Supports the hypothesis

Then it was essential to calculate the means of the advantage that ‘M’ had over ‘R’. It was found that the mean for the first recall was 1.64 whereas the mean for the second recall was 1.36. This suggests there was a higher advantage of words recalled involving the semantic task rather than the rhyming words, which in all supports the hypothesis. Even in the second recall although the results were significantly lower the mean for the advantage of ‘M’ words still was much higher than the ‘R’ words.

It was found that there was ability to conduct a related t-test to test the hypothesis with the results. The results of the t-test (appendix 3) showed that in the advantage over the first recall t= 3.30 which in the table showed that the result was significant at p<0.05. The second recall t = 1.96 and therefore was significant at p<0.01. This goes to show that the results support the hypothesis, that there will be a higher score in words that have been associated with meaning rather than with a matched rhyming words. Below are graphs to show the results for the first recall results (graph 1) and the second recall results (graph 2) which also supports the hypothesis.

A graph to show the set of results of ‘M’ words and ‘R’ words for the first recall attempt. A graph to show the set of results of ‘M’ words and ‘R’ words for the second recall attempt with trigger words. Discussion The purpose of the investigation was to look at the effect of levels of processing in the memory. This was achieved by a series of word list and translating the words to have either semantic or rhyming matching words. It was then asked of the participants to recall the original words. It was found that there was a considerable difference between the types of words to be recalled. Semantic words had a much higher recall score than rhyming words.

The hypothesis of this investigation stated that semantic words would be easier to remember than rhyming words, according to the results from this investigation it can be said that the hypothesis was proved to be correct. From reviewing the results and looking back at the work of such psychological researchers as Craik and Lockhart, it can be seen that levels of processing takes a vital role in memory recall. As this investigation didn’t take into account the first two words and the last two words this eliminated the role of primacy and recency effects (Solso, 2001)

This is also because if the participants think they are going to have to memorise them, these will be the first words that they would recall. Therefore by excluding them this allows levels of processing to take place. Looking at whether semantic words or rhyming words were more common it became clear that there was a higher advantage for semantic words which shows that the semantic words are processed deeper and therefore easier to recall. (Craik and Tulving 1975, cited in Parkin, 2000)

In comparison to other studies, such as Craik, 1977 (cited in Parkin, 1975) the results obtained from this investigation are very similar to Craik’s experiment which shows that levels of processing takes part in order to distinguish which information is remembered for recall. There were many limitations to this investigation; for example, there could be gender differences that were not approached and also age may have a considerable impact on how much we are able to recall. If I were to repeat this investigation I feel that I would control these variables much closely having a specific range of ages and also an equal amounts of male and females taking part.


Groome, D. (1999) An Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Processes and Disorders. Psychology Press Ltd. Sussex.

Parkin, A. (2000) Essential Cognitive Psychology. Psychology Press Ltd. Sussex.

Radford, J. & Govier, E. (1991) A textbook of Psychology. Routledge. Great Britain.

Solso, I. (2001) Cognitive Psychology. Pearson Education Company. U.S.A

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