Reseach Investigation: Paivio Memory

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Research Investigation
Images aiding memory

The experiment preformed is based on the dual coding approach of Paivio (1969) the aim of the experiment/study was to determine whether participants were more efficient at memory recall when given a group of proper nouns, or when they were given proper nouns with associated images as Paivio believed that these were strongly related. For the experiment a one tailed hypothesis was used, this one tailed hypothesis stated that participants would find it easier to recall proper nouns that were shown with a picture as opposed to being shown proper nouns without the picture. The I.V used in the experiment was whether the participants in each condition were shown proper nouns accompanied by images or shown only the proper noun, this was monitored in order to study the effect upon the D.V which was participant memory recall. Using the independent groups method the participants were broken up into two separate conditions; condition one was only shown the proper nouns whereas condition 2 were shown the exact same proper noun accompanied by an image that represented it e.g. if the word was tree then a picture of a tree accompanied the proper noun on the same slide. In order to properly carry out the experiment properly a null hypothesis had to be used; the null hypothesis stated that there would be no difference in memory recall when participants shown proper nouns with or without images any fluctuations are due to chance. The experimental method used was the laboratory method. This was the most appropriate method to use because it was easy to replicate in both conditions. It also ensured that the environment was under the complete control of the researchers. In order to ensure that there was no chance of the participant recalling the words from a different condition, the independent group’s research design was used. Within the sample there were a total of 42 students. 16 college students and 14 school students in condition 1 and in condition 2 there were 22 college students. From the statistical results gathered it was found that the experimental hypothesis was incorrect; when the scores from both conditions were averaged it was found that words that weren’t accompanied with images had a higher average recall (10.7) than words accompanied with images (10.1). In conclusion this shows that whether images are present or not does not actually affect memory recall. This can be explained via Baddeleys working memory model. Because a representational image is already stored in the visio-spatial scratch pad there is no need for an external image.

Memory is studied under the area of cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology is the area of psychology that studies the mental approach of the individual; this includes how individual acquire, store and retrieve knowledge and information and how the use it in relation to the outer world. There are a wide range of topics studied in the area of cognitive psychology e.g. perception and decision making. The memory process is broken into three areas; registration (encoding,) storage and retrieval. Each of these interrelated sections within memory is important within the process. Registration or encoding is the first step in the memory process it refers to the input of sensory information (sound/acoustic or visual) into a form that the brain is able to use and process and therefore “store” efficiently. The brain is only able to recognise information that has been encoded properly. Memory encoding has different types of coding; it can code visually through pictures and images remembered, acoustically through sounds heard and semantically which encodes by denoting a meaning towards an object e.g. remembering a pen by thinking of using it within an exam. Storage is the second step of the memory process. This process is the part of the brain that information goes to after it has been encoded, it is stored here in its’ coded form...
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