DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 1
The Effects of Time and Noise on Anxiety and Recognition
Taylor J. Hartman
John Carroll University
Taylor J. Hartman, Department of Psychology, John Carroll University
This research was made possible through Angela C. Jones, Department of Psychology,
John Carroll University, who implemented the educational and experimental tools necessary to
help bring our project come to life. Special thanks to Chris Wetherill and Leanna Gonzalez, both
from John Carroll University, for providing my colleagues and I with guidance and offering
advice on formatting our design. Last, but not least, a huge thanks to Jillian Falzini, Anna
Hayburn and Brianna Turner for working endless hours creating our experiment—from
brainstorming to data collection— and making this project an enjoyable group effort.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Taylor J. Hartman,
Department of Psychology, John Carroll University, 1 John Carroll Boulevard, University
Heights, OH 44118. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 2
The aim of this study was to build on research that involved the implementation of the Deese-
Roediger McDermott paradigm. Noise and time manipulation were used to measure whether or
not recognition and anxiety were affected. Participants studied word lists in one of four
conditions with no stressors, noise, time, or both. Then, they took an anxiety test derived from
the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. The STAI was implemented to measure the amount and scale
of induced stress from each condition. Afterwards, participants took a recognition test and
asserted whether or not they saw the words presented. Participants reported just as much to the
presence of critical lures as much as studied words, despite the presence of noise or time. Results
indicate that stressors did not affect recognition or anxiety. Moreover, participants’ results were
similarly found in most DRM related studies.
Keywords: time manipulation, auditory stimulation, word recognition, distraction, task
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 3
The Effects of Time and Noise on Anxiety and Recognition
The human mind perceives and perseveres through stress in many ways. One of the most
common forms of stress is cognitive stress, which usually involves a negative effect from
completion, or failure of daily multifaceted tasks. The increased mental overload of the world’s
stressors can pile up and hinder the performance of someone’s thinking, productivity and
memory. Memory, in relation to recognition of objects, words and items, can often go wrong
when grouped with negative factors (Payne & Nadal, 2002). This specific area of research
involves the identification of stressors—time manipulation and noise—manipulated to affect
performance. Researchers agree that stress is a term used to describe the physical and
psychological nature that strains organisms and inhibits their adaptive powers; the wear and tear
of life (Van Galen, 1997; Van Gemmert, 1997). Moreover, each person has a different threshold
for stress, allowing him or her to be resilient and to continue on without harm to their
functioning. Certain recognition of objects, words and items depends on the variables and the
context in which they are presented (Daee & Wilding, 1977). The purpose of this study is to
analyze the degree of recognition through words derived from the DRM. A further aim was to
investigate the levels of anxiety through the utilization of noise and time manipulation.
Contrary to popular belief, Roets (2011) and Van Hiel (2011) asserted that negative
environmental stressors do not harm cognitive performance and that these stressors can be
maintained under energy investment or a directional use of energy toward the appropriate stress
itself. Additionally, Roets (2011) and Van Hiel (2011) found that not all people are highly
motivated to partake in an experiment, due to their lack of focus of cognitive energy investment.
In reality, the stressors that affected them may actually have impaired their task performance.
An important feature of this study involves the use of the Deese-Roediger-McDermott
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 4
paradigm. The implementation of the Deese–Roediger–McDermott paradigm in this study is a
fundamental asset because it is the center of our research. The DRM is made up of categories of
similar items in a word list. In addition, the use of critical lures, which are similar words
resembling the categorical items, are presented after the initial test that were not actually studied.
Afterwards, DRM studies may ask participants to recall or recognize the words previously
presented. Together, word recognition and word type are often used to measure and assess
Roediger & McDermitt (1995), modeled their scientific research after Deese (1959).
Deese (1959) prepared designs that involved word lists and assessed for the direct recall of
words. They built the experiment on the study originated from Deese who created a paradigm,
utilizing a list of words used to assess memory recall. He created an experiment that used a list of
word similar to one another, and unrelated words that are meant to assess false memories. Their
reports required participants to study several lists of 12 words in which some were not presented,
or not shown during the study, but during the test. Furthermore, the studies were made to assess
memory, using the concept of illusory memory. Illusory memory holds the idea that people will
fall prey by asserting their false memories. Additionally, when people are told about memory and
instructed to recall words from a study, they are more likely to report words never studied in
attempt to include words they feel are appropriate in the list of words they just studied. In short,
Roediger & McDermott’s (1995) proposed that these memory tasks involve explicit memory.
