Schemas: Experiment and Title Type

Topics: Experiment, Memory, Fitchburg State College Pages: 9 (3137 words) Published: March 24, 2005

In this experiment we replicated a study done by Bransford and Johnson (1972). They conducted research on memory using schemas. All human beings possess categorical rules or scripts that they use to interpret the world. New information is processed according to how it fits into these rules, called schemas. Bransford and Johnson did research on memory for text passages that had been well comprehended or poorly comprehended. Their major finding was that memory was superior for passages that were made easy to comprehend. For our experiment we used two different groups of students. We gave them different titles and read them a passage with the intentions of finding out how many ideas they were able to recall. Since our first experiment found no significant difference, we conducted a second experiment except this time we gave the title either before or after the passage was read. We found no significant difference between the title types, but we did find a significant difference between before and after. We also found a significant title type x presentation interaction. We then performed a third experiment involving showing objects before and after the passage was read. There we did encountersome significant findings. The importance and lack of findings is discussed and we also discuss suggestions for future studies, and how to improve our results.

Invoking schemas as an aid in recall: A replication of Bransford and Johnson (1972)

Experiment 1 represents a replication of an experiment done by Bransford & Johnson in 1972. During their experiment they invoked a schema which is an organizational or conceptual pattern in the mind. They gave their participants different titles, some received a specific title and some received a non-specific title, some participants were given the title before the passage was read and some after the passage was read. After determining who got which title they read them a passage looking to see how many different ideas from the passage they could recall. They came to the conclusion that those who were given specific titles and that had them given to them prior to the passage was read were able to recall more then those that received a non-specific title or those that were given the title after the passage was read. The results do show that schemas do help with recall depending on how they are used and when. For our first replication of the experiment we decided to use one of their techniques of experimenting, which involved giving a specific title and a non-specific title. We expect to come up with the same results as Bransford and Johnson, that those given the specific title will show a greater number of words recalled over those who are given a non-specific title. Another model is the Atkinson-Shiffrin Model of human memory which attempts to include all aspects of memory. This multi-store model of memory was proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin in 1968. It is a structural model that suggests there are three distinct storage systems; Sensory Store, Short-Term Memory (STM), and Long-Term Memory (LTM). Information moves through these systems under the control of various cognitive processes such as attention and rehearsal. For our second experiment we decided to replicate experiment 1 again except this time we extended it by adding a second independent variable. Instead of just giving the students two different title types we also made it so that some participants received the title before the passage was read and others received the title after the passage was read. By doing this we hope to come up with the same results as Bransford and Johnson (1972). Experiment 1

The participants in this study consisted of twenty undergraduate students enrolled in two classes of introductory psychology at Fitchburg State College in Fitchburg MA. All the students were first semester freshman and their professor informed us that no relevant content or material...

References: Atkinson, R. C., & Shiffrin, R. M. (1968). Human memory: A proposed
system and its control processes. In K. Spence and J. Spence (Eds.), The psychology of learning and motivation,(Vol. 2, pp. 89-195) . New York: Academic Press.
Bransford, J.D. & Johnson, M.K. (1972). Contextual prerequisites for understanding: Some investigations of comprehension and recall. Journal of verbal learning and verbal behavior, 11, 717-726.
Marshall, Sandra P. (1995). Schemas in Problem Solving; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. 424.
Ormrod, Ellis Jeanne (2004). Human Learning 4th edition. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Robert, Tomi-Anne (2004). Psychology of Women 2nd edition. Maryland: Lanahan Publishers, Inc.
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