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

Recall in Memory Using Mnemonics

Extracts from this document...


Psychology A2 Coursework Recall in Memory Using Mnemonics Introduction Mnemonics are aids to a person in remembering data. This was proven in Bower (1973)'s experiment in which two different groups of students were given five lists of twenty words. Of these participants, those who used mnemonics remembered 72% of the items while the non-mnemonic group only averaged 28% recall. This however, was not the first research into memory. Ebbinghaus used nonsense syllables to test recall and tested himself many times. He found that memory declines quickly at the outset but then levels off soon after. This experiment has been duplicated many times with the same results. Ebbinghaus' recall method was relearning; although there are others such as serial recall, free recall, paired associates and recognition tasks. Memory processing can be split into three procedures: registration, encoding and storage - followed by retrieval. Encoding is how the information is changed into a storable form to be kept in memory. Storage is the actual keeping and retaining of the information in memory. Retrieval is how the information is taken from storage and brought to light (i.e. remembering). Forgetting may also occur at any of these stages causing the person to be unable to recall the information stored. However, not all information encoded is actually stored and not all stored information can be retrieved. Memory is commonly split into three forms - Sensory, Short term (STM) and Long Term (LTM). ...read more.


Apparatus A list of instructions on how the experiment will work. A word list consisting of ten words to memorize (words were chosen at random and were unconnected). Stopwatch with which to time the one minute participants had to remember the words. All of these were standardised - i.e. every participant had exactly the same in every case. The score of each participant was taken down on a sheet hidden from view. Procedure Participants were first informed of their right to withdraw from the experiment and that their personal information would not be used at all during or following the experiment. Also, they were informed that they could view their results at any time. Participants gave informed consent and were again told that they had the right to withdraw at any time. Participants were then told about the experiment and what to do, (these instructions differed between the two groups, but within the groups, the information was standardised). There were two experimenters present at each experiment to ensure that each one was using the standardised procedures and to decrease experimenter bias. Participants in the Experimental group were instructed how to use the Mnemonic device both via a written list of instructions and verbally. Control group members were not taught this method and were instructed to begin memorizing the word list immediately after being introduced to the experiment. The experiment begins after the participant completely understands what to do. Participants were required to memorise a list of ten words in no particular order, within the space of a minute. ...read more.


One could have selected a target population that included people without any educational background (and so would be unused to learning rules) and one could choose participants from different age groups. Also, the sampling method used was not random so there would definitely an element of bias in the sample chosen. A computer could have selected participants randomly but this would not be necessary in a study of such a small scale. As in Bower's study, the word lists could have been longer (20 words or more) and there could have been more of them (Bower used 5 lists). In this study, with only 10 words in the list, participants would be able to memorise the words without using the mnemonic device. Longer word lists would have made it more difficult for the participants to use repetition to recall the items. In addition, the interference task may not have been effective enough as recency effect was still present, as mentioned above. This experiment could be used both in everyday life (e.g. remembering shopping lists) and in medical cases (e.g. Amnesiacs or sufferers of brain trauma) to aid memory and in the case of Amnesia, to slowly reconstruct the client's memory. Further to this study, one could research the gender differences in depth regarding mnemonic aids in memory. Also, one could study the effects of mnemonics across different cultures. This would help as different things can be thought of in different ways by different cultures e.g. the items on the word list or the places in the Loci method may mean something to one culture but mean nothing to another culture. ...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 results of the study do support this model as in the second condition where the distraction was added, information was lost as a result of it not being rehearsed enough. This means the distraction prevented the participants from going over the information they had just heard and resulting in the information not been store.

  2. Experiment to Test Memory Using Recognition and Free Recall.

    4 Treatment of Results The Mann-Whitney U Test was used to test for a difference between the two conditions, which had not arisen by chance. This data is suitable because it is at least ordinal level and from Independent Measures.

  1. Primacy and Recency effect

    and the last 10 words (positioned from 21-30) of a list will have a higher recall than the middle 10 words (positioned from 11-20) Null Hypothesis: There will be no significant difference in the words recalled wherever the words are positioned in a list. Whether they are the first 10, second 10 or the last 10.

  2. An experiment to investigate the effect of interference on memory recall

    The researcher began a conversation with participants about the weekend. At this point, another band member entered the room to chat to participants. This had been previously arranged by the researcher. The researcher told the participants that five minutes was up and that they were going to begin again.

  1. The effect of primacy and recency on recall

    Thus, information in the middle of the list is forgotten, as it has not been rehearsed and new information coming into the STM displaces it. Glanzer and Cunitz (1966) investigated the idea of there being two mechanisms in free recall.

  2. Memory and Mental Imagery

    Standardised instructions (see appendix) and a casual seating arrangement were used to minimise the 'experimenter effect'. As the experimenter expectations could have influenced the results through inadvertent reinforcement using body language or though slight modifications to the instructions. All the word cards were written in the same font, Arial, size 24, bold on Microsoft Word.

  1. A study investigating the effects of categorisation on recall

    This was an effective way of measuring words remembered. An alternative may have been to have the participant vocalise the words recalled but this is unlikely to have had any effect on the results. Support for the previous research into the effects of categorisation on recall by Tulving & Pearlstone provides this study with concurrent validity.

  2. An experiment to investigate whether chunking leads to better recall.

    However the validity of these results can be questioned. The external validity of the experiment is the most obvious downfall. It is not representative of the population as almost all of the participants were 16 or 17 and from the sixth form.

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