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Memory Experiment Essay

1603 words - 7 pages

Memory experiment

In my research experiment, I will be finding out which gender has the better short term memory recall.  I have conducted a Literature Review so that I can review the past experiments on memory.

Literature Review
The first experiment that I read about was conducted by Liz B, and was conducted from 2004-5.  Her hypothesis was that gender had an effect on short term recall.  This made it non-directional, since she wasn't sure how gender effected memory, or if it was a positive or negative effect.  The Independent Variable was the quiz sheets that were given out and the Dependant Variable was the number of words the students got correct.
The results of the experiment ...view middle of the document...

Boys have a better short term memory on word tasks than girls.  My hypothesis is directional one; since I am know which boys will have better recall than girls.
I have operationalised my variables so that I can measure the results of the experiment effectively.

Research methods
The research method that I will be using is a field experiment.  I have chosen this so that I can conduct the experiment in a controlled environment like my school.  This will mean that the results of the experiment will be reliable since they can replicate in another experiment under the same conditions.

Target population
The target population is year eight students of both genders.  I have chosen year eight students only since they are familiar with the school, and aren't as scared as year sevens could be to say no, while being young enough that they aren't overwhelmed with homework, and most likely to have free time.  I decided the experiment should be based on one year group so that the difference in age isn't something that will make the results of my experiment invalid.

Sampling technique
My sampling technique will be Opportunity.  I will stand at the entrance to my school and hand out a poster advertising the experiment and a consent form for the student and their parents to fill out.  I have chosen Opportunity since it is the most cost effective and is easy to carry out since I spend most of my time at school and there will be lots of people available after school that will be willing to take part.

Research design
The research design that I have decided on will be matched pairs.  The common characteristic will be year eight students.  One group will consist of boys, and the other of girls.
Designing the experiment
I have decided that I will conduct the experiment once with the group of boys, and a second time with the group of girls. I will hand out a copy of the consent form to each student, and then ask them to complete it. I will tell them that they can ask questions at this point, but not during the experiment. I will clearly state before the experiment that no one is allowed to speak during it. I will then hand out pens and paper, and tell them they have 30 seconds to try and memorise the words. When the time is up, I will then flick to the next slide and tell them to write down all the words that they can recall. I will at no point say what the aim or the hypothesis of the experiment is, in case this inspires unreliable results.

Situation variables – this is when the environment of the experiment can interfere with the independent and dependant variable. This means that the results could become reliable since you wouldn’t know if they are affected by the surroundings or the experiment. To overcome this, I will make sure that the room temperature is 21°, so it’s not an uncomfortable temperature, and I will make sure noise level is low and the lights low so the words on the interactive whiteboard can be...

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