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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2413

Are High Imagery Words Easier To Retrieve From The Short Term Memory Than Abstract Words?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Beverley Fielden

Investigation in to Memory

Are High Imagery Words Easier To Retrieve From The Short Term Memory Than Abstract Words?

Abstract

The aim of this experiment was to establish whether concrete or abstract words have an effect on recall. The one tailed hypothesis was “High imagery words facilitates recall in both the long-term and short-term memory. An independent measures design was used. One control group was exposed to a list of written concrete words. The other control group was exposed to a written list of abstract words. Both groups were allowed a sixty second exposure time and then immediately asked to free recall as many words as they could. The results showed a significant difference in the recall of the concrete words compared to the abstract words. The mean difference of group 1 minus group 2 was 2.90. The confidence interval of this difference was 95%. In conclusion, it is expected that concrete words will facilitate a higher recall than abstract words.

Introduction

Alternative Hypothesis – High imagery words facilitates recall from both the short-term memory and long-term memory

Null –Hypothesis – Any difference in the recall of high imagery words and abstract words from the short-term memory and long-term memory is due to chance.

Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) proposed a dual-processing model, sometimes referred to as the multi-store model, which focuses on information processing.

...read more.

Middle

De-brief: The participant was thanked and told their score. It was carefully explained that their results were normal and to be expected. It was explained that if they wished to withdraw their result they might do so at any time. It was also made clear that the results would be kept anonymous.
Results

Participant

Concrete words

Abstract words

1

9

7

2

8

5

3

6

5

4

5

4

5

6

4

6

8

3

7

9

5

8

8

3

9

7

6

10

8

3

Totals recalled

74

45

Mean/average

7.4

4.5

Standard deviation

1.349

1.354

The table clearly shows that participants typically recalled a higher amount of concrete words compare to the abstract words. The total number of concrete words recalled was 74 out of a possible 140 words, compared to only 45 out of 140 of the abstract words. Standard deviation was calculated at 1.35 to two decimal places and the t-test was calculated at 15.10 to two decimal places.
The formula used to calculate the standard deviation was: image01.png

t-test results

15.108

The statistical test used was a paired samples t-test because the experimental design used was an independent measures design. From the following result we can conclude that the
...read more.

Conclusion

 Paivio’s original experiments required participants to encode words and pictures verbally. The results of these experiments yielded a higher recall of pictures than words. This supports the theory that image and verbal codes are independent. The superiority of pictures in free recall can be explained by the duel-coding theory.

The scope and applications of the results of this experiment is that it may be used in language acquisition. For example, the results suggest that we learn concrete words before we learn abstract words. Therefore, for language beginners, it suggests that learning those words that invoke a mental picture will provide concrete associations and improve memory. In addition, language teachers are made aware of the importance of visual aids. Visual aids could provide meaningful context and therefore aid learning. The results of this experiment may also explain why nouns and verbs are usually learned before adjectives, nouns and verbs are more concrete in nature.

In conclusion, it seems that the results of this experiment supports Paivio’s theory of dual coding. This indicates that there are separate memory stores for pictorial and verbal information and the visual memory store takes precedence over the verbal store.

Bibliography

Brain C (2000) Psychology Approaches and Methods Nelson and Thorns LTD

(United Kingdom)

Gross R, (1996) Psychology The science of Mind and Behaviour. Hodder and Stoughton

 (Great Britain.)

Eyesenk M. Keane T (1990) Cognitive Psychology A Student’s Handbook. Lawrence Erlbaum

 (London)

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