Chapter 1 Research Methods – First Impression: Option 1

The research question I’d like to explore is how stress affects memory. I hypothesize that when under stress, short term memory improves because the brain will be working harder to memorize the information. The independent variable would be the time given to memorize a deck of cards and the dependent variable would be how many cards were recalled. Supplies needed would not be costly, a deck of cards and a stopwatch.

In order to test this research question and hypothesis I would use hypothetic-deductive reasoning. My data would come from two randomly assigned groups of students with similar IQs and in the same cohort year to ensure that the independent variable will be the only entity tested and the sample is the same. I would recruit students by printing a list of all students in the same graduating class, rolling a dice and choosing each student counting by the number on the dice. For example, if the number was five, every fifth student would be contacted. The first 30 to respond would be chosen. Because all students are in the same year and admitted into the same college, their IQs are likely to be similar. This assumption though could cause flaws but this factor is glanced over because it would be too time consuming to gather the information.

In Group 1, students would be told they have up to twenty minutes to memorize a deck of cards (the number and suit) and to take their time. On the other hand, in Group 2 students would be told they only have exactly two minutes to memorize a deck of cards (the number and suit). Each student would receive a newly shuffled deck of cards to ensure they were not listening to the person before them. Manipulating the time and urgency in which students had to memorize the cards would be observed if it affected memory recall.

Students would be given points for how many cards they could recall in order (number and suit). Points would immediately end if a card was not in the order. For example, three points means three cards were recited in exact order of number and suit. These points would be recorded and compared to one another to see if the time made a difference in memory recall. After the results were collected, I would analyze this data and either accept or reject my original hypothesis.

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One thought on “Chapter 1 Research Methods – First Impression: Option 1

  1. I think this is a great subject to do an experiment on, because as a college student, stress affects us all the time, and with the amount of classwork, homework, and other things we have going on, we have to be able to remember all of that, so I love this study! I also like how you’re using a deck of cards, because there are 52 of them, and each of them have something different on them, whether it’d be the suite or the color, or the number, so this definitely will test short term memory! I also like how you’re planning on using random sampling with dice, because it will ensure that no bias will be present. Using people from the same age is also smart as well, because they’re all new to the whole college experience, and probably not used to how much work comes with it, and how much stress they’re about to endure. I especially like paragraph three where you describe the experiment and how each group has a different amount of time to memorize the cards. I agree with you when you said “Manipulating the time and urgency in which students had to memorize the cards would be observed if it affected memory recall”, because time and the pressure to memorize in that amount of time will definitely affect how many cards they get right. Some hidden variables though could be if they’re naturally well at memorizing things, the time constraint wouldn’t be an issue, or if the pressure causes them to forget everything rather than remember. Overall, I think this is a great experiment to test how well we’re able to memorize short term under stress!

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