Essay, Research Paper: Primacy Recency Effect

Psychology

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Previous research has found that recency and primacy in memory is affected by
tasks given to persons before recalling groups of related or unrelated words
given to them by the tester. Subjects are given four (4) separate tests. Each
test is a slight deviation from the next and the test are administered and has
the subjects recall groups of words. The first two tests are groups of words
related to each other. One test has thirty words and the other has 20. The
tester calls out these words in no particular order and then the subjects are
told to recall as many words as possible. In the third test, the subjects are
given sixteen unrelated words. Then they are told to count down from one hundred
by sevens and recall as many words as possible. In the fourth test, the subjects
are given sixteen unrelated words. Half the subjects are then told to count down
from one hundred and half the subjects are told to count up to one hundred by
sevens. Subsequently, subjects are told to recall as many words as possible. In
the first two tests we find that there is a balance in word recollection. The
most words recollected are in the beginning and the end with a very meek showing
in the middle. However, in the last two tests the there different outcomes
because the primacy and recency is effected. Primacy 3 Characteristics of the
Primacy And Recency Effect Serial learning has been studied for a long time and
is very prevalent today. There are many studies that link how people remember
groups of objects to what is called the primacy recency effect. Depending on the
task given to subjects after being told to recall groups of objects, their
memory of the objects is effected. Some like Herman Ebinghouse, studied the
effects on memory to show how memory is effected and how memory works. In most
cases, depending on what task is given the primacy and recency of memory is
affected. The primary goal of this study is to assess the correlation between
the task and what part of memory is effected. Method Participants In this study
only two people were tested. This study usually uses about ten subjects in order
for there to be a balance. The two subjects are male and college students about
age 22. They were picked for this test because they were there. Materials Not
many materials were needed. Each subject needed a piece of paper and a pen. The
tester had four list/tests that he administered. Primacy 4 Procedure Four memory
tests were administered and then tallied up. The first test, consisted of thirty
different words directly related (i.e. animals). After reading them aloud, the
tester asked the subjects to recall and write down as many words as they
remember. The second test had twenty directly related words (i.e. flowers) and
the subjects were then told to do the same. However, the third and fourth tests
were slightly different. The third test consisted of sixteen unrelated words.
After these words were called out the tester then told the subjects to count one
hundred backwards by sevens and then go ahead and remember as many words as
possible. Finally, the fourth test was given. It consisted again, of sixteen
unrelated words and the subjects were split into two groups. One group had to
count up to one hundred by sevens and thee other group had to count down from
one hundred by sevens. Results In the first two tests, subjects recalled more of
the first and last words heard. Recollection of the words in the middle of the
lists was much less. INSERT TABLES 1 AND2 ABOUT HERE In the third test subjects
lost sight of the last words of the list when asked to count down from one
hundred by sevens. This is called thee Primacy effect. More of the first five
words were recalled and the other eleven words were recalled less. INSERT TABLE
3 HERE Primacy 5 In the fourth test, the results did not come out the way it was
supposed to (not enough subjects). Because half the subjects are counting up and
half the subjects are counting down both the primacy and recency of memory
should be effected. However, in this test more of the first words were recalled
and the other eleven were scarcely recalled. INSERT TABLE 4 HERE Discussion The
results indicated that memory (primacy and recency) is effected by the task
given to subjects before asked to recollect a group of words. The first test are
given to assess the pattern at which the subjects recollect groups of words. It
shows us that the pattern is like a pyramid. First and last words are easier to
recall. However, the last tests are given to assess what counting up or down
from one hundred by sevens does to the subjects memory. The study shows that
those subjects counting up had a difficulty recalling the first words and those
subjects counting backwards have difficulty recalling the last words called out
by the tester.
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