Thus we can now say that the boys had a mean number of words remembered as 10. 2 and the median as 12, proving that the short term memory capacity of the boys is definitely greater, as they tend to recall more. The mode however was 10 for both genders meaning that if the results was to be generalised the we could say that both sexes had the same capacity in the short term memory.
Also the experiment that was carried out contained a few flaws, firstly there was the error mentioned earlier of assuming that everyone had the same IQ levels, this was a huge assumption as some students could have had only five GCSE passes whereas other’s could have had 12 to get into the course, meaning that the teacher had no knowledge of the past of the students. Another flaw with the design was the influence of the Long term memory, the list of words consisted of animal names and the names of various fruits and vegetables.
The list was constructed as follows:Thirdly the participants could have employed various strategies to remember the words, if some participants were familiar with a certain strategy then they could have used that. Meaning that some participants had a better way of remembering – thus we can also add that different people use different methods to store items into memories, some of these methods are particularly favourable to some people. Individual differences can also influence the results.
Finally structured learning techniques could have had shaped the results, as some people can automatically relate words, for example the ‘Monkey, Gorilla and the Banana’ all fit together, as does the ‘dolphin and the whale’. Miller 1956 mentioned that the recall of people was usually seven plus two or seven minus two. This theory however does not fit into my results as the mean, mode, and the median proved that the recall was much more higher for both of the groups.
This could be favourable towards the fact that we have used words which the participants are very familiar with since they have learnt the names of these animals and the names of these fruits and vegetables since they were very young, which means that they are words which are from the long term memory; these words have been revised and repeated for many years. Baddley in the year 1975 conducted a experiment, later redone by Naveh-Benjamin and Ayres in the year 1986 concluded that the English language was easier to memorise, rather than the Arabic language.
The fact that the words are from the English language, also works against our result as they are easier to remember; though our experiment clearly agrees with this experiment. Murdock in the year 1962 carried out his Free recall Experiments, which were very similar to our experiments, expect that he used non sense trigrams, which had no effect from the Long term memory.