The concept of explicit memory is a type of memory storage that involves the intentional
retrieval of thoughts, facts or emotions by bringing it to the conscious mind. It is important to
note that explicit memory is used more often in recall or recognition tests.
Payne, Nadel, Allen, Thomas, & Jacobs (2002), were some of the first researchers to
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 5
examine the impact of stress induced by the Trier Social Stress Test (Kirschbaum, Pirke, &
Hellhammer, 1993), on false memory. In their study, participants were subject to either to the
TSST or to the non-stressful assignment. Afterwards, they were instructed to listen to several
DRM word lists, which were then followed by an immediate recognition test. Their results
indicated that the most stressful condition displayed high rates of false recognition. From these
data, Payne et al. (2002) found that a significant amount of stress may hinder a person’s ability to
focus, and consequently diminishing the ability to determine the difference between true and
false memories from the DRM paradigm. These conclusions suggests that people who become
distressed may have difficulty in asserting their confidence on true and false memories.
The original study done by Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg, & Jacobs (1983),
found that test-retest validity is strong, even after monthly intervals of test assessments from the
State Trait Anxiety Scale. Furthermore, the testing accounted for accurate and reliable measures
of anxiety and distress. The current study attempts to make use of the original test, however,
adjusting it by utilizing only several types of questions to cater to our participant population.
This scale is often used in clinical settings to help the clinician or psychologist diagnose anxiety
and stress. Additionally, the test includes a list of predetermined phrases on a rated response of
“not at all,” “somewhat,” “moderately so,” and “very much so” to help participants accurately
describe their feelings.
There are data that include the use of the Deese–Roediger–McDermott paradigm and the
State Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger et al., 1983). However, there are very few people that
combine them all, and use them to administer tests on participants. In regards to the current
study, the aim is to recreate the procedure from Payne et al (2002), but instead, use the State
Trait Anxiety Inventory for the possibility of variation in the assertion of alleged stress. Nadel
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 6
and Payne (2002) used the Trier Social Stress Test as a measure of stress before the
implementation of the DRM. This is a very similar assessment in that it attempted to measure
anxiety with questions comparable to the STAI. It measured exactly how the participants reacted
to the DRM test, with and without noise and time manipulation. Unlike the previously stated
studies, the design of the current experiment involves conditions where time and noise occur
simultaneously. Furthermore, The conditions were modified from the original DRM, by allotting
certain words to be included in the word recognition test. Moreover, the experiment was paired
with noise and time (Smeets, Otgaar, Candel, & Wolf, 2011).
One widely studied stressor is noise, which is known to weaken performance during task
completion and cause impaired judgment (Roets & Van Hiel, 2011). Results have shown that
tasks involving strategizing may be more susceptible to the negative effects of noise because it is
difficult to repeat something to oneself if distracted by another task (Smith, 1983). Other studies
have shown that noise can improve recognition if played at a constant rate, but that time
manipulation can influence decision making (Szalma & Hancock, 2011). This occurs because
finding a steady beat or tune within a sound can produce an internal rhythmic equilibrium or
balance that becomes learned, causing less stress. Therefore, the stress is not as powerful.
Additionally, other studies claim uncertain results finding noise can have both harmful and
beneficial effects (Hancock & Szalma, 2011). A psychobiological study done by Ljungberg and
Neely (2007) asserted that noise and body vibrations would increase the amount of saliva cortisol
and the amount of stress presented. Their findings asserted that stress was founded in tasks that
were more difficult when exposed to either noise or whole body vibrations.
