Similar numbers of errors of recall from the stimulus list was made for homonym and synonym probes. This suggests that the semantic encoding (meaning) as well as acoustic encoding occurs in the short term memory.
Both Conrad and Shulman's research were laboratory experiments. They therefore lack ecological validity due to controlled artificial environments. Participants were undergraduate students and therefore unrepresentative of the general population. They may have exhibited demand characteristics and experimenter bias may have occurred as the experiment did not employ blind conditions. The results may also have been influenced by individual differences or participant variables. The research has good reliability.
The aim of this study is to find out whether images are recalled better than words.
The experimental hypothesis of this study is that images are recalled better than words. I will be using the level of significance p=0.05. a repeated measures design will be used
Plain sheets of paper
interactive white board
In order to test my hypothesis, i will conduct a lab experiment using 15 participants aged between 16-19. participants would be randomly selected from sixth form. those that volunteer to help would be given a consent form and would be told what exactly they would do but the purpose would not be told however some of the participants are psychology students and have some idea of what the experiment is about.
I am conducting a lab experiment because they are the only means by which cause and effect can be established. Because it involves the deliberate manipulation of one variable, while trying to keep all other variables constant. Sometimes the independent variable (IV) is thought of as the cause and the dependent variable (DV) as the effect. It also allows for precise control of variables. The purpose of control is to enable the experimenter to isolate the one key variable which has been selected (the IV), in order to observe its effect on some other variable (the DV); control is intended to allow us to conclude that it is the IV, and nothing else, which is influencing the DV.
Experiments can be replicated. We cannot generalise from the results of a single experiment. The more often an experiment is repeated, with the same results obtained, the more confident we can be that the theory being tested is valid. The experimental method consists of standardised procedures and measures which allow it to be easily repeated. therefore this would be the best method to use for my research. however there disadvantages of conducting lab experiments. firstly The experiment is not typical of real life situations. Most experiments are conducted in laboratories - strange and contrived environments in which people are asked to perform unusual or even bizarre tasks. The artificiality of the lab, together with the 'unnatural' things that the subjects may be asked to do, jointly produces a distortion of behaviour. Therefore it should be difficult to generalise findings from experiments because they are not ecologically valid. Also Behaviour in the laboratory is very narrow in its range. By controlling the situation so precisely, behaviour may be very limited. A major difficulty with the experimental method is demand characteristics. Some of the many confounding variables in a psychology experiment stem from the fact that a psychology experiment is a social situation in which neither the Subjects or the Experimenters are passive, inanimate objects but are active, thinking human beings. Imagine you’ve been asked to take part in a psychology experiment. Even if you didn’t study psychology, you would be trying to work out what the experimenter expected to find out. Experimenters too have expectations about what their results are likely to be. Demand characteristics are all the cues which convey to the participant the purpose of the experiment. using undergraduate students would therefore be unrepresentative of the general population. The results may also be influenced by individual differences or participant variables. It is impossible to completely control the mental world of people taking part in a study. I think this is the suitable method or me to use however there are a few drawbacks.
First all participants were seated in a lab room.
They all sat on similar stools and spread themselves around the room so they weren’t sitting next to each other.
In front of them was an interactive white board. Everyone was placed in the same distance from the white board so that they could see it clearly. A laptop was connected to the interactive board showing the PowerPoint presentation which, was set up before hand.
the presentation was split into two parts. A PowerPoint presentation was used as it could help us control the time gap between the next slide accurately.
They were shown a slide show which included 10 different slides with one image per slide. The participants had 15 seconds to see the slide before the slide changed and the next was shown.
at the end of the first presentation they were given a paper and pencil to write down in any order the images or words they could recall.
They had only one minute to recall the images and write them down on the paper.
The were then asked to put down their pens this was done to give everyone the same amount of time to write down what they recalled
The paper was then collected and a new sheet of plain paper was given
They then watched the next presentation which showed words
They were then given one minute again to recall the words and write them down on paper
Last of all, the paper was collected and the participants were asked to leave.
The independent variable being tested was to see whether the images or words were recalled best by the participants.
Percentage of the recall of words and images
below are the results to the experiment conducted using 15 participants. It shows the percentage of recall of images and words. these results show that most participants had high recall of images than words.
wilcoxon matched pairs signed ranks test
To test my data I am going to use the wilcoxons matched pairs ranks test.
Number of participants who scored different. n = 11
Sum of positive ranks = 2.5 + 2.5 + 7.5 = 12.5
Sum of negative ranks = 10 + 2.5 + 6 + 7.5 + 2.5 + 6 + 2.5 + 2.5 = 39.5
Sum of positive ranks = 13.5
Sum of negative ranks = 33.5
The results of this study supported the hypothesis in that images are recalled well than words. Fewer participants recalled words whereas recall of images was higher.
Jacob (1887) suggested that short-term memory has a limited capacity of about 5 to 9 items this might be why participants could remember the images or words shown.
Baddeley (1966) suggested that visual, acoustic and semantic all are ways of encoding things in your memory. This could suggest that participants in the study might have related the visual information with a meaning in order to recall the better. Pictures access semantic meaning more quickly and completely than words.
Most of the participants were female this might have lead to biased results. If this experiment was to be done again than half of the participants should be female and the other half male. Scientifically women recall emotional events far better than men. Perhaps during the experiment participants might have related some of the images to emotional events in their life. According to the common code theory pictures and words both require analogous processing before accessing semantic information. It suggests that pictures require less time than words for accessing the common conceptual system.
Overall the experiment suggests that images are recalled well than words.
Psychology for A2 by M. W. Eysenck
Heyer and Barrett (1974)