Memory Span and Word Complexity

Topics: Memory, The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two, Word Pages: 4 (1285 words) Published: January 9, 2011
Memory Span and Word Complexity

The problem being investigated is word complexity on memory span. The design used for the experiment is within, due to information to be recognised within one group. For the experiment to take place fourteen undergraduate participants had volunteered. The participants were based in one room using a computer and the software package called PowerPoint. The participants were shown a list of twenty chronological words, ten of simple words and ten of compound words each list contained seven words. Data was collected from 20 students, The hypothesis of the experiment was rejected by on the basis of the T-test, because it showed no significance in the results hence this suggested that there was no relationship between memory recall and word complexity as t (13) = 0.588, p > 0.05. However, the graph (appendix 5) supported the hypothesis as it showed that simple words were easier to recall than compound words. The main conclusion of the nature of this research is that different type of words affects the span of short term-memory, as there is no null hypothesis as there is no difference.


Memory has the ability to retain information or to recover information from previous experiences. The shortest memory storage last for only a fraction of a second. Such sensory memories are considered as an integral part of the process of perceiving. Both vision and hearing then appear to have a later but temporary storage stage which might perhaps be termed short- term auditory and visual memory (Baddeley, 2002). This experiment was based on measuring memory span of simple and compound words. The Word length effect has a great impact on recall. According to Baddeley (1971), immediate recall for short words was better than that of long words. However it can be suggested that participants recalled simple words quicker than compound words. According to Baddeley (1971), Verbal memory decay over time and fewer long words can be...

References: Baddeley, A. (2002). The human memory. Theory and Practice, (p. 3). East Sussex: Psychology Press.
Baddeley and Hitch (1974). Working memory and language. In G.A Bower(Ed), The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 8, pp.47-90). New York:Acadamic Press
The British Psychological Society. (2006). Codes of Ethics and Conduct. Leicester. BPS.
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