Abstract Memory is the ability to recover information about past events or knowledge. Short-term memory is a system for temporarily storing and managing information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension. The purpose of this experiment is to investigate how much an average person can improve their short-term memory in one hour. The motivation of this study is to investigate whether or not it is possible to help people to expand their memory skills or learning abilities. It is hypothesized that if a person dedicates one hour to developing their short-term memory, then after that hour, their short-term memory should have improved slightly. There were five participants used in this experiment. The age group for the participants was from 14 to 16 years old. The participants are all students at Amity High School and were chosen at random. The class level and gender of each participant wasn’t factored into this experiment. The procedure included making two test paragraphs, for each of the participants (10 tests in total), then giving each of the participants a duration of one minute to memorize the paragraph that was given to them. After the minute, the participants were asked to recite what they had retained from the paragraph. If they didn’t recite the paragraph perfectly, then they were given another minute duration to try to memorize the same paragraphing again. The number of attempts the participant took to memorize the paragraph was recorded and used as data. After the participants had memorized the paragraph, they were asked to play a series of memory games on the website Lumosity. They played a series of games for one hour. After the hour, the participants were given a different paragraph to memorize. Like before, the participants were given one minute duration to memorize the paragraph and the number of attempts they took was recorded. The results from the first and second tests were compared and used to determine wither or not the participants’ memories had improved.
Abstract (cont.) The results in this experiment have shown that the memory games helped improve the participants’ short-term memory. The results show this because, for the most part, the participants needed more time to memorize the first paragraph then they needed for the second paragraph. There was one participant who didn’t improve, that was participant 5. But, they did the best on the first paragraph; they only needed two minutes to memorize it. The participant who improved the most was participant 3; they needed six minutes to memorize the first paragraph but only three minutes on the second. So they improved by three minutes. The control in this experiment was participant 4. They took the two tests but didn’t play the memory games on Lumosity. On the first paragraph, they needed six minutes to memorize it, but on the second, they only needed five minutes. In conclusion, the memory games did help the participants improve their short-term memory. The results show that, for the most part, even after as brief a time span as an hour, there is still improvement. The results also suggest that the tests may have helped the participants. Participant 4 did not play the games on Lumosity but, still, they did show improvement in their results. So the hypothesis was correct. A person can improve their short-term memory if they dedicate one hour to working on developing it
Purpose Memory is the ability to recover information about past events or knowledge. Long-term memory: A system for permanently storing, managing, and retrieving information for later use Short-term memory: A system for temporarily storing and managing information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension. This experiment will investigate how much the average person can improve their short-term memory within one hour.
The independent variable is the hour that the participant has to improve their memory though the games on Lumosity.
The dependent variable is the results of how long it takes the participants to memorize the paragraphs.
The control is participant 4, who will only be memorizing the paragraphs and not be playing the games on Lumosity.
The constant is the minute duration the participants were given to memorize the paragraphs and the environment in which they memorized the paragraphs and played the games.
Hypothesis It is hypothesized that if a person dedicates one hour to developing their short-term memory, then after that hour, their short-term memory should have improved slightly.
Procedure Got 5 participants ranging from ages 14 to 16 Selected and re-typed 10 short paragraphs, of 50 to 75 words, from the book, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S Lewis Met with the first participant in a plain room that was not likely to distract the participant in any way Gave the participant a paragraph Gave them one minute to try to memorize the paragraph After the minute, asked the participant to recite what they retained If the whole paragraph was not recited perfectly, the participant was given another minute to memorize the same paragraph again Step 7 was repeated until the participant recited the paragraph perfectly The amount of time it took for the participant to memorize the paragraph was recorded The participant was asked to make a new account on the website Lumosity and play the series of memory games on it for one hour After the hour, the participant was given another paragraph and was given a minute to memorize it Steps 6 through 9 were repeated for the first participant Steps 3 through 12 were repeated for participants 2, 3, and 5 Participant 4 (the control) followed steps 3 through 9 They were not asked to play the games on Lumosity, they skipped step 10 and went to steps 11 and 12
Other Approaches Another approach could be to replace the paragraphs with colored pictures, give the participants one minute to look at it, then ask them questions about the detail in the pictures I could have used the amount of questions the participants got right as data.
Data Interpretation Time Participants Took to Memorize the Paragraphs
Time Participants Took To Memorize The Paragraphs T I M E Minutes Participants
Data The results have shown that it is possible to for and average person to improve their short-term memory within an hour. I think that the memory games really helped the participants improve their short-term memory. But I also think that the paragraphs helped as well. This is because participant 4, the control, needed less time to memorize the second paragraph than they needed for the first. I think that the games did affect participant 5, but the results didn’t show it because the test was too easy for them. It only took them two minutes to memorize the paragraphs. I believe that if I had chosen longer paragraphs then the results would’ve been more accurate.
Data (cont.) For the most part, the participants’ memory did improve slightly. One result from this experiment that surprised me was participant 4’s results. I didn’t expect their memory to improve because they didn’t play the memory games. I was also surprised with participant 3’s results. Participant 3 showed the most improvement in this experiment. It took them 6 minutes to memorize the first paragraph and only 3 minutes to memorize the second paragraph. They improved by 3 minutes. I didn’t expect such a drastic change in the one hour.
Conclusion In conclusion, the results have shown that it is possible to for and average person to improve their short-term memory within an hour. I think that the memory games really helped the participants improve their short-term memory. But I also think that the paragraphs helped as well. It was hypothesized that if a person dedicates one hour to developing their short-term memory, then after that hour, their short-term memory should have improved slightly. My hypothesis was correct. For the most part, the participants’ memory did improve slightly.
Liturature The article “Of Mice and Memory: Working Memory of Mice Can Be Improved” supports my results. The State University if New Jersey did an experiment with 60 young adult, genetically, heterogeneous, male mice. They let each mouse run down a maze for a food reward until they had the maze memorized. Then, they let the mouse memorize a second maze. Once the mouse memorized that maze they did a final test The researchers put the mouse in the first maze, they let him get half-way through, then stopped him and put him I the second maze The test actually made the mice smarter by improving their working memory. This relates to my experiment because the games on Lumosity improved my participants short-term memory like the mazes improved the memory of the mice.
Improvements and Error This experiment went very well but there was defiantly some error and room for improvement. Some of the participants spent a few seconds more memorizing the paragraph because my timer wasn’t loud enough for them to hear. I could have gotten a louder timer. Also, the participants got bored of playing the games on Lumosity and weren’t trying their best the whole time. I could have given them a five minute break every twenty minutes. Finally, there weren’t enough people to get a really good understanding on how the games affected the participants’ memory. I could have gotten more people.
Further Research For further research, I could investigate if there are factors that affect how quickly a person can improve their short-term memory. For example: amount of sleep, diet, exercise, or motivation.
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