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Memory Experiment

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An experiment on memory recall. Introduction The aim of my research is to analyse and look into further detail on how different encoding styles affect our memory recall. This is linked to Atkinson and Shiffrin who had a multi store memory theory which suggests that there are three separate memory stores: sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory. In this particular theory I will be focusing more on the short term memory store as that is what the experiment is based on. According to their theory, by remembering words using our acoustic sense we remember seven words (� two words) when listening for a duration of 15-30 seconds. We do this from encoding. This is where information is changed (or ended) so that we can make sense of it. Light waves are converted into images, sound waves are converted into words, and words are converted into meanings. Once encoded the information can be stored. Aim The aim of my experiment is to explore the different encoding styles (acoustic and visual) and to find out if it has an effect on our memory recall. Hypothesis As Atkinson and Shiffrin estimated that we could remember around 7 words when spoken to us. I think that I could do a lot more if I can look at the image so I can re-visualize them when trying to recall them. ...read more.


Finally, I will compare my results and see whether my hypothesis was right and they visual test did better. Or if my hypothesis was wrong and the acoustic test came out better. Ethics In this experiment I had to consider the 'four C's'. These are consent, confidentiality, conduct and competence. To make sure I include consent I will tell the participants what the research is about and then tell them that they have a right to withdraw at any time through the procedure. I will not deceive them into taking part and will ask for their full permission. After the experiment I will debrief all of the participants. I will keep everything confidential by keeping the identity of my participants unknown. They will be represented as number data in my research to protect their anonymity. I will also keep any extra data from my participants to myself as it will be unethical to give information to anyone else. I will have competence in my experiment by working within my limits and not giving any advice that I do not fully know or understand as some people tend to think that anyone studying psychology is able to advise them. Conduct will be in my experiment as well as all the equipment being used is everyday items that are not harmful. ...read more.


I have also done my hypothesis by finding out that visually remembering things, it makes our memory recall better. I worked out the averages and more words were remembered than the theory of Atkinson and Shiffrin when done visually. When done acoustically it was at the top end of their theory. In addition, this shows that mainly all participants are better encoding so we may be better transferring light waves to images. There might have been some problems in the experiment. From minor things going wrong like distractions in during it. The wasn't done in an isolated area and all the participants were kept in the same room so there is possibilities from getting distracted from one test more than the other. Instead they should have done the experiments in smaller groups to reduce the amount of distraction. This experiment also was not reliable as it was not repeated. It should have been repeated with either different words or a different set of participants to make the results more secure and valid. The participants knew what the hypothesis is so there could as well be some elements of demand characteristics which would make this experiment biased. This is where the participants will try to please the researchers by trying to do what the hypothesis and aims are. This could easily be improved by not informing them on which encoding style the researchers thought would do better. ...read more.

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