Psychology:Research Methods “Familiar one syllable words will be recalledmore successfully than trigrams” Introduction Memory is the storage of informationfrom our past and current experiences and retrieval of that information in the present time.
Memoryis an important aspect of human cognition. We could not learn new tasks,languages, or plan things to do in the future or even remember what we did theday before. Essentially without memory we would struggle to learn anything new.Memory processes all the different stimulus in our surrounding environment,most notably images, sounds and the meanings of things (Cited in human-memory.
net/intro_what.html). There are three stages of memory inpsychology and the first stage is Encoding.
When information is first collectedfrom a stimulus it can be overwhelming for our system. Therefore, when theinformation first enters our memory system (via sensory input) our brain needsto decode this information into something more palatable for our memory system.There are three ways information can be encoded;§ Visual(Image)§ Acoustic(Sound)§ Sematic(Meaning)Revising for an exam as an example.Would you remember what your read in a text book by “seeing” it in your mind orby repeating it aloud? By repeating aloud, it is acoustic as you are recallingvia sound. By visualising it, it is visual as you are remembering it as animage.
Second phase is memory storage; where the memory is stored and its duration ofbeing stored. For short term memory most adults can store between 5 and 9items. Miller (1956) (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486516/ )suggested the idea of the magic number seven, which he thought that thecapacity of short-term memory was 7 (plus or subtract 2) items as it only had aset number of slots where items could be stored.
However, Miller did not say how much could be stored in these slots. Long Term Memory on the other hand is suggested to be unlimited in itscapacity.Memory Retrieval is the third phase and refers to retrieving information fromstorage. Long Term Memory is retrieved and stored by association, whereas Short TermMemory is retrieved sequentially. If a person organises the information, it canmake retrieval a lot easier. Previous ResearchThe aim of Peterson & Peterson(1959) research was to investigate the duration of short term memory and toprovide evidence for the multi-store model (Atkinson & Shiffrin 1968 citedin explorable.com/atkinson-shiffrin-model)The multi-store model is the idea thatthe human memory has three separate components.
The first area is the sensoryregister, the second is short-term store and the third is the long-term store.The sensory register is where the brain reacts to environmental stimulus andthe information briefly enters the memory while the brain works out what to dowith the information. Atkinson & Shiffrin argue that the role of thesensory register is to act like a buffer, preventing humans from beingoverwhelmed by all the information from the environment around them. Theinformation from the environment is either lost after a short amount of time totrace decay, or in the case of attention is be given to the information, onlythen will it be sent to the short-term store. In the short-term store a memorycan be held between 18 and 20 seconds in duration when it is not beingrehearsed or actively trying to be remembered. When it is rehearsed it can betransferred to the long-term store where the memory can become a lot morepermanent. In long-term store the memory is pretty much kept until needed,where then it is transferred back to short-term store where it can be manipulatedto suit the current task at hand.Peterson and Peterson (psychologistworld.
com/memory/peterson-decay) wantedto provide evidence for the multi-store model by investigating in to short-termmemory and its duration. They did this by using a lab experiment and hadparticipants recall trigrams, which are nonsense three-consonant syllables suchTHC or CBD. The participants consisted of 24 psychology students. To preventthe participants from rehearsing their trigrams, Peterson and Peterson askedtheir participants to count backwards in threes or fours from a stated randomnumber until the participant saw a red light appear. This technique is nowknown as the “Brown Peterson Technique”. After intervals of 3,6,9,12 or 18 seconds, the participants were thenasked to recall their trigrams. From this research, Peterson and Peterson foundthat the less trigrams were recalled when the interval delay was longer. Afterthe 3 second delay, on average participants were able to recall with 80%accuracy, whereas only 10% of trigrams were accurately recalled after an 18second interval.
This showed that if short-term memory was prevented fromrehearsal that it will have a limited duration.AimThe aim is to test the duration ofshort term memory and its duration with familiar one syllable words andtrigrams. The hypothesis is; “Familiarone syllable words will be recalled more successfully than trigrams”,making it a one tailed hypothesis due to it favouring one outcome over another.
As a null hypothesis; “There will be no difference between theaccuracy of recall by either group”.The experiment is justified due to being based on previous research conductedby Peterson and Peterson (1959). Their research had found the longer theduration of interruption, the less accurate participants were at recallingtrigrams. After a delay of 3 seconds 80% of participants recalled correctly incomparison to those after an 18 second delay with only 10% accuracy of recall.Due to the interruption, rehearsal was not possible and showed Short TermMemory had a limited duration. The original study had low ecological validityas humans do not have to recall trigrams.
By adding familiar words will makethe study more ecologically valid.MethodDesignItwill be a laboratory experiment as it shows cause and effect. Independent Measures will be used as it will prevent order effect, preventingboredom or fatigue from affecting participants performance/behaviour. It alsoprevents participants from preparing for a second time which would be an issueif the design was repeated measures.Independent Variable are words or trigrams that are used.Dependant Variable are the participants memory/ability to recall.It will be operationalised by the percentage of correctly recalled informationand the duration of interruption (3 – 18 to count back from).
To control extraneous variables, the room temperature and time of day will besame for all participants.ParticipantsTheparticipants will be university students aged between 18 and 25 years old,mixed gender and ethnicity. 240 participants, 120 each group.
Thesampling method will be self-selecting because it is convenient and givesinformed consent. MaterialsThestudy will take place in 4 rooms, 2 waiting rooms (1 for each group) and 2testing rooms (1 for each group). 2 stop watches will be needed (1 for eachtest room), 2 tables and 4 chairs (again 1 table for each room, a chair forboth participant and researcher). Trigrams will also be needed by theresearcher and single syllable words by the other researcher.(See Appendix-1) ProcedureGroupA and B will be taken to separate waiting rooms. Testing will begin 1pm onwardsfor both groups.
Participants will be tested individually in a separate room.Once seated, the participant will be given either a Trigram (Group A) or Word(Group B) to remember such as BRL or SOAP. Participant will be asked to countback from a random number in either 3’s or 4’s from a random number to preventthem from rehearsing their word or trigram. The duration of counting will varyfrom 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 seconds, with 24 participants for each duration foreach group. After they have counted back they will be asked to recall theirtrigram or word. Once completed participant will be asked to leave so not tocommunicate with other participants.(See Appendix-2)EthicalIssuesParticipants can withdraw from study for any reason at any time and resultsremoved.Participants can stop at any point if they do not wish to continue.
No personalinformation will be retained or published other than sex and age. A consentform (See Appendix-3) will be required to be signed before the participant maytake part. Reliability & ValidityTheexperiment shows validity as it will be measuring short-term memory, and whatinformation short term memory is more likely to retain (relatable words orrandom trigrams).It has many participants who will be doing either task A or task B. Theexperiment will take place at the same time, same day, in separate rooms makingthe results reliable as nothing has changed other than what is to beremembered. It will be reliable as participants will not be able to communicatewith others what the test will be about as they must leave after theexperiment.
The study was piloted to ensure that it would run smoothly.Handling ResultsPredictionthat familiar words will be recalled more accurately than trigrams.Researchers will record on a spreadsheet. The findings will be presented as awritten report.