were than given verbal instructions as to what to do. They were told that they would be given a sheet of paper with a list of words on that they had to memorise. They were told they had forty seconds to memorise the words. See appendix A 3. When the time limit was over the sheet of paper was taken by one of the experimenters and the participants were than instructed as to what to do next. They were told to count backwards in threes from one hundred in one minute. 4. Once step three had finished the participants were given a blank sheet of paper. The participants were then told that they had exactly one minute to write down as many words from the list that they could remember. The paper was then collected by one of the experimenters 5. Participants were debriefed as to the purpose and aims of the investigation Experiment 2 - Without Interference task 1. Participants were asked if they were willing to participate in a psychological investigation. 2. Participants were than given spoken instructions as to what to do. They were told that they would be given a sheet of paper with a list of words on that they had to memorise. They were told they had forty seconds to memorise the words. 3. When the time limit was over the sheet of paper was taken by one of the experimenters. ...read more.

Conclusion

It can also be argued that the words with a similar meaning or related words can be remembered easily through categorising. An example of this are the words 'door', 'window', and 'glass', all used in the experiment. A further problem is demand characteristics, a problem that often in occurs in psychological investigations. This is a problem because many of the students that took part could have also been studying psychology at college and thus know what the aims of the investigation were. This is then likely to change the outcome of the investigation. Another problem is confounding variables. For example the time of day participants took the experiment. Certain individuals work better in the evening than others, and so if a participant took the experiment late in the evening, there results may be different to if they took the experiment in the early morning. To make improvements to the experiment, better choice of words would be needed. The words chosen must not be related or sound like each other in anyway, as this will affect the final outcome. By doing this the results would become more accurate and so therefore more accurate conclusions could be drawn from them. Conclusion The findings showed that the primacy and recency effect existed when recalling a list of data. The findings also showed that an interference task reduces the recency effect. In conclusion it can be seen that the stated hypothesis was supported by the results and that the results were found to be significant at the 0.01 level of significance (p<0.01). The null hypothesis can therefore be rejected. ...read more.

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