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

Investigation Into How Grouping Words Can Affect Memory

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Investigation Into How Grouping Words Can Affect Memory Table of contents Summary 2 Introduction 2 Method 4 Results 5 Discussion 6 References 7 Appendix 8 Summary The hypothesis states that the participants given the grouped words will remember more words in a recall test than those given the ungrouped words. This study aims to test this hypothesis by providing ten participants with the grouped word list and ten with the ungrouped word list and comparing the scores of the recall test. The results suggest that there is a difference between the ability to recall words between the two which supports this hypothesis. Introduction The aim of this study is to see how grouping words has an effect on memory. Memory can be defined as the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain and later retrieve information about events that have happened in the past. An individual?s memory for things that have happened in the immediate past or present is referred to as short-term memory (STM) and the memory for events that have happened in the more distant past is referred to as long-term memory (LTM). (Cardwell & Flanagan, 2003) STM is fairly limited in capacity and rapidly deteriorates unless it is preserved through rehearsal; memories do not last very long. LTM is relatively permanent storage with unlimited capacity. (Flanagan, 2000) There are three major processes involved in memory: encoding, storage and retrieval. ...read more.


The term chunking was devised by Miller in 1956. (Coon & Mitterer, 2009) His study, the magic number seven, showed that the capacity of the STM is around seven items, give or take two items. Miller showed that if we chunk together a string of twenty letters or numbers into seven meaningful items, we could remember them where we could not remember twenty items for immediate recall. My directional hypothesis is that the participants given the grouped words (list A) will remember more words in a recall test than those given the ungrouped words (list B) My null hypothesis is that any difference between the two groups will be down to chance Method I used a laboratory experiment for my research as it is most appropriate to the study of memory. A laboratory experiment is performed in a controlled environment where the researcher has direct control over the variables. The independent variable in my experiment is which list of words each participant received. There were two lists containing the same words. In list A, the words were grouped into categories while in list B the words were randomised. The dependant variable in my experiment is the number of words recalled by each participant through a simple memory test. For my experiment I compiled a list of twenty words which could be grouped into five categories. ...read more.


Median number of words recalled (max 20) Mode number of words recalled (max 20) Participants that received List A 18.9 19.5 20 Participants that received List B 16.5 16.6 16 The above table and graph show that there is a significant difference in the number of words recalled depending on which list of words the participant received. The findings support my directional hypothesis that the participants given the list of grouped words will score higher on a memory test than those given the ungrouped list of words. I will therefore reject my null hypothesis that any difference is down to chance. Discussion My research has shown that participants who were given the grouped list of words performed much better at recall than the participants given the ungrouped list of words. This has led me to accept my directional hypothesis. This experiment illustrates the use of rehearsal in STM as outlined in the multi-store model of memory and the working memory model theories that are defined in the introduction. My experiment could have been improved in several ways. A larger sample group would have given better results as it would be easier to generalise the findings to everyday situations. During my experiment, the participants performed the task in groups of between two and four, at different times on different days and in different places. These can be considered as confounding variables which could be combated by having a voluntary sample at an organised venue as this may enhance the experiment. The experiment would be easy to replicate as it is standardised. ...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

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To retain recall, which is more beneficial, rote rehearsal or imagery?

    4 star(s)

    (Gross, 2001, p 249-250). Mnemonics is a form of organizing. This consists of a different form of coding, and the exceptional abilities of the mnemonist. Chase & Ericsson (1982) conducted a study where the subject started with a normal memory span of seven digits.


    In comparison using the mean averages result, group 1 had a mean recall score of 8.5 out of a possible 10, whereas group 2 managed a mean score of 7. Comparing both results shows a 1.5 difference, meaning that more participants in group 1 were able to recall more words than group 2 did.

  1. An investigation into the Affect of Organisation on memory.

    My study is based on the above 'conceptual hierarchy' model. My model will mimic Bowers by having a main heading which splits into several subheadings in a hierarchical form, these headings will then have a list of appropriate words underneath.

  2. Investigating the short-term memory

    all other aspects of the research which might reasonably affect their willingness to participate. It's a fundamental important part of this investigation because participants are giving their consent to the investigation. People can only take part in this experiment if they give their consent.

  1. Images are recalled better than words

    Design First all participants were seated in a lab room. They all sat on similar stools and spread themselves around the room so they weren't sitting next to each other. In front of them was an interactive white board. Everyone was placed in the same distance from the white board so that they could see it clearly.

  2. "An experiment to see the effect of chunking on short-term memory recall".

    Variables The Independent Variable (IV) in this experiment is the list of chunked and un-chunked words. The Dependent Variable (DV) is the amount of information recalled in each group. The chunked words are triograms for example BED and the un-chunked words are acronyms for example GAH Participants The participants used

  1. Does chunking help with memory?

    Procedure The study is carried out in the recreational area of a college. Myself and my fellow researcher will approach students and by following the standard instructions (Appendix 4) will ask them if they would mind participating in the study.

  2. Investigation into acoustic and visual encoding in short-term memory

    By looking at the experimental hypothesis, it comes to a conclusion that my hypothesis would be one-tailed as it suggests from previous research that coding acoustically is the preferred way. This is supported by Conrad's study as well as Brandimontes study where images were used instead of words and acoustic

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