The Effect of Color on the Ability of Recall

Topics: Color, Memory, Computer graphics Pages: 13 (4718 words) Published: December 12, 2012
The Effect of Color on the Ability to Recall and Recreate a Series of Images from Short Term Memory (STM) Problem Statement
The purpose of this experiment is to test the role color plays in one’s ability to recall and reproduce a series of objects. Specifically, if presented with images in high contrasting color, does a person have a greater ability to recall and recreate those images from STM compared to images presented in black and white? Relevance of the Question

The information gained from this experiment can help students and teachers increase their learning and teaching effectiveness. This research has the potential to influence professionals in sales and marketing when bringing new products to market and increasing the “brand ability” of their products. Literature Review

In searching for similar studies involving color and the impact on STM retention, the following examples were identified: The Effect of Color on Memory Retention of Items of a List (Mary L. 1999-2000). This study involved two groups. Group A was comprised of Boys; Group B was comprised of Girls. Both groups were in the same age and social group; 12-13 years of age, 6th grade students. The instruments used in this study were two lists. List #1 was composed of 20 words, half black, half color. List #2 was comprised of 40 words, all black. Half the words in List #2 came directly from List #1, while the remaining 20 words were previously un-seen “distracter” words. List #2 included check boxes in front of each word. The instructions to the participants; check off 20 words they had seen from List #1. The results from the study indicated that the Girls scored higher on words presented in color – averaging 7.5 words, compared to an average of 6.5 for black words. The boys also scored higher on colored words averaging 8.0, and 6.5 for black words. Overall, between the two groups the average number of words that were printed in color was 7.8. The average number of black printed words was 6.5. The researcher’s hypothesis “is that colored words will be remembered better than those in black and white” appears to be validated by the results observed. The researcher also concluded, “That boys remembered more words than girls did, regardless of color.” ( Do People Remember Color or Black and White Better? (Meenaskshi T. Mukherjee 2003). This study was done on three groups of participants. Group A consisted of 8-9 year olds. Group B consisted of 11-12 year olds. Group C consisted of adults 18 and older. The instruments used in this study were a series of flash cards, half in color and half in black and white. Within this study, it was seen that Group B, the 11-12 year olds showed the highest percent of memory recall of the three groups studied, with an overall average of 8.4 answers correct and 0.6 incorrect answers for color. Groups A and C had the same averages for memory retention for both color and black and white. It was also noted that as the age of the groups increased, so did the overall performance. Group B’s performance was better than Group A’s. Group C’s performance was better than both Group A and Group B. The researcher concluded that their “hypotheses was half-correct and half-wrong.” They had anticipated that the older participants were in the various groups, the greater the memory recall would be. “To my surprise the 2nd - 3rd graders remembered color and black and white the same and so did the adults.” ( Experimental Design

Constants to the Study
·Ratio of Male to Female participants (10 Male, 10 Female) ·Area to take the test (private room)
·Noise level (quiet)
·Location setting (1 table, 2 chairs)
·Number of shapes in the test set (10, 5 Black and White, 5 Color; Black and Red) ·Background of testing instruments (white)
·Maximum time to view and record each image on flash card (3 minutes...
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