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Effect of Gender on Short Term Memory

Studies on the effect of gender on memory were varied and inconsistent, therefore this experiment was conducted to identify whether gender had an effect on short term memory and the time taken and mechanism used to recall data. A randomly selected sample was taken from a population of students with in one academic institution to partake in this experiment. From the data collected there was a visible trend but only through the raw averages. Impending the conclusion that gender has no effect on short term memory or manner of recall.

Hafsah Asmat Cadidate number: 9029 Centre number: 33649

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

Hafsah Asmat (9029)

Effect of gender on short term memory

1.1 Rationale This experiment aims to determine whether or not a persons gender has an effect on their memory. Due to time restrictions, short term memory will be measured as opposed to long term memory. Current Research on the affect of gender on memory is inconsistent, (1) Some studies show no difference whilst others showcase a gender specific advantage, such as a study conducted in 1974 by Maccoby and Jacklin which found that there were significant differences favouring females in 17 out of the 62 experiments, whereas only 2 of the experiments favoured males.(2) Another Study by H. Stumpf and Richard Lynn demonstrated statistically significant short-term memory advantages in women.(3) This experiment arises from the age old assumption that women are better at multi tasking than men(4) For women to be able to multitask better than men, they must have a better Short term memory capacity, hence be able to carry out more than one task at a time. Therefore women should show better results in this experiment. (5) Another reason for the conduction of this experiment is to see whether separating exam results in schools by students gender is valuable or not. If females have better STM capacities then they may have an unfair advantage over males in academia and also any daily work carried out, as it has been said that females outperform males in A levels, as an evaluation done by the BBC has shown females to obtain more As and Bs than males in their A levels.(6) Therefore this investigation will determine if gender really does affect a students immediate recall and whether females may or may not have the upper hand over males in academic potential, therefore determining if academic results and expectations should be gender specific. A large demographic of students aged 17-18 from one academic institution will be chosen at random to partake in this experiment to see if this is true. 1.2 Research The brain is a very complex organ hence human memory is a complex process. It is made up of six main areas, which with the exception of the brain stem are separated to the left and right hand side.The brain is divided into two sections, the left and the right. The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa. Also the hemispheres are divided by the thought they process or produce. The right side is more artistic, spatial and musical, while the left is more linear, rational and logical.

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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As labelled in figure 1 the main segments of the brain are the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe, occipital lobe, the cerebellum and the brain stem.(7)

Memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information. When a memory is recalled the same neurological pathways are retraced that were used when the memory originally occurred. Failure to remember normally results from inadequate storing of the memory initially leading to failure to retaining the information or recalling it later. Most scientists believe that memory is a result of changes in connections or connection strengths between neurons in the brain. It is made up of billions of neurons connected by synapses to several thousand other neurons. A brain neurone consists of a regular cell body with a central nucleus and has short axons leading to dendrites, where synapses occur and links to other neurones as figure 2 shows.

The synapse is a structure that permits a neuron (or nerve cell) to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell (neural or otherwise). It is widely accepted that the synapse plays a role in the formation of memory. As neurotransmitters activate receptors across the synaptic gap, the connection between the two neurons is strengthened when both neurons are active at the same time, as a result of the receptor's signalling mechanisms. The strength of two connected neural pathways is thought to result in the storage of information, resulting in memory. This process of synaptic strengthening is known as long-term potentiation.(8) Short-term memory is a complex cognitive act that entails the participation of multiple brain regions. A group of scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Biological Cybernetics have discovered that synchronized brain oscillations between different brain regions are crucial in visually remembering things over a short period of time.

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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It has long been known that brain regions in the frontal part of the brain are involved in short-term memory, while processing of visual information occurs primarily at the back of the brain. However, to successfully remember visual information over a short period of time, these distant regions need to coordinate and integrate information. To better understand how this occurs, the scientists recorded electrical activity both in a visual area and in the frontal part of the brain in monkeys. The scientists showed animals identical or different images within short intervals while recording their brain activity. The animals then had to indicate whether the second image was the same as the first one. The scientists observed that, in each of the two brain regions, brain activity showed strong oscillations in a certain set of frequencies called the theta-band. Importantly, these oscillations did not occur independently of each other, but synchronized their activity temporarily. During working memory, they get in sync, thereby allowing information to pass through them much more efficiently than if they were out of sync the more synchronized the activity was, the better the animals could remember the initial image. Thus, enabling them to establish a direct relationship between what they observed in the brain and the performance of the animal. In each of the two brain regions (IPF and V4) as shown in figure 3 brain activity shows strong oscillations in a certain set of frequencies called the theta-band

