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An experiment investigating the effect of background music on students ability to recall a list of words

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An experiment investigating the effect of background music on students' ability to recall a list of words Name: Kayla Candidate No.: 0003562026 Type of Study: Experiment Subject and Level: Psychology Standard Level Date of submission: June 1, 2011 Word Count: 1, 498 words Table of Contents Abstract 3 Introduction 4 Method 6 Design 6 Participants 7 Materials 7 Procedure 8 Results 8 Discussion 10 References 12 Appendices 13 Appendix i 13 Appendix ii 14 Appendix iii 15 Appendix iv 17 Abstract This experiment aims at investigate the effect of background music has on students' ability to recall words from a list, based on St Clair's (2000) and Thompson & Tulving's (1970) research. The music selected was One Republics "Come Home" as it fits the genre of easy listening, nonpercussive in beat. The measured variable of this experiment being the number of correctly recalled words. Using opportunity sampling, all participants were aged between 14 to 18 years of age and are currently attending a Queensland Academy. Two groups of 10 participants were used in this experiment fitting the independent measures' design, one of which is the control (with no music); and the other with music being played at both recall and memorization. The participants were given one minute to study a list of 15 words before they were removed and the participants asked to recall as many words as they could remember on a sheet of paper. The results showed that with the presence of music at both memorization and recall, the number of words recalled increased on average by 3.3 words out of 15. ...read more.


Average Number of Words Recalled 8.2 11.5 Mode of the Number of Words 8 and 9 12 Standard Deviation of Results 1.40 1.96 Graph 1: A column graph depicting the average number of words recalled in both experimental conditions The number of words recalled for the control group was an average of 8.2, in comparison to the 11.5 words recalled by the music group. This shows that on average students were able to recall more words when exposed to the easy listening background music. The standard deviation in total for the control group was 1.4 for the control and 1.96 for the music condition. This shows that there was a greater deviation of results in the experimental condition, resulting in the data being considered less reliable, however as it is still a low standard deviation meaning that it is unlikely for this to have impacted the conclusion drawn from the data. Discussion The results show that the number of words recalled by participants with music was greater than the control, with no musical stimuli. The number of words recalled for the music group was 11.5 in comparison to 8.2 by the control group. Participants from the music group recalled 3.3 out of the 15 words provided more than the control group. This experiment supports St Clair's theory as the results showed that the presence of background music had a positive effect on recall as well as Thompson & Tulving's encoding specificity principle of memory. The auditory stimulus of the song was present at both memorization and recall. ...read more.


* How will your privacy be protected? Own results will be kept anonymous and stored in a locked locker as well as in digital format on password-protected computers. * How will all the information be kept secure? Own results will be kept anonymous and stored in a locked locker as well as in digital format on password-protected computers. * How to access emergency medical treatment should an injury occur: First aid care will be provided by the school office if required. * Statement that the subject's participation is voluntary and that they may withdraw at anytime without prejudice: Subjects' participation is voluntary and that they may withdraw at anytime if they so wish without prejudiced. * Statement that advises what would happen to data already collected should they withdraw after commencing the project: Results from withdrawn participants will be destroyed and all evidence of their withdrawal shall also be destroyed. * Contact details for further questions about participation in the project: If you wish to ask further questions as to your participation in the experiment please contact Kayla or Jaydon. * How you will be given feed back after the project is completed: Participants are able to email the experimenters if they wish to view the results from the entire experiment. This study has been approved by Queensland Academy for Health Sciences and adheres to the Academy's Guidelines of the ethical conduct of experiments using human participants. You are free to discuss your participation in this study with the student's supervisor, Ms Hammerton . Appendix iv: Raw data Group Control Music Number of words recalled 7 12 9 14 8 9 8 15 6 12 11 10 9 9 8 11 7 12 9 11 1 ...read more.

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