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Memory.This experiment studies the effects that organised and unorganised lists have on the performance of memory recall. Participants were randomly assigned to conduct an experiment using two different methods; words in a random format and in an organis

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MEMORY Abstract 1. This experiment studies the effects that organised and unorganised lists have on the performance of memory recall. Participants were randomly assigned to conduct an experiment using two different methods; words in a random format and in an organised format. 2. There were twenty subjects, split into two groups (10 participants in each). They viewed word lists that were the same, using countries only, but they were structurally different (one organised and one unorganised). The participants were than asked to recall the words from the lists. 3. The participants using the organised list did not do as well as expected and the participants that used the unorganised list did better than expected. Surprisingly, the results of the research showed that there was little difference between the two groups, regardless of the organisation. 4. The research did not support the research previously conducted by Bowers et al (1969) 5. The research showed that a larger participant sample, chosen more randomly over a longer period could give better results. Introduction Human memory is similar to computer memory, enabling us to store information for later use. There are two main types of storage for our memory - short-term (STM) and long-term memory (LTM). This course work will only be covering STM, as this is what we will be investigating in this experiment. ...read more.


The purpose of this experiment was to test Bower's findings on his own experiment; the group that produced the best results on recall were the organised word list group. The opportunist sampling of participants were used to test memory. The two groups were tested on their level of recall. By testing exactly, both Independent and Dependant Variables, which needed to be under, exact conditions in a quiet room with no distractions. The experiment conducted in this research study is similar to that of Bower et al (1969), but with the exception of the distraction task. This is to see if organization of words will or will not affect recall of information. Bower et al (1969) conducted an experiment to see whether organisation would affect recall in the short-term memory (STM). He gave his subjects either an organised list of words or a randomised list of words. A distraction task was also given, to ensure that his subjects were using their short-term memory. His test of free recall provided results, showing that the subjects recall from the organised list was greater than that of the randomised list. The aim of this experiment is to prove whether information is easier to remember if in an organised or randomised format. Hypothesis (Null) Differences (if any) in the participants remembering more words from the organised list than the participants remembering words from the unorganised list will be due to chance. ...read more.


Only one person withdrew from the experiment after reading the instructions; claiming to having a bad memory. Results The results from the experiment supported the null hypothesis, as the results were unfounded by the experiment researched by Bowers et al (1969). The findings were that both methods used for the two groups proved that there was little difference - as both sets of results proved to be similar. Appendix 6 shows a frequency polygon graph (showing two sets of data); indicating that overall participants with the randomly selected list of words were more consistent as opposed to the group that had the organised words. An autonomous assumption regarding the experiment could relay that the random list appeared much harder to digest, mentally, therefore more concentration went into studying them and that the organised list may have seemed like more words to remember as the lists were more spread out and separated into categories, thus making the experiment seem more overwhelming. Discussion The results from this experiment do not support Bowers et al (1969) experiment, thus supporting the null hypothesis made at the beginning of this experiment. There was little difference between the participants from both groups. Although the random listed group was more successful and scored more consistently, also proving to be higher in showing the mode, median and mean. Sleep deprivation could be a factor in the group that had the organised list, in that three of the participants were night shift workers. Also, one of the organised group participant's claimed to be dyslexic. ...read more.

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