To retain recall, which is more beneficial, rote rehearsal or imagery?

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To retain

recall which 

IS MORE beneficial rote rehearsal








                                                                                Pg  No.

ABSTRACT                                                                1

INTRODUCTION                                                                2 – 4



                DESIGN                                                        5

                PARTICIPANTS                                                5

                MATERIALS                                                         5 – 6

                TASK & RESEARCH                                        7


BAR CHART- GRAPH                                        9                        SUMMARY OF RESULTS &                                9

VERBAL RESULTS                                                9                

DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION                                        10 –11


APPENDIX 1            STANDARDIZED INSTRUCTIONS                        12

APPENDIX 2      LIST OF 20 NOUN SYLLABUS WORDS                 13






REFERENCES:                                                                        22



This investigation is similar to Bowers (1972) study where he investigated the two conditions of Rote rehearsal and Imagery.

An independent groups design was selected to represent in my experiment because there was a restriction in the amount of time available.  An opportunity sampling which consisted of a single blind technique was used.  Thirty members within the residential area of Helston were chosen to take part in this procedure.  This incorporated them taking part within a memory maintenance and elaborative rehearsal test.  Fifteen residents represented the control group and fifteen represented the experimental group.

The results of this research reflected in the standardized deviation (SD) =3.20 and a mean value =13.07 (imagery). The results for the SD =2.47 and a mean value =11.13 (rote).  These results support my alternative Hypothesis as there is a significant difference between the two conditions.  As the imagery group recalled a larger amount of words compared to the  rote rehearsal group.



Memory has been described in many different ways, but we could describe it as a mental function by which we are able to retain and retrieve information about events that have happened in the past, or present. (Cardwell, 1996, p153).

Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) suggested that memory is made up of a series of stores.  One is the sensory information store (SIS); the next one is the short-term memory (STM) and the long-term memory (LTM). The stores differ in their encoding, storage and retrieval characteristics. (See Fig 1.)  The SIS incoming information is registered by the senses and held in the system until the image fades.  This information is held as a sensation in a sensory system e.g. visual system.   The capacity of SIS is between five and nine items.  The duration of SIS lasts about one quarter of a second.  Forgetting is due to sensation within the sensory system rapidly fading away.  The STM is selected for further processing of information from the SIS.  It is thought that STM holds information in the forms of images, sounds or meanings e.g. information may be stored in terms of its appearance.  How it sounds or what it means.  The STM can store seven (+ or – two) bits of information, and these items are referred to as chunks.  Items in the STM last up to thirty seconds. Also information is kept alive by rehearsing it.  Two of the key studies in short-term memory is that of Peterson& Peterson (1959) their experiment consisted of giving participants three-consonant trigram etc.  Miller (1956) used a memory span procedure to test how many items participants could hold in STM. He concluded that the average number was seven items. Hence the phrase Millers magical number seven give or take two.  The LTM holds information, which has been rehearsed enough to be transferred. This information within LTM has been encoded in many forms e.g. knowledge, facts, beliefs, pictures, skills, language and many others.  LTM seems to have an unlimited capacity, which is endless. It also seems to have an infinite lifespan. Craik & Lockhart (1972) disagreed with this theory that the multi-store model having separate stores. Instead they suggested memory was what we do with the information when it comes in (being processed). (Longmans, 1996, p 155-156).

Fig 1

 Atkinson and Shiffrin’s

Multistore Model of Memory

       Lasts 1-4 seconds                        Lasts up to 30 seconds        could last indefinitely        

       Capacity 5-9 items                Capacity 7+/-2 items                Very large capacity

       Information lost as                Information lost through        Information lost for

       Sensory image fades                interference or decay                many different

                                                                                Reasons, e.g. trace

                                                                                Fades or lack of cues.                                                            

Craik & Lockhart (1972) developed the levels of processing approach, which consisted of a, structural/shallow (what it looks like?) b, phonetic level (what it sounds like?) c, semantic level (what it means?). They discovered that semantic approach was the most important feature out of all the processes. Then later Craik & Watkins (1973) went on to discover the importance of maintenance vs. elaborative. They asked participants to remember a certain number of critical words. This research concluded that either how long a word had spent in STM, or the number of explicit or implicit to the rehearsals it received. Based on these findings Craik& Watkins distinguished between maintenance rehearsals, which material is rehearsed in the form in which it was presented (rote) and b, elaborative rehearsal or elaboration of encoding, which elaborates the material in some way to link it with pre-existing knowledge stored in LTM. (Gross, 2001, p 249-250).

Mnemonics is a form of organizing. This consists of a different form of coding, and the exceptional abilities of the mnemonist.  Chase & Ericsson (1982) conducted a study where the subject started with a normal memory span of seven digits. Which resulted after a considerable amount of training (300 hrs). The subject eventually achieved a span of eighty-two. Managing to recall back a list of eighty-two numbers in the correct order. (Roth, 1990, p 616).  The case study that supports elaboration is that of Bower (1972) his research showed that by asking participants to form a mental image of pairs of unrelated nouns e.g. Dog and Bicycle. He said that if the two words were interacting in some way, then this would result in a significantly better recall, when they were merely constructed to memorize the words.  Bower considers the more bizarre the details remembered, the better the example of recall will be.  (Gross, 2001,p257).

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The research that was decided is similar to that of Bowers study (1972) to see whether imagery (elaborative) or maintenance (Rote rehearsal) is most likely to aid recall.  In the Null Hypothesis there will be no significant difference between the twenty numbers of noun words recalled between group A (control) or group B (experimental) and any difference that was found will be due to chance alone.  But, in the Alternative Hypothesis, which is a one tailed hypothesis. There will be a significant difference between the recall of the twenty noun words recalled by group B as during their rehearsal ...

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Summary The writer has answered the original question. They have briefly introduced the subject of memory including two models, and have then gone on to discuss the idea of maintenance and elaborate rehearsal. Some of the grammar could be improved in places but overall it is fairly easy to read and understand. The writing shows that the writer has carried out quite a lot of work and if they take on board the comments made, it would be possible to improve this score. Score 4*