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the affect interference has on the recall of words

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The affect interference has on the recall of words Abstract The experiment is based on the Brown - Peterson Task but adjusted slightly to investigate interference as apposed to decay as they investigated. The aim of the experiment is to investigate whether or not interference has an affect on the recall of words. The research method is an experiment with an unrelated design. The method of sampling to gain the participants to take part was opportunity sampling. The mean number of words recalled in group 1 (no interference) was 13.7 and group 2 (with interference) was 9.1. this supports the theory of interference and that it results in less information being recalled. Therefore the experimental hypothesis - Participants who experience interference will recall fewer words than the participants who do not experience interference - can be accepted and the null hypothesis can be rejected. Because the hypothesis predicts which direction the results will go it is a one tailed hypothesis. To conclude interference does affect recall of information and results in fewer things being recalled Introduction Interference is described as our memory traces being interrupted by other information. Baddeley (1999) believed memory loss was due to interference. He thought that if a person were prevented from rehearsing information it would result in a loss of that information. Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) were the founders off the multi-store model. This model consisted of the sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory. It also proposed that information was loss due to decay and displacement. The sensory memory has a large capacity but can only hold information for a limited amount of time (2seconds). The short-term memory has a limited capacity (around 7items) and can only hole information for a limited amount of time (30seconds). The long-term memory has a unlimited capacity and can hold information for a long period of time usually years. Decay was explanation of forgetting that seemed acceptable. ...read more.


This was used as it had an advantage of being an easy way of gathering data from the participants who wanted to take part in the experiment but it is not fairly representative of the target population. Materials The materials used for this experiment consisted of: a list of 20 random words which were not to easy or difficult to recall, the font size was 18 in the color of black, they were printed on a plain sheet of A4 and in the typing of Comic Sans MS as it is easy to read and consistent (appendix 1). 20 answers sheets were need for the participants to recall the words (appendix 2) and a pen to write them down. A set of instructions for the 2 different experiments (appendix 4 and 5) was needed so the participants knew exactly what they were doing for both experiments. A brief (appendix 3) to explain who I am and why I need to do the experiment and for the participants to give consent and debrief (appendix 6) to state the aim and explain what both groups had just done, also to ask permission to use the results had been gathered and tell them they were to be kept anonymous. A stop watch to time the participants whilst they looked at the words and then needed again when they recalled them. Also in experiment 2 it was needed whilst they counted back in two's for a period of time. This has to be precise so the participants only experience interference for the set amount of time and so they don't have any longer to read the words than allotted. Procedure Firstly to gather the groups of participants that were to be used a sheet was put up in the common room where most of the 6th form group study and ask for volunteers. Those who were willing to participate were then approached individually and told to meet in the 6th form library at 1:00pm and this is where the experiment was to be conducted. ...read more.


A way of reducing this is matched pairs design where participants are matched together by a certain characteristic e.g. intelligence, gender or age. You can find people like this through surveys and questionnaires. The time of day could have been an extraneous variable but this was kept the same it every experiment. By doing this it helps keep the experiment constant and reliable. The experiment was held at lunchtime, which was 1:00pm giving participants time for to have their dinner. This is one of the best times to hold an experiment, as the participants would be awake and concentrating. They would also have had their dinner so not have hunger putting them off which helps them perform to the best of their ability. An ethical issue, which was present during my experiment, was deception. The participants were not told the full aim and purpose of the experiment until they had completed it as it may have made the results unreliable. At the end of the experiment the full purpose was stated in the de-brief and they were made aware that they could still withdraw their results at any time. the experiment could have been improved by repeating it, to make sure the results were consistent every time and no anomalies would be present. The sample could be to gain more reliable results and the interference could be made easier to see if it still affected the recall of words this would also help to obtain more reliable results. The experiment could also be investigated into different areas such as age, gender, ability, social class and race. For example tested whether or not interference affects recall more in males or females. There would have to be two groups, one all girls and one all boys, for interference and two groups for no interference again one all girls and one all boys. And all of the others could be investigated in the same method as above. In conclusion my experimental hypothesis was correct; interference does affect the recall of words and results in fewer words being successfully recalled. ...read more.

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