The effect of different mnemonic strategies on paired associate learning.
Short-term memory has been represented as a simple transient storage system, but it does have a much more complex role by processing new stimulus information and retrieving information.
Mnemonic devices compensate for the limited capacity of short-term-memory by creating a distinctive context for retrieval and increase memory demands. For non-meaningful material, such as lists of words, recoding into a more meaningful form can be effective. When dealing with verbal information, or indeed visual material, often people repeat the information to aid retention, maintenance rehearsal. (Craik and Lockhart, 1972). An alternative to maintenance rehearsal is elaborative rehearsal, involving manipulating the stimulus information in some way. (Craik and Lockhart, 1972). Overall, the evidence suggests that the more that one elaborates the material, the more effective the encoding will be for later revival.
The aim of this study is to test whether elaborate processing is a better mnemonic aid than maintenance rehearsal, and whether the more elaborate the processing, the better the recall of paired associates.
Therefore, an independent groups study was carried out with a group of first year psychology students. The class was split into three conditions; each using a different mnemonic strategy to aid paired associate learning. The class was shown a list of 30 pairs which they then had to recall. A total of correct pairs recalled was taken and a comparison made to define the most accurate strategy.
The results show that the most number of words recalled were in condition c, and the least were in condition a. Results gathered from this experiment suggest that those whom conjured up an image will have also thought of a sentence or action for the picture to be created and therefore have provided themselves with more retrieval routes; the action, the verb, the semantic meaning and...