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

The Effects of Chunking and Distraction on Short Term Memory Recall

Extracts from this document...


The Effects of Chunking and Distraction on Short Term Memory Recall. Abstract. This report aimed to investigate the effects of distraction and chunking on short term memory performance. A serial recall task was used to investigate this in a sample of 20 male and female undergraduate student in a within subject design. This data was analysed with a two way repeated measures ANOVA and the results show that there are significant improvements in recall when the items are chucked. In addition there is a significant deterioration in recall following the distraction technique. However, there are no interaction effects between these factors. These findings are discussed in terms of potential means of improving short term memory. Introduction. It is generally accepted that there are three different memory systems; sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory. These distinctions were first defined by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1971). Sensory memory is that which holds information from the senses for up to several seconds at the most. Short-term memory in contrast, is whatever we are thinking about at any given moment and has a relatively rapid input and retrieval. Miller (1965) argued that human short term memory has a span of approximately seven items, plus or minus two. ...read more.


Specifically he lacked the ability to transfer new short term memories into long term ones. He could repeat information for many minutes, but if distracted, even briefly, he would forgot. HM is not an isolated case and thus the role of the temporal lobes is clearly essential in human memory. This study therefore aims to assess the effects of the chunking of items and the presence of a distracter technique prior to recall on short term memory.It is hypothesised that chunked items without a distraction will facilitate greater recall than chunked items followed by a distraction. In addition it is hypothesised that chunked items without distraction will result in greater recall than non chunked items with a distraction. Overall, chunked items will be more successful in terms of recall then non chunked items and the presence of the distracter will result in a deterioration in recall. The null hypothesis, therefore infers that there will be no difference in recall between the conditions. Methodology. Participants were 20 male and female undergraduate students, aged between 18-19 years who participated voluntarily. The sample is highly female biased (15 female and 5 males were recruited). ...read more.


helping them to remember things on a day-day basis and that they should bear in mind that distractions are likely to cause memory loss. Individuals should also bear in mind the evidence which suggests that only between five to nine items can usually be held in short term memory. This study would have benefited from a larger sample size and a greater proportion of male participants in order to examine the possibility that there are gender effects. In addition it would be interesting to look at a wider demographic by including individuals from a broader age range. It would be interesting to expand this study in order to investigate the possibility that the type of distracter technique in particular, exerts an influence over recall. For example would these effects be replicated if the participant were required to read the distracter themselves rather than listening to it? Or to speak it aloud themselves? Greater attention should also be paid to strength of the distracter technique required to create these effects. It is hoped that future research will tackle these issues in order to increase our knowledge in this field and to continue to offer help for patients suffering from memory deficits. Word Count: 2087 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Jennifer Sanders ...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. The Effect Chunking of Numbers has on Short-Term Memory Recall.

    Participants of past studies also tend to be adults, so this study was conducted on students to explore a new age group. Aim The aim of this study is to investigate the effect chunking of numbers has on short-term memory recall.

  2. Investigate into the Primacy and Recency effect

    The calculated values of U and U' were 294.5 and 105.5 respectively. These values exceeded the critical values in the table at the significance of 0.005. Although, U' did not exceed the critical value of 114 in the table for the test at p<0.01 significance level for a one tailed hypothesis.

  1. Primacy and Recency effect

    mnemonic device which would enable them to recall all the words found on the list. This would not show the true reflection of the experiment to find out the primacy and recency effect. One extraneous variable in this experiment could be the length or the number of syllables in each

  2. The Stroop Effect

    Young children (such as five year olds) may not have learnt the automatic process of reading yet, this would mean that the tasks wouldn't conflict and the young children will have a result for the inconsistent list similar to that of the consistent list. If gender differences between such topics were looked that then it could identify

  1. Investigating the short-term memory

    The beep sound was made simultaneously as the stopwatch was pressed. The participants were asked to "please stop writing" after the 60 seconds ended. Their recall results were collected into a pile. The 10 participants were told "thank you for taking part, can you please wait outside to get the result for this investigation".

  2. Stroop Effect

    This test finds the difference between two sets of data. This is test is also used for data which is interval. To see the Wilcoxon match pairs sign rank test table then see (appendix 5) Observed value = 0 Critical value = 10 The Wilcoxon Matched Pairs Sign Rank Test shows that my results were significant.

  1. &amp;quot;An experiment to see the effect of chunking on short-term memory recall&amp;quot;.

    This interested me further and I wanted to discover more about chunking and decided to carry out my own experiment into the effects of chunking on the short-term memory. Aim The aim of the experiment was to investigate whether chunking of words would affect short-term memory recall based on Millers experiment of chunking.

  2. Investigate the effects of Imagery on Memory recall: Visual Aid &amp;amp; Memory Recall

    Previous research suggests that people remember more in aid of visual representation; Bahrick et al., 1975 conducted a study into the nature of LTM. Bahrick et al. found that 90% within 15 years of graduation were accurate in identifying faces in a photo-recognition test, which supports the idea that images aid memory recall in LTM.

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