• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18

The Effects of Humor and Incongruence on Word Recall

Extracts from this document...


Running head: HUMOR AND INCONGRUENCE ON MEMORY The Effects of Humor and Incongruence on Word Recall Emily Ngo University of California, Los Angeles Abstract Using in a two-way within-subjects design, the effects of humor and incongruence have on memory was investigated. Participants saw a slideshow with either humorous or nonhumorous sentences that was paired with either matching or nonmatching pictures. The number of italicized words correctly recalled was used to measure memory. Due to limitations within my experiment, there was no significant main effect of the type of sentences, no main effect of the type of image and no significant interaction found at the significant level p<.05. With certain modifications, future research can replicate this experiment and probably find significant data that will enhance the understanding of how these stimuli affect memory processes. Such information will be beneficial for real-world applications. The Effects of Humor and Incongruence on Word Recall Memory is important in almost every aspect of life. Many studies have tried to identify and understand the ways in which different types of stimuli affect memory processes. Results from Schmidt (1994) showed that humorous sentences were consistently recalled higher than nonhumorous sentences. Participants were asked to rate the humor intensity of sentences. Schmidt manipulated the type of sentences by randomly presenting both humorous and nonhumorous sentences to participants. To measure memory, participants were asked to write down as many words in the sentences that they have seen as they can. The results revealed that the more humorous the participants found the words to be, the more likely subjects were to remember the words. Schidmt explained that the due to the distinct and incongruous nature of humorous sentences, participants gave more attention to the details of the sentences leading to a higher long-term retention of words compare to those that were in nonhumorous sentences, leading to higher word recall. Hastie and Kumar (1979) ...read more.


For example if the correct word was "cheap" but "cheaply" was written, it would be counted as one correctly recalled word. Results Figure 1 presents the average number of italicized words correctly recalled when they were presented in the form of humorous versus non-humorous sentences and as a function of the type of image. Looking at the pattern of results displayed in Figure 1, it appears that italicized words, in general, were better recalled when presented in the form of matching images than when presented in the form of non-matching images and when paired with humorous sentences rather than non-humorous sentences. The degree to which recall was affected by type of sentence, however, appears to depend on the form in which the items to be recalled were presented. More specifically, when sentences were paired with matching images, type of image appears to have had a large effect on their later recall; whereas, when sentences were paired with nonmatching images, type of image appears to have had little or no effect on their later recall. To test these apparent effects, the data were analyzed using a two-way within-subjects ANOVA, which revealed no significant main effect of type of sentence, such that average correct recall was not significantly different when sentences were paired with matching images (M = 1.03, SD = 0.88) than when paired with non-matching images (M = 0.97, SD = 0.62), regardless of the form in which they were paired, F(1, 14) = 1.66, MSE = 1.56, p = . 063. Also, no significant main effect of type of sentence was found, such that average correct recall was not significantly different when images were paired with humorous sentences (M = 0.97, SD= 0.93), than when paired with non-humorous sentences (M = 0.63, SD = 0.81), regardless of the way it was paired, F(1, 14) = 1.07, MSE = 1.56, p = 0.32. Additionally, there was no statistically significant interaction between type of image and type of sentence, as indicated in Figure 1, F(1, 14) ...read more.


If the type of image will be repeated as the operation definition for humor, images that are meant to match words should undergo separate test to ensure their similarities to the words. For the operational definition of memory, researchers should contemplate adopting a free word recall where the main ideas or the any words in sentences can be recalled as oppose to restricting recall to italicized words of the sentence. Schmidt, Hastie and Kumar, and Houston et al. have used this type scoring and operation definition for memory and found significant results. Unlike my experiment, at least two experimenters should score the results and together reach an inter-rater agreement to avoid bias in scoring the data. Finally a double-blind experiment should be used where neither the participants nor experimenters can predict what condition the results are coming from. My purpose of my experiment was the find the effects that humor and incongruence have on memory. I did not find any significant main effect or interaction between the two variables due to the limitations of my experiment. However, I am confident if future research were to replicate my research with my suggested modification in methodology, significant results will be obtained that will help us gain great insights on how these two stimuli influence memory. A good understanding of these processes will enable psychologists to construct experiments and to make predictions of ways to use these stimuli to enhance recall in the real world (e.g., education, advertisement, personal identity). Understanding the ways emotional stimuli affect retention of education materials can help the school system develop a more effective way to teach students important information. For businesses, understanding how memories are preserved can help advertisers create powerful advertisements to catch consumers. Personal memory is important for shaping our attitudes and perceptions the world so with a better knowledge of how memory are formed and sustain, people can live a more fulfilling life. ...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


    = 10.5 Ed2 ? (N-1) N=number of participants 10.52 ? (10-1) 110.25 ? 9 =12.25 ?12.25 = 3.5 APPENDIX 2 Working out of averages for group 2 Mean Male > 5 + 5 + 9 + 9 + 8 = 36 out of a possible 50 Female > 9 + 7 + 6 + 6

  2. Memory.This experiment studies the effects that organised and unorganised lists have on the performance ...

    smaller blocks of learning with short breaks, there are more times at which the primacy and recent effects can occur. This experiment was to test two separate groups that were chosen at random, showing their level of recall of words given to them.

  1. The effect of primacy and recency on recall

    * The experimenter collected in the sheets. * The participants of Group B viewed the same 16 adverts for 15 seconds each but the order of presentation was different to Group A's. The order was changed in such ways as to ensure that adverts, which were shown at the beginning

  2. The aim of this experiment was to test the idea that effort and not ...

    They were then given an unexpected recall test. He found that the group given the hard anagrams to solve recalled more words than the group given the easy anagrams to solve. Thus proving his theory that more effort leads to better recall.

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

    This could only have an affect in the related words list as one word could cue another word to be recalled. Aims The broad aim of this study is to discover whether the human mind is capable of storing more information if the brain is able to chunk then when the brain is unable to chunk.

  2. Will participants have a better recall of words when they are presented in an ...

    They also carried out the same experiment but with organised lists of words. Again recall was greater in the groups that had been asked to impose their own organisation on the lists suggesting that recall will be greater when the learner has some input into the organisation of the material.

  1. 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.

  2. An investigation about retrieval failure in memory (retrieval cues) whether participants can recall more ...

    the playing fields as possible, so that outside noise is not a distraction. Participants The target population used was year 10 students from High Storrs School, Sheffield. The sampling method which was used was opportunity sampling which involved finding a class that would be available at a time that suited me and them.

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