Previous literature in which research used noise as a primary variable usually stated that
more powerful levels of decibels decreased performance and mood in tasks. Kjellberg, Ljung,
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 7
and Hallman (2008), found that in their study of word recognition and noise, participants in the
control condition with no noise present, recognized and recalled words stated in the tests and
performed higher than those in other stressing conditions. Additionally, a steady beeping noise is
an important independent variable of the current study and strengthens the belief that it is
detrimental to cognitive performance. Jerison (1959) included noise as a negative factor in his
experiments and found that multiple levels of noise in several conditions produce measureable
change in human performance. Additionally, a study done by Theologus Wheaton & Fleishman
(1974) asserted that sensitivity of performance could be evaluated, with the use of several noise
levels. His study showed that reaction time was affected by episodes of spontaneous noise and
conditions. The study showed that periodic episodes of noise at a static level of noise
significantly deteriorated the participant’s ability to perform block trial tasks. In a study
conducted by Millar (1978), noise was a stimulus used to assess low and high frequency words
previously used from Battig and Montague’s category of words. Prompted words were found to
provide faster recognition than unprompted. Additionally, noise-induced arousal was found to be
a significant determinant of the retrieval of memory, especially with high frequency words.
Most time related experiments involve the use of adding reaction time, hesitation or
latency to a test. Consequently, it has been thought that time manipulation induces negative task
performance and behavior. Furthermore, time manipulation may alter the capabilities of
managing stress. Roets and Van Hiel (2011) found that participants who functioned under noise
stressors were significantly stunted in their cognitive abilities showing inferior performance. In
addition, Rothstein (1987) argued that time manipulation changed the ability to properly judge
incoming processable information. The results found that people retained less material under
time constraints and had less salient information after high amounts of stress. Roets and Van Hiel
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 8
(2011) created a time manipulation condition in which they told their participants to respond to a
question on a computer monitor. If they could not respond within 5 seconds, the screen told the
participants to respond faster after each trial. Moreover, the procedure was effective due to the
specific time constraints. The stress invoked under this study embodies the efficacy of time in a
manipulated and controlled setting.
Another study, conducted by Ogden and Riek (1979), implemented the use of time
manipulation and noise as independent variables. They used these stressors to induce distressing
affects onto the participants. The study incorporated the use of the Stroop Test in which colors
were discriminated and juxtaposed onto a word of a different color. Their task was used to assess
whether noise hindered the ability to successfully complete a reading task. Unfortunately, they
found that neither noise nor time showed any main effects or significance. Additional, they found
that high noise level and low noise levels were measured, and a mean of 48 milliseconds were
the differences between their average reaction times. Furthermore, the word test did not show
effects under noise. They found that noise affects certain time varied levels and conditions, and
should be changed to better-fit future endeavors in noise and time conditions.
Alternatively, applying a design in which tasks contain study strategies might create
difficulties in performance and allow noise and time to take on negative effects (Smith, 1983).
Furthermore, it may become difficult to repeat something to oneself and the compounding
thoughts of time and sounds presented may distract the participants. Throughout this current
study, there are data allocating time and noise conditions in accordance with the DRM paradigm.
It is important to note that the current study aims to not only add onto, but to reformat previously
designed procedures generated by Deese (1959) & Roediger and McDermott (1995) by choosing
specific word categories and implementing randomized foils.
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 9
As mentioned, the purpose of this study is to measure whether or not time and noise
stressors are detrimental to the cognitive task performances. Recognition is the ability to
remember information that is stored in the brain (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2011).
Recognition requires a cue before it is remembered, however recall is the ability to remember
“without thought” without a trigger to cue your memory. The hypothesis of the current
experiment insists that the combination of noise and time manipulation will be the most negative
and harmful. Additionally, the second hypothesis involves the notion that stress will be the
highest in intensity when the variables of time manipulation and noise are both present. The
hypotheses are inferred from the original DRM paradigm and modified with the addition of noise
and time manipulation as negative factors.
Ultimately, past literature have indicated that time manipulation and noise are negative
when tasks involved memory or recognition and word lists. Participants have broken these
hypotheses due to an ability to ignore stimuli and try their best to competently finish the
experiment. Nonetheless, the current experiment attests that the independent variables will result
in negative results. Anxiety will affect the amount of words recognized but noise will have a
much stronger effect on memory than the timer. Moreover, lower recognition of words will be
apparent under noise and time, and unrelated words and critical lures will be increasingly
Participants included a total of 38 female and 26 male undergraduate students who attend
John Carroll University. The participants were at least 18 years of age and a majority of which
were enrolled in a psychology course credit. However, others from the campus community were
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 10
admitted through solicitation of friends and acquaintances to participate in the study. The
participants had normal hearing capabilities. We anticipated that at least 80 participants would
sign up for the experiment so that there would be enough power for each of the conditions.
