Undergraduate Psychology Research Methods Journal


Previous research has suggested that categorical organization of information increases the likelihood of it being remembered on a later memory task (Calfee & Peterson, 1968). Additionally, Slamecka and Graf (1978) found that if participants were forced to generate portions of words they were more likely to remember the words on a later test. The main point of interest for this experiment was whether providing participants with an organizational strategy, (Prescribed Organization-PO), in comparison to allowing them to freely choose how they want to organize information, (Choice Organization-CO), affects the participants’ scores on short-term recognition tests of that information. This study was unique due to the pictorial nature of the materials. The materials were created for this study and have not been employed in any previous research. The results of this study indicate that presence or absence of organizational instruction had no significant effect on short-term recognition of information. However, it was discovered that when using a CO strategy it is more beneficial to use more than one level of organization for the information being studied.

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