The Effects of Memory Improvement by Saying Words Aloud

Topics: Memory, Memory processes, Reading Pages: 7 (2376 words) Published: December 1, 2010

This experiment proposes to study the effects of memory improvement by reciting and saying the words out loud to oneself. Participants will be assigned to either two different types of conditions and will then be required to recall the information of words as best as they can. It is assumed that a higher level of generating the targeted words into memory is improved when readers say the words out loud to themselves. Thus, the hypothesis concluded is that people who say words out loud after reading them are expected to improve their memory in retaining information.

The Effects of Memory Improvement by Saying Words Aloud
Whenever a person thinks, sees or hear words that are needed later on for remembrance, most of us would automatically try to retain the information by methods of imagery, recitation and elaboration to bring it more meaning in their understanding of the definition of those words. Words and languages are interrelatedly connected and associated with memory. Historically, memory is a complex system which began in primitive organisms that stores an assorted array of fragments that grows more indispensable as we advance through the years. In terms of retaining memory, humans have extraordinary abilities to accumulate a huge amount of knowledge, but they do not always be able to retrieve or gain access to the parts that have since long been forgotten. Since words serve as a medium to communicate and interact with other people, it is a natural part of daily life that people will say certain words out loud in order to effectively convey particular messages or to recall specific information. According to Macleod et al. (2010), saying a word out loud or at least mouthing it, improves memory function by increasing its distinctiveness, i.e. making it unusual compared to others. The fact that producing a word aloud, which is relative to simply reading a word silently, improves explicit memory (Hourihan & MacLeod, 2010).

The past studies done on the effects of mouthing or vocalizing words to an extent of memory recall often yield consistently similar results in which those who have recited the information out loud were being reinforced to maintain that information for a longer term. Physically moving or acting out the words by means of vocalization would involve certain electrical muscle movement so that information sent to the brain are known to increase mental response, thus it has its relativity on the ‘generation effect’. This generation effect refers to an enhanced memory encoding by which a participant has better memory improvement by being involved in its creation or by acting it out. By vocalizing “out loud”, recitation in past research by Foley et al. (1983) as cited in Dodson & Schacter (2001) had participants to hear and say words out loud. Reciting words out loud would naturally be one of the most effective method for review because it employs more of the senses than any other review technique (imagery, auditory). For instance, in Schacter et al.’s (1999) study, when students were reviewing notes or tests immediately after class by means of vocal recitation, they yielded higher scores in memory improvement because not only will they be consolidating the new information, but also it strengthens the neural traces made to the brain. It ‘provides a basis for employing a distinctiveness heuristic during the test.’(Dodson & Schacter, 2001). Reciting words out loud to understand the message conveyed by a sentence or paragraph would only then have a higher chance of that information moving on into the long-term memory, as most verbal information goes first in the short-term memory. When information is rehearsed aloud, part of it goes into our long-term memory.

The most recent research done by Hourihan & MacLeod (2010) found that reading words aloud during study explicitly improves memory compared to reading a word silently and...
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