In Psychology, the cognitive approach studies the mental processes of people, the organization and memory is a major area of research within this perspective. Memory is an essential part of the human make-up and without it society as we know it would not exist. There have been a large number of theories investigating the effects of organization on recalling information from memory. Theories of organization and memory originated from a study performed by Bousefield (1953) claiming that organizing in categories is the natural way to process information in long term memory. Modeled after Bousefield’s study, the aim of this current study was to examine the effects of organization of words on the ability of recalling from memory if there are any.
W. Bousefield performed number of experiments on the organization of memory. In one of these he asked participants to learn a list of 60 items. Within the list (mixed up) were 4 categories of words: animals, names of people, professions, and vegetables. Subjects were asked to recall the words in any order they liked. The results found that subjects tended to remember the words in clusters, in which the words belonged to the same category. He concluded that categorical clustering is indicative of semantic organization in memory.
The current study will specifically explore the research question of whether subjects are better able to recall information from an organized list of words than an unorganized list. The justification for the current study is to follow up on the original study’s only moderately significant finding to see if other possible outcomes exist. The methodology of the current study will differ from the original study possibly leading to new discoveries in the organization of memory. The current study provides support to Bousefield’s theory which states categorical clustering is indicative of semantic organization in memory.
The current study used an independent measure design to measure the effects of word structure and organization in a list of words towards subject’s ability to recall the given list. Independent measurements allowed for the subject’s results to be easily compared between the two differently structured lists. An independent measurement ensured that the participants could not determine the purpose of the experiment. Due to convenience and a time constraint the experiment had a lack of effective control of subject variables, but thanks to large size sample lack of control of subject variables did not skew results.
During this study all ethical concerns for psychological experiments were taken under consideration, and no violations with the APA ethics guideline occurred. Informed consent was obtained from the participants who participated in the study, informing them they have to ability to withdraw from the experiment. Parental consent was needed from participants who were under the age of 16. No pain, embarrassment, or deception was caused...