Introduction ! A general intro to the level

A general intro to the level
of analysis of this experiment
Introduction to the focus of
this experiment – memory
processes and coding.
A theoretical foundation for
the experiment which can be
used in the discussion of the
Study to be replicated
Identification of original aim,
IV, DV and participants.
Description of the original
Statement of results
Interpretation of results
Statement of conclusion for
original study
At the cognitive level of analysis humans are seen as information processors. Cognitive researchers
have been interested in how knowledge is stored and retrieved. According to the multi-store model
of memory (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968)1 the memory system consists of a sensory memory, shortterm memory and long-term memory. In order to be stored in long-term memory material needs to
be coded and rehearsed in short-term memory. Cognitive researchers have suggested that memory
coding can have a visual (imagery) or verbal (semantic) form. Paivio (1969)2 argued that there are
two major ways in which people could elaborate on material to remember. One is verbal association
and the other is creating a visual image. According to Paivio the ability to form a visual image of a
word is dependent on whether the word is abstract or concrete. It is generally easier for people to
form a visual image of a concrete word and therefore a concrete word is better recalled in an
experiment than an abstract word. According to Paivio’s dual-coding theory 3 there are two
independent memory codes – a verbal and an image - that can both result in recall. However,
research has consistently demonstrated that imagery is more effective.
This was demonstrated in an experiment by Paivio, Smythe and Yuille (1968)4 where they
investigated how well student participants recalled paired words that were high-imagery (for
example, juggler, dress, letter, and hotel) to words that were low-imagery (for example, effort, duty,
quality, and necessity). The researchers predicted that high imagery word lists were easier to
remember than meaningfulness in word combinations because the words that were high imagery
were concrete. In the experiment the participants were shown lists of words and asked to remember
them. The word lists were combined so that one list contained words that were high-imagery and
another list contained words that were low-imagery. There were also lists that combined words that
were high and low in imagery. The participants were not given any particular instructions in terms
of how to remember the word lists. The result of the experiment was that the participants recalled
more high-imagery words than low imagery words. The researchers argued that this was because it
was easier to perform mental images of word pairs that were classified as high-imagery and
concrete. One reason for higher recall in the high-imagery group could be that high-imagery words
made it is possible to combine the two words to form an interactive image. According to the
researchers this strategy increased recall. After the experiment was over the participants were asked
what strategy they had used to remember the words and for the high-imagery words it was often
reported that imagery had been used as a memory strategy. The conclusion was that imagery was a
more effective learning strategy than verbal coding.
In Gross (2005), p. 248
In Reed (1996), p. 181
In Reed (1996), p. 183
In Reed (1996), p. 181
© John Crane & Jette Hannibal, InThinking
Aim of the replication
This study is a simple replication of Paivio, Smythe and Yuille (1968). Based on the finding in the
original experiment the aim of the present experiment is to investigate whether concrete (highimagery) or abstract (low-imagery) words result in more recall.
Referencing in APA style - one
of the standardized ways to
reference. All references cited in
the introduction and the
discussion should be listed in
alphabetical order.
Gross, R. (2001) Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour. 4th edition. London: Hodder and
Stoughton Educational.
Reed, S.R. (1996) Cognition: Theory and application. 4th edition. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole
Publishing Company.
© John Crane & Jette Hannibal, InThinking