The materials presented to each participant included 70 words from a list of four
unrelated DRM paradigm categories (i.e., rough, spider, fruit and river). 36 words were included
from the original DRM paradigm (Deese, 1959, Roediger and McDermott, 1995) were picked to
assess recognition. 30 foils, or unassociated words, were picked from an online random word
generator. Additionally, four critical lures, or words very similar to words in the related
categories, have been put into place to assess recognition. 70 words were used all together. The
noise used in the experiment was downloaded from an online program called
SoundNote.“Recorder” was the sound used to replicate the “beeping” noise needed in the study.
The computer speakers used for the distraction were set at the same level of volume, 50 percent
on the speakers and 75 percent on the computer’s internal sound. Moreover, the study was
administered using MediaLab, a program used to create research studies.
Stimuli and Procedure
Participants were asked to complete a recognition task in this 2x2x3 mixed-subjects
design. The intermittent noise and timer were the independent variables inducing anxiety by
impairing cognitive functioning in the participants. Additionally, anxiety and the recognition of
words were the dependent variables being measured. Before the test began, the participants
consented to the experiment. Following this, the women and men were split into four groups and
presented with one of four conditions that were randomized, so data would be void of extraneous
variables. The average amount of time spent on the tests was about 10 to 15 minutes.
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 11
Subsequently, Group 1 had neither a time manipulation nor a noise presented in study.
Group 1 acted as the control for the study. Group 2 had no timer but had noise present. Group 3
had a timer present on the computer screen with no noise. Lastly, Group 4 had both a timer and
the noise present. The timer was placed at the bottom of the screen as participants studied, and a
numbered countdown began at 3:00 and ended at 0:00. During the experiment, the participants
listened to an intermittent, sound program from SoundNote, which occurred throughout the three-
minute study of the word lists. Regardless of the condition, each group had three minutes to
complete the task, and could go back and forth between word lists, allotting their time as they
pleased. The computer screen showed all four word lists at the same time, but presented them on
four different screen slides and required the clicking of the mouse to continue or go back.
Following the ending of the timer, a popup box appeared on the screen, indicating that it
was time to continue on to the next segment. During the first condition, this popup box was
displayed so that stress was not induced during the recognition task. Once the time and noise
ended at the three-minute mark, the study concluded.
Next, participants were presented with an anxiety test derived from the State Trait
Anxiety Inventory used to measure the level of anxiety. The STAI was created as a scale
response, that presented a list of statements, where responses ranged from “Not at all,”
“Somewhat,” “Moderately so,” or “Very much so”. This helped to determine if someone felt
uncomfortable as a result of the time and/or noise variables used in the experiment. Participants
were asked to rate how they felt after their test.
Then, the recognition test consisted of words studied and not studied, along with the
presence of lures from the categorical lists. The words from the recognition test were presented
one at time, instead of all at once, in attempt to rule out clicking-related mistakes. The
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 12
participants finished the recognition test promptly after studying the presented word lists by
indicating whether or not they saw the words by indicating on the computer with a “yes” or “no”
response. These included 70 words. Furthermore, the 70 words consisted of 36 words from the
DRM, including 30 unstudied words and four critical lures used to assess recognition.
Lastly, the test participants read a debriefing statement displayed on the computer screen
that let them know that if they had any questions they could contact us. Furthermore, It instructed
them to address the researchers if the experiment had any negative effects on their mental state.
Participants were also informed of the purpose behind the study.
The results of each condition were scored and analyzed using an Analysis of Variance
(ANOVA). In this study, a 2 (noise or no noise) x 2 (timer or no timer) x 3 (studied, foil and
critical lure words) mixed-subjects design was chosen to identify the effects of stressors and
word recognition. Additionally, a 2 (noise or no noise) x 2 (timer or no timer) between-subjects
design was also used to assess the levels of induced anxiety from the participants included in
each condition. To do this, a repeated measures test was selected to assess the effects of the
conditions on word recognition results including foil type, critical lure and studied words. Data
analysis did not reveal a main effect of noise. Testing for noise and conditions, it was found that
F(1, 58) = 1.027, MSE = .041, p = .315, which did not indicate a significant result or interaction.