The study highlights how synchronized brain oscillations are important for the communication and interaction of different brain regions. Almost all multi-faceted cognitive acts, such as visual recognition, arise from a complex interplay of specialized and distributed neural networks. (9) The transfer of information into Long-term memory involves the hippocampus of the brain. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is involved in memory forming, organizing, and storing. It is central to the limbic system structure. The limbic system is a complex set of brain structures that lies on both sides of the thalamus, right under the cerebrum. It is not a separate system, but a collection of structures that is important in forming new memories and connecting emotions and senses to memories. The hippocampus a horseshoe shaped paired structure,is within the temporal lobes adjacent to the amygdala.(10) as figure 4 (11) shows. As well as the hippocampus the other large limbic system structure, the amygdala also plays important roles in memory. The amygdala is responsible for determining what memories are stored and where the memories are stored in the brain. It is thought that this determination is based on how huge an emotional response an event invokes. The hippocampus sends memories out to the appropriate part of the cerebral hemisphere for long-term

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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storage and retrieves them when necessary. Therefore Damage to this area of the brain may result in an inability to form new memories. (12)

figure 4 (11) The hippocampus joins different elements of a memory that are stored in separate areas of the brain and also acts as a memory indexer by sending memories out to the appropriate part of the cerebral hemisphere for long-term storage and retrieving them when necessary(13). The hippocampus also helps with memory organization and consolidation. (14) The terms long term memory and short term memory was initiated by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) by the modal model. This model suggested information is originally processed by STM and must then be imitated to enter the LTM. The most recent model of memory which is commonly acknowledged is the working memory by Baddeley and Hitch (1974). (15) Working Memory can be defined as systems involved in the temporary storage of information in the performance of cognitive skills such as reasoning or learning.(5) An accurate model of STM was produced by Baddeley. He believed the main components were: 1) Central Executive 2) Phonological Loop This results in: a. The span of immediate recall (Miller, 1956). This can be explained by the decay of traces in Phonological Store. b. Immediate recall of phonemically similar objects is poorer than phonetically dissimilar. c. S 2r + C, where S= Span and r =articulation rate and C is a constant. (Hulme, Thomson, Muir, Lawrence 1984 Ellis & Hennelly 1980 Baddeley et all 1975 Hith &Halliday 1983) (5) 3) Visuospatial Sketchpad 4) Episodic Buffer

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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(16)The working memory model is supported by the theory that nerve messages are received from the brain's cerebral cortex from sensors. This sensory stimulus is held for a fraction of a second in the sensory memory. An individual needs to pay attention to the subject for about eight uninterrupted seconds after which it enters the short-term memory. The memory is then stored on a tape. Once a complete loop is made, three things can happen: the information can be "rehearsed", which will provide auditory cues, the information goes into long-term memory or the information will be lost. (17) Biologists believe that memory relates to changes in neurotransmitter release from neurons, fluctuations in hormone levels, and protein synthesis in the brain. During puberty, in males and females there is a release of testosterone and oestrogen, from the pituitary gland in the brain. Puberty in males takes a total of six years whereas in females it takes only 4; the two year difference is likely to be influenced by the release of the hormone which intern creates a difference in the ability to remember between the genders. The release of testosterone is continuous and so is at an overall lower rate, whereas in females it is a monthly occurrence and in higher amounts. The release of these hormones and there amounts increases the "synaptic density" -- the number of connections to other nerve cells -- in the hippocampus especially, (18) In figure 5 (19) the side (A) shows the arms and branches of a hippocampus nerve cell, the visible bumps indicate the synapses. After puberty side (b) shows the same area, there is an increase in the number of bumps and their sizes hence there is an increase in synaptic density and a better neurological pathway is able to form. Therefore this biological principle is the main basis behind the being of the experiment.

