Effect of Mnemonic Technique on Serial Recall

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  • Topic: Mnemonic, Memory, Method of loci
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  • Published : May 17, 2013
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Effect of Mnemonic technique on serial recall
Marrium Siddiqui
University of Karachi
The aim of the present study was to observe the effectiveness of mnemonic technique on serial recall. Pegword rhyme is the independent variable and number of correct response is the dependent variable. The Hypotheses were that the serial recall will be better in the group using pegword technique than in the group who do not. There will also be a significant difference in List A and B in terms of number of correct responses and the reaction time. 104 undergraduate have been conveniently taken from different departments of University of Karachi. Independent participants have been taken for four different conditions, in which two were experimental and two controls. In experimental condition two different lists were provided and asked for serial recall by using pegword method. By using mean we found out that average correct response were higher for experimental group than control, and there was not any significant difference between responses of list A and B. Hence it has been concluded that pegword method has positive effect on serial recall and the type of words do not have any effect on response. Keywords: Mnemonic technique, pegword, serial recall

Memory is the term given to the structures and processes involved in the storage and subsequent retrieval of information (McLeod, 2007). It is broken down into two types: short term and long term. Short-term memory is that brief period of time where you can recall information you were just exposed to. Long-term memory encompasses memories that range from a few days to decades. In order for successful learning to take place, information has to move from the sensory or the short-term memory to the long-term memory. Long-term memory is, obviously enough, intended for storage of information over a long period of time. Despite our everyday impressions of forgetting, it seems likely that long-term memory actually decays very little over time, and can store a seemingly unlimited amount of information almost indefinitely. Indeed, there is some debate as to whether we actually ever “forget” anything at all, or whether it just becomes increasingly difficult to access or retrieve certain items from memory (Mastin, 2010). Bahrick et al (1975) investigated what they called very long term memory (VLTM). Nearly 400 participants aged 17 – 74 were tested. There were various tests including: A free recall test, where participants tried to remember names of people in a graduate class, a photo recognition test, consisting of 50 pictures, a name recognition test for ex-school friends. Participants who were tested within 15 years of graduation were about 90% accurate in identifying names and faces. After 48 years they were accurate 80% for verbal and 70% visual. Free recall was worse. After 15 years it was 60% and after 48 years it was 30% accurate. Long-term memory can be improved by using Mnemonic Techniques. Mnemonics, or mnemonic devices, are encoding strategies used to organize and/or chunk to-be-learned material, in order to make it more meaningful and easier to remember. Though mnemonics may be perceived as “shallow” learning techniques, they can provide effective scaffolding for more complex knowledge by allowing the acquisition of basic terms and definitions (Bellezza, 1996)

Self-generated (and often, as a natural consequence, self-referential) mnemonics may have an advantage over instructor-provided mnemonics (e.g., Bloom & Lamkin, 2006, for acrostics; McCabe, 2011, for keywords), though possibly less so when the material is particularly difficult to learn and accurate mnemonics are challenging to create (Bellezza, 1996). Types of mnemonics include first-letter mnemonics (e.g., acronyms, acrostics), keyword mnemonics, pegword and method of loci mnemonics.Among the first-letter mnemonics, the two most common are acronyms and acrostics. Acronyms are created by combining the first letters of...
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