As you can see in Figure 1.2 the results had a range from 2-7 in the amount of trigrams remembered, making the range: 5, and the mean result from the first set of experiments was: 4.87 Trigrams remembered. Whereas in the second experiment, where the results can be seen in Figure 1.3, it clearly show a big difference in both the range and the mean, the range being: 2 and the mean being: 2.07 . These results support my hypothesis in proving that the results are significantly changed when an interference task is introduced during the rehearsal time.
Figures 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7 are bar charts which show the results in graphic form and make it easier to see a difference in the two variations of the experiment. Figure 1.7 shows the results especially well as even though the results are from different participants, when seen side by side you can see that they are similar in the way that there are a lot of consistent results ie. 6 remembered trigrams in the first set of participants test, and 2 remembered trigrams for the second set of participants test, however there are a couple of results which stand out above or below the rest, and I will look at these in more detail in my conclusion.
In conclusion to this experiment, I found that the results did support the theory of the rehearsal loop, its existence and its ability to help people remembered more when it is not interfered with by another task. I therefore agree with my original hypothesis, however some results did show another sort of pattern which links into another area of the multi-store model theory, and also the levels of processing theory and we can see these patterns in Figure 1.4.
In this table we can see that there are a few different trigrams which stood out from the rest as the most remembered, especially in the non-interference column, those being XTL, GZR, NHT, and RST. Now this could purely be chance, however there are other explanations offered in the theories I mentioned, for example the trigrams might have an un-intentional semantic meaning, for example with NHT, a participant may have remembered it better because it reminds them of the word NIGHT, or GZR may have been better remembered by males in the test because it’s also a type of motorbike and this may have caused strong imagery in the participants helping them to remember it better.
Another possible theory is primary recency effect, part of the multistore model. This theory says that words in a list are better remembered from the start and the end of a list, as the first word is supposedly the most rehearsed, and the last word, is the most recently seen, or heard. This research does also support that theory as XTL was one of the most remembered trigrams, as was RST, which were the first and last trigrams in the list, however as the list was not read out acoustically this could be down to chance, as it would rely on the participant reading the list from start to finish. These two trigrams may have simply stood out from the rest because there were no trigrams above XTL, and none below RST. I am extremely content with the finding from this project, as it was very interesting to prove that un-interrupted rehearsal time really can affect the amount of retained information in the LTM, and will definitely help me personally in revision tasks and exercises in the future.
If this test were to be repeated and I had to make any recommendations from what I have learnt, I would suggest to the experimenter that a quite private room was found in order to keep the full attention of the participants. In my experience I found that during one or two of the tests the participants may have been slightly distracted by other students in the library, which could have affected the results in a negative way. This may in turn affect the ecological validity of the test in a negative way, however it is also supposed to be a type of mini exam, and therefore applying exam like conditions could be seen to increase the ecological validity.
Another suggestion would be to increase both the study time that the participant has initially and also the rehearsal time for both sets of tests, to distinguish whether that also has more of an affect, either more positively for the non-interference tests, more negatively for the interference tests, or both in fact. And finally, I would suggest using a larger sample of the chosen target population in order to get a clearer idea and more conclusive results. Although the results I achieved did prove to support the hypothesis and the theory, I feel as though with the alterations to the experiment that I have listed, I could have achieved a more definitive set of results and possibly shown better evidence that the rehearsal loop exists.
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