• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2359

An experiment to look at the primacy and recency effect on recalling a word list Introduction: Background

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Alex Parry

Coursework

An experiment to look at the primacy and recency effect on recalling a word list

Introduction:

Background

Atkinson and Shiffrin suggested the multi-store model of memory; it consisted of 3 main stores; the sensory store, short term store, and long term store. Information which we obtain from our senses is kept in our sensory store, if enough attention is paid to it, the information will enter our short term memory, and then if the information is rehearsed then it will cross the threshold into the long term memory.

Murdock (1962) presented participants with a list of words, they were required to recall as many of the words as possible. Murdock found that the words at the end of the list (recency effect) and the beginning of the list (primary effect) that were more likely to be remembered than those in the middle of the list.

Murdock found that the longer information is held in Short Term Memory (STM) and rehearsed, the greater the likelihood of it passing into Long Term Memory (LTM). Information from the middle of the list perished as there is little time to rehearse it. In conclusion Murdock came to the assumption that information that was remembered came from two separate stores, the STM and the LTM.

Glanzer and Cunitz (1966) used free recall (where the participants can remember the words in any order)

...read more.

Middle

Procedure
Firstly I would ask a teacher politely if myself and the other two experimenters could use their class for 10-15 minuets to conduct a psychological test on memory, I concisely briefed the teacher what I was planning to do.
The words that had been generated were saved onto a disk, and then I would load this disk into the teacher’s laptop, enabling me to present the words under precise control. Before the presentation was started another experimenter handed out pieces of paper, then the standardised instructions were read out, and a verbal consent form was also read. Then the participants were asked not to write down any of the words as the slideshow was presented, as this would lead to inaccurate results. The other two experimenters and I always made sure we each played the same role, during the experiment, in case bias was introduced.
Once the PowerPoint had begun, the participants were not allowed to talk in anyway, in case the participants cheated.
Once the PowerPoint had been run, the group who were in condition 1 were presented with maths problems for 2 minutes, which they were to answer on the opposite side of the paper provided. Condition 2 was told to start recalling straight after the PowerPoint had ended.
...read more.

Conclusion

Implications of the study
The results of my experiment don’t correspond with those that Glanzer and Cunitz found. As the recency effect was not destroyed by an interference task, which is what they found. The results do however coincide with Murdock’s experiment, when he found that the words in the middle of the list are perished, as there is not enough time to rehearse them, nor is there enough space for them in the STM.
Generalising the findings.
As the participants were only a small sample of the population, the findings cannot be generalised, also because the sample was so small, and anomalous results were found, make the results impossible to generalise. Also in the second condition only male samples were used, this was not my choice in sampling, but it was the opportunity that arouse, this factor means that the results cannot even be generalised across genders.
Applications to real life
The results from my experiment can be used in different types of teaching methods, also when it comes to revision; it is best for a student not to watch television, after revising and before an exam, as it will destroy the most recently revised information.  
References
http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/howard99contextual.html
Journal of verbal learning and verbal behaviour 5, p351-60
Angles on psychology, p73-4

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparing length of words in newspapers 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 GCSE Comparing length of words in newspapers essays

  1. memory. This experiment is a replication of the 1973 study conducted by Gordon ...

    After the test, a debriefing session was provided for the experiment, and the subjects were dismissed. The tests were then scored and results produced. Results: Control Group Mean (x1) 3.8 Median 3.5 Mode 0 Standard Deviation 3.2 In the control group, the mean number of correctly memorized words (x1)

  2. To test if preventing the rehearsal loop by an interference task reduces the number ...

    40 second interference task of counting down from 57 in 3's is introduced before free recall. Method Method and design The method chosen was a field experiment using a matched pairs design. The experiment was conducted in the same setting the participants would usually work and under the same conditions.

  1. The aim of the experiment was to see if people's attention is affected by ...

    was open to anyone available and willing to take part in the college. Procedure: Participants were read standardised instructions. They were then given the first list of words (normal- colours matched to words) face down. The participants were then told to turn over the sheet and they were timed as they read out the first list.

  2. Critically discuss the current role of phonics and whole word teaching methods in the ...

    Phonics can be defined as a form of teaching to cultivate the understanding and use of the alphabetic principle, that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes (the sounds in spoken language) and graphemes, the letters that represent those sounds in written language and that this information can be used to read or decode words,(ref).

  1. Investigation into the effects of levels of processing.

    The study could also be carried out in a more natural environment, from which the findings could be put into practice in everyday lives. The study may also be tried during different periods of the day, e.g., during the morning, before lunch, after lunch, evening, etc.

  2. The aim of the research is to find out whether or not interference does ...

    He found that participants could tell him nothing about the meaningful content of the non shadowed message, they did not even notice a change of language, but they could tell him if it was a man or a women's voice, or if it changed from a voice to a pure tone.

  1. Compare: The first chapters of Bill Bryson’s “The Lost Continent” & Samuel Johnson’s “Rasselas”.

    Bryson stays close to the reader by avoiding abstract nouns and aphorisms that look even remotely serious (through the first person perspective). Aphorism There are no aphorisms in the first chapter of either books, perhaps because the writers wanted to bring the reader closer to the prose.

  2. A group of swimmers have a training schedule - design the best way for ...

    This will add time onto model 1, because for one length it takes 75 seconds, and then the second queuing time will have to be added on afterwards. For more than 15 people, the time for all to swim 20 lengths increases by 5 seconds each time (the safety gap),

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