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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 3131

To test if preventing the rehearsal loop by an interference task reduces the number of words recalled from a list, hence a wider aim is testing the existence of short-term memory.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Psychology coursework

Introduction

Background

The multi-store model of memory is concerned with the cognitive area of psychology. It suggests that memory is dived up into different stores, sensory, short term and long-term; it was identified by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968).

image00.png

The short-term memory is believed to be able to hold about seven “bits” or chunks of information for about 20 seconds without rehearsal.  This information will move into the long-term memory if the information is repeated or rehearsed. In the diagram above it demonstrates how the rehearsal loop will send the information back around into the short term memory this will eventually go on into the long term memory.

Glazner and Cunitz (1966) were interested and studied the primacy-recency effect. They also wondered if it made sense to consider the short and long term memory as two different stores. They then conducted experiments to see if they could independently manipulate the short and long-term memory. They conducted experiments of free recall with a list of words this lead them to the primacy and recency effect and the serial position curve (a U shaped graph) which shows how people tend to remember more words from the beginning and end of a list.

image01.png

The primacy effect is remembering the early words in the list; this is because they have had time for rehearsal, and the recency effect is remembering words from later in the list because they have remained in the short-term memory. They then altered their experiment and introduced an interference task designed to prevent the participant from rehearsing and therefore preventing words being stored in the short-term memory. There have been many developments on this research but a particularly profound discovery was by Murdock (1961)

...read more.

Middle

6

Blazer

2

1

7

Radio

1

0

8

Stone

2

1

9

Trolley

1

1

10

Pigtail

2

4

Total = 36

Total = 31

11

Paper

0

0

2nd third

12

Water

1

1

13

Loaf

2

1

14

Coach

1

3

15

Potato

5

3

16

Busstop

1

3

17

Trainer

6

1

18

Road

1

2

19

Curtain

3

3

20

Football

3

2

Total = 23

Total = 19

21

Computer

2

3

3rd third

22

Skylight

3

1

23

Finger

1

2

24

Soap

0

2

25

Boat

0

1

26

Pebble

3

2

27

Fish

1

2

28

Beaker

2

0

29

Tomato

5

3

30

Dustbin

8

1

Total = 25

Total = 17

Overall total = 84

Overall total = 67

Table commentary

Mean, median, mode and range of correct words recalled

Group A

Group B

For overall words

Mean amount of correct words

2.8

2.2

Median amount of correct words

2

2

Modal amount of correct words

1

1

Range of correct words

11

8

Group A

Group B

For first third

...read more.

Conclusion

Implications of study

The results of the study (like Glazner and Cunitz (1966) found as evidence for short term and long term memory) reflected the hypothesis in that it implies that after being told some information and then given a task to interfere with the rehearsal loop than fewer words will be remembered from the end of the list. The reason fewer words were remember from the end of the list was because of the primacy recency effect which suggested that if an interference task is introduced then the recency effect would be destroyed.

Generalisation of findings

Because the study was conducted on a 6th form group of psychology students using an opportunity sample and the sample size was pretty small (22 people) this greatly prevents from generalising from the results of the experiment. Also the fact it was conducted in a very short time in a small area that again means generalisation would not be possible.

Application of findings

In real life this study has a lot of practical uses. A good place in which it could be relevant is in advertising. For example if a company is trying to advertise their product they will want their name to be remembered and therefore all the important information at the beginning and end of the advertisement to ensure that the vital information is remembered and in this way they will improve the effectiveness of advertisement.

Appendix

Word list

Then the reader reads the following words to the participants.

Light

Door

Tree

Frame

Watch

Blazer

Radio

Stone

Trolley

Pigtail

Paper

Water

Loaf

Coach

Potato

Busstop

Trainer

Road

Curtain

Football

Computer

Skylight

Finger

Soap

Boat

Pebble

Fish

Beaker

Tomato

Dustbin

References

Atkinson, R.C and Shiffrin, R.M (1968) Human memory: A proposed system and its control processes. In Spence, K.W. and Spense, J.T. (eds) The Psychology of learning and motivation, Vol.2. London: Acadamic Press

Glazner, M. and Cunitz, A.R. (1966) Two storage mechanisms in free recall. Journal of Verbal Vearning and Verbal Behaviour, 5, 351-60

Murdock, B.B., Jr. (1961). The retention of individual items. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 618-625.

...read more.

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