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poster 1

  1. 1. Impact of Cognitive Loading on Recall of Names Cassie C. Strickland ABSTRACT Many people report that they have difficulty remembering names. Helder and Shaughnessy (2008) found that name recall can be improved by multitasking if it involves a conversation. In the present study, the impact of task loading on name recall was examined for 39 student volunteers who were asked to play either a familiar (n=20) or an unfamiliar (n=19) card game. After playing the game through to completion, each participants was taken aside and shown pictures of their fellow players. They were asked to recall the player's middle name that was given at the beginning of the session. The mean number of player names correctly recalled did not vary across the two game conditions (familiar and unfamiliar) (t (37) =.603, p>0.05). There may be other factors that influence name recall . Repetition and rehearsal may be needed for name recall. BACKGROUND • Baddeley and Hitch (1974, 2000) propose the concept of working memory as an expansion building on the general notion of short-term memory. Baddeley & Hitch argue that working memory is a limited capacity memory system that allows for both storage and processing of information. • Researchers have extensively explored the impact of working memory capacity on individuals’ ability to preform a second task. Cocchini, Logie, Sala, MacPherson, and Baddeley (2002) demonstrated that processing within verbal and visual working memory systems appear to operate independently of one another. More specifically, verbal working memory was not impacted when participants were also given a concurrent visual working memory task. This finding would suggest that it is possible for participants to do more than one task at a time. • Research has also demonstrated that, in situations where individuals are asked to multitask, it is important to have many retrieval opportunities when learning names. For example, Helder and Shaughnessy (2008) found the more difficult the task, the greater the effect of participant’s ability to recall names. There was a 54% recall rate when people heard names more than once in this experiment. They also found that practicing names improve name recall however it is smaller after 24 hours. • In the present study, participants were asked to learn the names of other participants while engaging in a game. The difficulty level of the game was manipulated by varying the familiarity of the task. Some volunteers were asked to play a familiar card game (Uno) while others were asked to play a game that they had never played before (The Werewolves). It was thought that the unfamiliar game would put a greater load on working memory and hence result in lower levels of name recall. PARTICIPANTS • 39 volunteer participants: 26 female, 13 males: 2 groups, 2 days. • Day 1 Uno: 9 females, 1 male • Day 1 The Werewolves: 7 females, 2 males • Day 2 Uno: 5 females, 5 males • Day 2 The Werewolves: 6 females, 4 males METHODS AND PROCEDURES • Participants were asked to go into one of the study rooms in a university's library. • Card games that were used: Uno and The Werewolves. • Participants were asked to introduce themselves to the group using their middle name only. • Participants’ photos were taken after the introduction. • At the end of the card games, participants were asked to take a short questionnaire. • They were then sent out one by one to the experimenters to be tested for name recall. RESULTS • Unfamiliar group results indicated that participants remembered 4 to 5 names of the other players. (Mode= 4 and 5, M=3.24, SD=1.996) • Familiar group results indicated that participants remembered 3 names of the other players. (Mode=3, M=3.35, SD=3.35). • An Independent T-test was used to test name recall and the card games. t (37) =.603, p>0.05. Not significant. RESULTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS • First, I would like to thank Reinhardt University and my research director Dr. Katrina Smith for making this possible. I would also like to thank my classmates Kristina Jones, Adrienne Lawrence and Aleah Cooper for helping me run my games. DISCUSSION • The results do not seem to support the original hypothesis. This maybe because of proactive interference. Proactive interference is when remembering a list of information becomes more difficult because existing information gets in the way. In the present study, participants already knew one another’s first names. This knowledge may have made it more difficult to learn their peer’s middle names than it would have been to learn the names of strangers. • One of the factors that may have impacted performance in the present study was that names were not repeated actively during game play which is important in name recall. • Another factor impacting performance may have been the unmatched times of the card games. • Future studies should include more participants and should focus on repetition and rehearsal during game play. Note: This is the name recall over all Figure 1. Table 1. Descriptive statistics for name recall Percentofnamescorrectlyrecalled