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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Preliminary work 2.1 Aim: The investigation aims to determine whether gender has an effect on a persons STM capacity, and their variations. Secondary variables will be the effect of the type of data memorized (numbers, images or words) and also the time taken to recall words (where relevant). 2.2 Hypothesis Null hypothesis: There will be no effect of Gender on ones short term memory capacity. Alternative Hypothesis: Memory is affected by gender, so females will have a better short term memory capacity than males. 2.3 Variables 2.3.1 Independent Variable: Gender of Person, hence the two categorical variables, will be either male or female. 2.3.2 Dependent Variable: Short Term Memory capacity - The different levels of STM capacity of an individual will be measured by the total number of correct terms / images recalled and the level reached. The higher the number recalled/ level reached, the higher the STM capacity. 2.3.3 Control Variables: 1) To ensure no disturbances occur the test will be undertaken in a peaceful environment. 2) The Same area will be used in all the trials and for the final experiment. 3) The same number of male and female subjects will be used. Only a small sample size was obtained, due to the restrictions of testing within school such as confidentiality issues, unsuitable trial times and availability of people. Hence the sample size is not wholly representative of the population. 4) The subjects will be chosen at random, so theyll reflect many demographics whilst also preventing any subconscious discrimination.

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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5) The subjects will be of a similar age as age may affect stm, therefore their mental brain capacities must be similar. 6) The experiments will be conducted at the same time every day the reason is because this experiment is on humans, so their diet, exercise and amount of sleep taken may affect results so conducting this experiment at the same time everyday will ensure these factors remain similar. 7) As the test will be done in a group the subjects will be sat apart so no data can be shared to prevent cheating from occurring, hence preventing students having unfair advantages. 8) The memory test will be undertaken under same room temperature, as a study conducted on The effects of air temperature variance on memory ability showed that the air temperature of a room can affect a students memory, as memory is also affected by external factors. (20) 2.3.4 Limitations Memory is a human process; therefore genetic and environmental factors such as upbringing, diet, academic ability and genetic variance cannot be controlled hence limiting the validity of the data that is collected. All of the participants may not put in 100% effort, whilst others might. However this too cannot be determined or controlled within the experiment. 2.4 Confidentiality: To follow the data protection act the subjects were only asked to disclose their gender and their age, so they could not be identified. The data collected will only be used for the investigation and nothing else. The subjects will also have the right to enquire about the usage of the obtained results. The subject will be fully informed of what is required of them and fully briefed before and after the experiment; however the hypothesis will not be disclosed, to prevent bias. A letter of consent was also given to the subjects to sign by their parent or guardian. Subsequently the measures taken follow the data protection act and ensure confidentiality. 2.4.1 Risk assessment:

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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A risk assessment was done before the experiment could commence. Precautions were taken to ensure the safety of all participants as well as the investigator. Hence the prevention of any physical accidents was kept to a minimum. The risk of any psychological or physical damage to the subject was also now at a bare minimum. Methods of memory testing: Recall, where the subject has to be able to retrieve stored information after a set period of time or on cue and only have a certain period of time to recall in. Free recall, involves immediate and delayed, the only difference is that delayed had a distracter then the subject is free to recall. This method will need to be trialed to establish the most appropriate one for the experiment. Recognition , where the subject has to identify what theyve been shown. 2.5 Trial one: Aim: To establish the steps that would need to be undertaken to make an effective memory test. Appartus: 2 copies of the memory test (words written on a sheet of a4 paper) 2 sheets of a4 lined paper and pens 1 male 1 female subject Comfortable desk and chairs

Method: The memory test was individually conducted on one male and one female subject. 20 words were written on a piece of paper,(see appendix 1) which was given to the subjects for about four minutes so they could memorize them. The sheet was then taken back and the subjects were asked to recall and record as many of the words as possible within four minutes. Results: The female subject remembered 13 words this was two more words than the male, however as there were only two subjects this may have just been a chance occurrence. Subject responses: The trial got boring at times hence causing a loss of interest. The lack of enthusiasm and dedication will affect how the subjects perform thus affecting any obtained data. The subjects also reported that the four minute recall time was too short as they recalled more words shortly after. How this helped: This trial enabled a basic understanding of how to effectively conduct a memory test, yet also highlighted many key errors in this trial which will be modified for the next trial such as: Limiting the recall time of the words as the subjects recall time and method of recall is an important factor hence should also be measured in the experiment, so this variable should not be controlled in the experiment.

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Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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The lack of subjects as this can cause unreliable data ,as repeats cannot be obtained. All the words were given at once so the subjects mayve spent longer memorising certain words, consequently not allocating the same amount of time to memorise all the words. The experiment was not properly timed, so one subject mayve received more time than the other. Some of the words chosen were connected, this can affect the results as the subjects may chunk the data, allowing faster memorisation, so to ensure accuracy random unconnected words will be chosen in the next trial.