Additionally, data did not conclude any significant results with time. Similarly, under the
between subjects effects, F(1, 58) = .043, MSE =.002, p = .837, time did not hold an effect that
Secondly, the ANOVA that tested between subjects of word lists and conditions did not
show any significant interaction. F(1, 58) = .646, p =.588 reveals that there was not enough
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 13
statistical significance to account for an interaction. Moreover, the type of word lists, which were
studied, foil, and critical lures were all significant and were lower than the p-value of .05 (.000).
According to hypothesis, studied words and critical lures would cause participants to report a
high amount of “yes” responses. Additionally, participants scored much higher “yes” responses
in the studied noise condition (M =.727, SD =.033), while the least amount of “yes” responses
were in the simultaneous noise and timer condition (M =.694, SD =.032). Moreover, the foils
that were not studied denoted the highest score of (M =.058, SD =.029), which meant that these
participants had very high ratings of false alarms in the fourth condition. As assumed in the first
control, participants did the best in that they were not as susceptible to reporting foils.
Additionally, in the control condition, participants did the “best”, as in, they did not report
critical lures as much as any other condition (M =.683, SD =.067) except for condition four in
the studied segments (M =.694, SD =.032). Furthermore, the highest reports were included in the
noise condition where (M =.800, SD =.067) which indicated that out of all conditions and words,
noise seemed to have the greatest effect for critical lure responses, whereas, the most correct and
accurate responses came from the first condition with foils. In regards to time manipulation and
studied words, (M =.704, SD =.143) which showed that there were more reports and responses
from actual studied words. Similarly, critical lures were reported highly, like in the original
DRM study (M =.758, SD =.250). In contrast, (M =.055, SD =.147) which indicated that there
were very little false alarms to foils under the third condition. Though there are main effects
between groups, nothing is significant enough to report less than .05. Furthermore, these results
indicate that there was a trend of low main effects that did not indicate significance.
Lastly, a between subjects ANOVA was run in order to determine any contrasting values
in anxiety between the four conditions. The noise condition, F(1, 58) = .045, MSE =.043, p =.832
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 14
2 of .001, an extremely low effect size, indicated that there were no effects. Additionally,
there were no such signs of significance in the time condition either F(1, 58) = .029, MSE =2.56,
p =.866 and ηp
2 of .000, the lowest effect size. Furthermore, there was non-significance between
noise and time when measured for amount of stress, F(1, 58) = .579, p = .450, MSE = 51.43 and
2 of .010, a low effect size. Moreover, the control and the third condition varied the most in
means, which seemed to show the major differences in stress between conditions, nonetheless
anxiety was non-significant in all of the conditions. The STAI, the test that measured anxiety,
was scored at a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 80. The study revealed a range of scores
between 24 and 61. Figure 2 further explains that noise and time held the ranges of high and low
scores from the STAI. On the other hand, In the first condition, the control (M = 38.67, SD =
13.286) was found to hold a higher amount of anxiety than any of the other conditions, which
was statistically shown in Figure 1. Moreover, unlike the first condition, the second, third and
fourth reported that (M = 36.33, SD = 7.078), (M = 36.44, SD = 8.922), (M =37.75, SD =7.234),
The effect size showed results of non-significance, statistically, though the means
appeared to be slightly different. All showed low to very low effects, despite condition one
showing a .000 reaction in anxiety and word recognition. Ultimately, results indicated that most
people appeared to be the most anxious in the first condition, followed by conditions two, three,
Overall, our study did not find significance in noise nor time conditions. Additionally, the
reported scores only held true to the original DRM results in that studied words were asserted as
much as critical lures. Furthermore, the average recognition scores, or “yes” responses did hold
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 15
significance between type of words presented, including studied, and critical lures. Participants
falsely recognized critical lures almost as often as they remembered studied words, and non-
studied words were recognized less often. Lastly, participant STAI anxiety scores did noy differ
between the experimental conditions.
