Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
John J. Rearden
Thirty two males and thirty two females performed at a memorization task in which lists of words were presented either auditorially or visually. In addition to mode of presentation and sex, two other independent variables included mode of response; words being recalled by writing or orally repeating them, and mnemonic device effect; subjects being instructed to use bizarre images aide or repetition memory aide. No significant sex differences were found in this experiment. There was a significant mode of presentation effect in which subjects who heard the words recalled significantly more than subjects who saw the words. There was also a significant mnemonic device effect in which subjects using the bizarre images memory aide recalled significantly more words than those using the repetition memory aide. There were two significant two-way interactions: a sex by mnemonic device interaction and sex by trials interaction. In the sex by mnemonic device interaction, males using a mnemonic aide recalled significantly more words than males using the nonmnemonic aide of repetition. Females, on the other hand, recalled slightly fewer words when using the bizarre images aide than when the repetition aid was employed. In the sex by trials interaction, females recalled more words when intermediate-length lists of words were presented where males recalled more words when long-length lists of words were presented. The auditory mode of presentation superiority may have been a procedural artifact. In the visual condition, words were viewed for the duration of three seconds where in the auditory condition, words were heard and then followed by two seconds of silence. It may have been that this procedure forced the subjects in the auditory condition to rehearse the words more and rely more on imagery strategies. There are other possible interpretations of this finding: 1) the novelty of hearing words from a tape recorder; 2) the greater reliance of adults on verbal communication; and 3) the increased distractions during the visual condition. The mnemonic device effect was seen as being consistant with past literature in which the use of a mnemonic memory aide improves memorization. The sex by mnemonic device effect was viewed in terms of the idiosyncratic nature of mnemonic memory aides. Whereas males may have been more able to utilize the bizzare images aide, females might have preferred to employ a different memory aide. Recommendations for future research include: using reading ability as a covariable, and testing memory at several intervals after presentation.
Thorne-Thomsen, John, "Effect of Sex, Input-Response Mode, and Mnemonics on Free Recall" (1978). Masters Theses. 3243.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.