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are words or images recalled better

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The aim of this experiment was to discover whether people are more likely to remember words or images. The experimental hypothesis was that there will be a significant difference in the number of words given in a list of 10 images or words; the null hypothesis was that there will be no significant difference between the number of words or images recalled, any chance will be due to chance factors.

A laboratory experimental and repeated measures method was used to gain results for images and words recalled. There were a total of 20 participants, picked from an opportunity sample.

The results were analysed using the Wilcoxon test, and were not found significant at the level of 29.5>13 for a one tailed test. In order for the experiment to be significant, the level of significance should be <13.

This concludes that there is no significant difference between words and images recall.


Scientific research such as Jacobs (1887) and Baddley (1966) have shown that we have both a short term and long term memory. Atkinson and Shiffrin’s multi-store model suggests that incoming data passes through a sensory store into a short-term store. If rehearsal takes place, the information is then transferred to the long-term store.

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Experimenter effects were used to minimise demand characteristics. The participants may have guessed the hypothesis.

Order effects, 10 participants were shown the list of words fist and 10 participants were shown images first.


There was deception, because informed consent was not possible to avoid demand characteristics. Participants were fully debriefed after the experiment.

Participant had the right to withdraw at any time during the experiment.

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Implications and suggestions for further research

One major implication that was made in this experiment was that before starting this experiment, background research should have been searched deeper. It was until later realised that there have been no previous experiments on words and images recall. Some on either words or images but none that could have been used in background research.

It was difficult to write the introduction with no background research on words and images recall, if this experiment were repeated; a completely different experiment would take place, which has a lot of background research.


This study found that there is no significant difference between words and images recall. This study may have found a difference if extraneous variables were controlled. If participants were experimented at the same time in the same place with controlled variables these results might have had a significance difference.

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