The results from this study used sets of categories taken from the original DRM. The
results taken from the participants indicate that previously studied words were rated at higher
“yes’s” and similarly reported a low rate of unrelated words. These findings are quite similar to
the DRM study conducted by Deese (1959) and Roediger McDermott, (1995). According to the
aforementioned studies, the results were interesting to report. Many participants asserted the
occurrence of critical lures, despite the condition. Furthermore, it is very uncommon and should
be noted that this strange, yet interesting circumstance may be due to the types of words chosen
in the DRM lists (Gooding, Mayes, & Meudell, 1999).
According to Ogden et al. (1979), arousal narrows attention and may negatively or
positively alters task performance. They assert that the amount and type of information being
processed is filtered into the conditions assignment. Moreover, too much environmental stress
and stimuli may drastically affect the processing and task performance. Though time has been
demonstrated to negatively affect participants in previous studies and has indicated significant
effects that include alterations on human judgment (Rothstein, 1986), our study did not find to
uphold these previous assertions. Despite this association, noise in particular has been known to
negatively affect tasks assigned to participants (Stuart & Phillips, 1997). In regards to our study,
noise had a small association between studied words and anxiety. However, this result was only
slightly higher than that of the time manipulation conditions. These results may be even more
significant if there were a lot more participants to increase the power.
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 16
In regards to anxiety, the results indicated that there were no significant differences
between any of the conditions, which is opposite of what was originally expected. Our findings
indicated that overall, there were no differences in scores between variables. After sharing the
thoughts with this study’s’ co-researchers, it was deduced that this could have been due to a lack
of intensity or severity of stress. Furthermore, adding onto the fear or stress-inducing sounds, by
implementing either harsher sounds or faster frequencies could have created more substantial
results. Moreover, if someone reported a high score on the anxiety test, it may have been due to
several factors. In reality, these reports may have been due to an increased sense of anxiety from
the self, in general.
As previously stated, the study revealed a range of scores between 24 and 61. These
results indicate that participants might not have felt as much anxiety as previously thought. In
another sense, these people may have been stressed or anxious prior to taking the study. For
example, many participants scored in the low 30’s in condition four, which was assumed to have
created the most stress, but nonetheless it does not indicate that it was successful. Additionally,
some participants reported very high anxiety upmost in the 50s and 60s range, where no stressors
were presented. This occurrence begs the question as to how these individuals could have such
high amounts of stress in a relatively calm environment. Though the explanations are vast, one
possibility can be that many participants were already stressed prior to taking this study.
Understanding these anxiety issues could be taken under further investigation with careful
regards to future methodological procedure, in order to properly explain how these occurrences
came into play.
There are quite a few reasons and limitations within our study that contributed to possible
variations in this study’s findings. For one, we may not have had collected a large enough
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 17
participation pool in this specific study, and consequently, the amount obtained may not have
provided enough power to provide us with ample significance. Another limitation may have
involved the sound we had used. If there were a somewhat stronger, more fast and intimidating
sound, perhaps, more people would have reported higher amount of anxiety. Moreover, allowing
for different rates of noise and changing the frequency and tempo of these sounds could be
examined for future studies. Another limitation may involve the amount, or length of words
imported from the DRM. For example, after administering a test to participant, they had
afterwards, stated that the test was too easy and felt no strain or difficulty assessing the words
presented. Perhaps the adaptation of future tests may include longer or more difficult words that
influence the amount of recognized words, including foils and critical lures. Lastly, during these
instances, lowering the time counter may inhibit task performance, to assess for high amounts of
Overall, our hypothesis had matched that of the original DRM studies done by Deese
(1959) and Roediger & McDermott (1995). However, the implementation of noise, similar to
that done in Theologus et al., (1974) and Kjellberg et.al., (2008) reported different than what our
study found. Additionally, time manipulation seen in Rothstein (1986) and Roets et al., (2011)
produced results that we did not find. These differences may have been noted due to the way in
which the independent variables were operationally defined and manipulated. Instead of applying
a timer onto the computer screen, it may have been a better idea to keep an actual timer next to
the participant, like an egg timer, to induce stress. Applying these findings to real life, it is
certain that people may be stressed if they know they are going to take a test, and therefore may
make mistakes due to their behavior being prone to anxiety. Lastly, the indication of these
findings may come from the idea that some people may find stress and the multitasking of
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 18
mental processes to be so commonplace that they are able to adapt. Consequently, they may be
able block out and make use of their stimuli to fulfill and complete the tasks assigned to them.
