The present study aimed to measure the effect of different types of organized lists on recall. Participants were randomly assigned into two groups and was presented with either a list of words organized Alphabetically (N=10) under the words corresponding letters or words organized in a Schedule (N=11), categorized under ellipses labeled with parts of a day-"Morning", "Afternoon", and "Evening" . Each list contained the same 90 words sans the organization of the list. Participants in both groups studied their respective list and recalled as many words as they could remember by writing them down afterwards in both trials under a restricted period of time. It was predicted, the mean of correct word recall would increase for both groups across trials. Although statistical significance was not met, mean of correct word recall was higher in the group with Schedule list organization than the group with the Alphabetized list. These findings led to the conclusion that the organization of word lists aids in associating words in categories which facilitate in higher recall. Similarly, these predictions were consistent with findings of Bower and Clark-Meyers (1980) , Bower, Clark, Lesgold, and Winzenz (1969), and Calfee and Peterson (1968).
Keyword: Recall, organization, word lists, memory, categories
The Effect of Different Types of Organized Lists on Word Recall
The study of human memory has stirred many interests in research. The process of memory is encoding, storing, and retrieving information. Learning is aided by the ability to store newly formed memories for periods of time and recalling them when needed. One of the main components in memory is the short-term memory (STM), which is responsible for storing information temporarily. Even though the capacity to store in STM is limited, memory capacity can be expanded through the process of chunking. Chunking is a strategy in which information is clustered into meaningful associations that increase memorization. This in itself is a type of organization of categorizing the information so it is easier to remember and recall.
Bower, Clark, Lesgold, and Winzenz (1969) conducted a study that looked at the impact of words structured in an organized hierarchy and category blocking on free-recall. The study explored category names that acted as a cue to enhance recall on structured lists relating to the category label. Furthermore, hierarchical organization of the word list grouped words into specific categories, high-level categories prompted the lower-level categories which helped in recalling words. The perceptual hierarchy is organized in a tree-like structure where the organization categorizes the words within their shared groups of additional categories.
The first experiment Bower et al.(1969) carried out consisted of four trials in which 112 words were presented to participants either in a blocked or random list. The blocked list was hierarchically organized in comparison to the...