Imagery and Recall Experiment
The research methodology employed for the current research is the qualitative research methodology in that it is exploratory in nature (Dorsten, & Hotchkiss, 2005). Qualitative research methodology is mainly used to gain an understanding of the fundamental opinions, reasons, and motivations. The findings provide insight on the subject at hand and assist in developing hypotheses or ideas for potential quantitative research (Markauskaite, Freebody, & Irwin, 2010).
The design is a 2 * 2 factorial with the factors being: Instruction Type (Imagery versus Rehearsal) and Word Type (Concrete and Abstract).
A total of four participants are employed in the study comprising of students from the institutions.
The study first acquired informed consent from the participants. The participants were then grouped into two groups, the imagery group and the rehearsal group. For the imagery group, the participants were read a list of word pairs, such as water-bird. The respondents were then requested to ensure that they memorize the word pairs and not necessarily the order of the word pairs in the list. For the purposes of memorization, the respondents were to form a mental image or picture, of the words paired together. For instance, in order to memorize the word pair for water-bird, the respondents were to form an image of a bird sitting on a tree.
For the rehearsal group, the participants were taken through the same process as the imagery group. The underpinning differences however, was that for the purposes of memorization, the participants were not supposed to make mental images or pictures but was rather supposed to simply say each word pair to over and over again.
The materials used for research were an informed consent form, the instructions to be read to the participants, and two lists of words where one list contained concrete nouns and the second one consisting of abstract nouns. Additionally, a response sheet was provided to each of the participants.
For the first respondent, out of the twelve stimulus words in the low imagery list that were dictated to the respondent, a total of 11 were paired correctly. For the high imagery list, out of the twelve stimulus words that were dictated to the respondent, a total of 11 were paired correctly.
For the second respondent out of the twelve stimulus words in the low imagery list that were dictated to the respondent, a total of 7 were paired correctly. For the high imagery list, out of the twelve stimulus words that were dictated to the respondent, a total of 8 were paired correctly.
For the third respondent out of the twelve stimulus words in the low imagery list that were dictated to the respondent, a total of 9 were paired correctly. For the high imagery list, out of the twelve stimulus words that were dictated to the respondent, a total of 8 were paired correctly.
For the fourth respondent out of the twelve stimulus words in the low imagery list that were dictated to the respondent, a total of 9 were paired correctly. For the high imagery list, out of the twelve stimulus words that were dictated to the respondent, a total of 8 were paired correctly.
Discussion and conclusions
The research findings are consistent with past researches and the common understanding that images have a significant impact on a person’s ability to memorize and remember. The four participants were able to pair correctly more word pairs in the high imagery list than those in the low imagery list. Moreover, the association of a given word pair with a mental image further enhanced their ability to pair the words correctly.
The study was plagued by a variety of challenges that served limit the accuracy of its findings and the ability to apply its findings in reality. One of the possible challenges to the current experiment is the design since it does not have ecological validity. As a result, it does not take individual differences into consideration. Since the study employed independent participants, I did not have effective control of participants’ behavior. Therefore, there is a need for more study of the participants in order to gain knowledge of their individual differences. The use of a matched participant design would have been more effective in controlling participant variables as the participants would be matched on critical variables such as memory ability and age.
Another limitation to the current study is its sample size. The study only used four participants, which would be considered as a relatively small sample. The use of a highly small sample makes it challenging to generalize the findings to the rest of the population. Therefore, the use of a relatively larger sample size, say 60 participants, would be more representative. In such a sample size, it would be possible to generalize the findings to the entire university. Moreover, the investigation depended on opportunity sampling, which tends to render the study highly biased and also impossible to generalize its findings. The use of random sampling would have served as the best method of selecting participants owing to its unbiased nature. Another issue was the images used for the study. Some of the images were drawn images while others were actual photographs. The use of different images limits the accuracy of the findings as real life images may be easier to recall for some individuals in comparison to drawings and vice versa. In order to resolve this challenge, the study would have relied on a single form of images such as exclusive use of real life images or drawings.
The recall levels between genders was different. For instance, women tend to perform better than men in activities such as name face associations, remembering tasks, verbal learning, and first name association learning (Gazzaniga, & Reuter-Lorenz, 2010). Future research should therefore attempt to study the effects of gender recall and identify whether there are significant factors for the gender of a participant on the nature of gender associated images recalled and make comparisons between the semantic codes and visual codes. Evidence suggests that visual representation facilitates the ability of people to remember. Although a small percentage of individuals tend to remember more without any visual representation. People in general remember information and data differently i.e., semantically, and acoustically (Bailin, & Grafstein, 2010).
In conclusion, the research activity was a highly informative and insightful experience. One of the learnt aspects is that the manner in which the researcher approaches the study participants is critical to obtaining their consent and active participation. Treating them in a friendly yet professional manner is critical to securing their participation. Moreover, it is equally important to first introduce what the study entails, its objectives, and its significance in addition to taking them through what is required of them before commencing the interviews.
Bailin, A., & Grafstein, A. (2010). The critical assessment of research: Traditional and new methods of evaluation. (Critical Assessment of Research.) Oxford [u.a.: Chandos.
Dorsten, L. E., & Hotchkiss, L. (2005). Research methods and society: Foundations of social inquiry. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Gazzaniga, M. S., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (2010). The cognitive neuroscience of mind: A tribute to Michael S. Gazzaniga. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Markauskaite, L., Freebody, P., & Irwin, J. (2010). Methodological choice and design: Scholarship, policy and practice in social and educational research. Dordrecht: Springer.