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 19
Daee, S., & Wilding, J. M. (1977). Effects of high intensity white noise on short-
term memory for position in a list and sequence. British Journal Of
Psychology, 68, 335. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1977.tb01598.x
Deese, J. (1959). On the prediction of occurrence of particular verbal intrusions in immediate
recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58, 17-22. doi:10.1037/h0046671
Gooding, A. R. Mayes, P. R. Meudell (1999). Shattered Illusions: The effect of explicit memory
mediation on an indirect memory test. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental
Psychology ,52, 395-422. doi: 10.1080/713755815
Jerison, H. (1959). Effects of noise on human performance. Journal of Applied
Jerison Psychology, 43. doi: 10.1037/h0042914.
Kirschbaum, C., Pirke, K. M., & Hellhammer, D. H. (1993). The ‘Trier Social Stress Test’—a
tool for investigating psychobiological stress responses in a laboratory setting.
Neuropsychobiology, 28, 76-81.
Kjellberg, A., Ljung, R., & Hallman, D. (2008). Recall of words heard in noise. Applied
Cognitive Psychology, 22, 1088-1098. doi:10.1002/acp.1422
Millar, K. (1979). Word recognition in loud noise. Acta Psychologica, 43, 225-237.
Nadel L., & Payne J.D. (2002). The relationship between episodic memory and context: Clues
from memory errors made while under stress. Physiological Research, 51 :S3–S11.
Ogden GD, Rieck AM, Coates GD (1979). Percept Mot Skills. 49, 851-7.
Payne, J.D., Nadel, L., Allen, J.J.B., Thomas, K.G.K., & Jacobs, W.J. (2002). The Effects of
experimentally-induced stress on false recognition. Memory, 10, 1-6 doi:
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 20
Robinson, R. B., & Robinson, R. G. (2011). Cognitive Psychology: Applying The Science of the
Mind. 10, New Jersey: Pearson.
Roediger, H., & McDermott, K. (1995). Creating false memories: remembering words not
presented in lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and
Cognition, 21. 803-814 doi: 10.1037/0278-7322.214.171.1243
Roets, A., & Van Hiel, A. (2011). Impaired performance as a source of reduced energy
investment in judgement under stressors. Journal Of Cognitive Psychology, 23, 625-632.
Rothstein, H. G. (1986). The effects of time pressure on judgment in multiple cue probability
learning. Organizational Behavior And Human Decision Processes, 37, 83-92. doi:
Smeets, T., Otgaar, H., Candel, I., & Wolf, O. T. (2008). True or false? Memory is differentially
affected by stress-induced cortisol elevations and sympathetic activity at consolidation
and retrieval. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 33, 1378-1386.
Smith, A. P. (1983). The effects of noise and time on task on recall of order information. British
Journal of Psychology, 74. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1983.tb01845.x
Stuart, A., & Phillips, D. (1997). Word recognition in continuous noise, interrupted noise, and in
quiet by normal-hearing listeners at two sensation levels. Scandinavian audiology 26,
Szalma, J. L. & Hancock, Peter A. (2011). Noise effects on human performance: A meta-analytic
synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 137. doi: 10.1037/a0023987
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 21
Theologus, George C.; Wheaton, George R.; Fleishman, Edwin A. Effects of intermittent,
moderate intensity noise stress on human performance. Journal of Applied Psychology,
59, 539-547. doi: 10.1037/h0037336
Van Gemmert, A.W.A., & Van Galen, G. P. (1997). Stress, neuromotor noise, and human
performance: A theoretical perspective. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human
Perception and Performance, 23, 1299-1313. doi:10.1037/0096- 15126.96.36.1999 P. A.
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 22
Figure 1. Anxiety as a function of time and noise, analyzed through average STAI scores.
noise no noise
Presence of Variable
DO TIME AND NOISE AFFECT ANXIETY AND RECOGNITION? 23
Figure 2. Average proportion of “Yes” responses as a function of condition in either control,
noise, time or both, amongst studied words, critical lures, and foils.
control noise timer both