2.6 Trial two: Aim: Improve the memory test for the final experiment. Modify the identified errors from the first trial to establish whether there could be more possible errors. This trial also had a larger sample size consisting of 10 males and females. This trial additionally measured immediate free recall. Using this method allowed measurements of both span and recency effect. The results also showed the data recalled and how many of these were shown towards the end of the test, entailing better recall (recency effect). Though random unconnected words were chosen, nonsense syllables were not used as the aim of the experiment was to see how well subjects recalled relevant data, as all work given in school is not nonsense as it follows curricula. Apparatus: The PowerPoint presentation with the 20 random words for the memory test A timer 20 pieces of a4 lined paper and pens 10 male and 10 female subjects Comfortable desk and chairs

Method: The memory was conducted on the subjects in small groups, the subjects were seated apart and given their equipment they were then asked to disclose only their age and gender. Once everyone was ready the PowerPoint presentation was started and each word was shown for 10 seconds (see appendix 2). When the presentation was finished the subjects were told to recall and record as many of the words they could remember, the time each subject took to do this was observed and recorded.

11 Results:

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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On average females recalled more terms than males, 14.4% of females remembered a higher number of correct terms. Nevertheless the average time taken to recall terms was also higher in females as females took 14.3 % longer than males, therefore there may be a connection between the two variables. The graphs show the average number of terms recalled in males and females, and the average time taken to recall the terms.

Graph 1

Graph 2

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Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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Subject responses: This experiment was slightly tedious, and at times subjects felt they lost interest thus didnt try hard enough. How it helped: Established that 20 subjects, is reliable enough to observe memory trends on. Highlighted a limitation within my experiment on student memory as it showed that not only should letters be used but also images as students are expected to memorize both in schools. Indicated merely using words made the trial too easy as most of the subjects did well and got similar results, therefore adding images and letters to the next trial can make the test more challenging and also more fascinating for the subjects. Also it has been reported by a professor of socio-biology, Edward O. Wilson, of Harvard University, that women generally can recall lists of words or paragraphs of text better than men (19), therefore to make the next trial and the experiment more valid image data will also need to be added. 2.7 Trial three: As well as the modifications identified from the previous two trials, this trial additionally compared two different types of data, Images and alphabetical (see appendix 3). Immediate free recall and measurements of span and recency effect were still observed. To prevent the subjects becoming bored a distracter joke was told after the PowerPoint before the subjects were told to recall and record what they could remember, this also aided the memory test as during this time the subjects couldnt go over the data in their head hence making it a true test of their short term memory capacity. Apparatus: The PowerPoint presentation with the 20 random images and letters for the memory test A timer 20 pieces of a4 lined paper and pens 10 male and 10 female subjects Comfortable desk and chairs A quantity of funny jokes

Method: The method remained the same as from trial two, however the only methodical difference was that after the PowerPoint had finished a distracter joke was told, then the subjects were told to recall and record what they could remember, with the time they took to do so being Graph 3 recorded. Results: Females recalled more data (images and letters) than males as shown in graph 3 which shows the mean number of terms recalled for females was 12.8% higher. The

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Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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average time needed to recall terms was also higher in females by 21.8%, subsequently indicating a possible connection between the two variables.

Subject Male 1 Male 2 Male 3 Male 4 Male 5 Male 6 Male 7 Male 8 Male 9 Male 10 Mean Female 1 Female 2 Female 3 Female 4 Female 5 Female 6 Female 7 Female 8 Female 9 Female 10 Mean

Number of Correct Terms 12 9 5 14 15 8 14 10 9 13 10.9 7 13 3* 16 7 9 12 19 13 14 12.5

Time Used (seconds) 64 57 54 56 51 73 68 75 40 67 60.5 65 74 27* 85 71 52 93 82 110 65 77.4

*Anomalous Result

An Anomalous result was obtained by female 3 as shown in the table; therefore this result was not included in the final mean, to ensure accuracy. The most probable reason for this anomaly may have been due to the subject not trying, or a lapse in memory, therefore to reduce the chance of an occurrence like this in the experiment, the test was made more interesting, yet not too difficult, to prevent the chance of anomalous data. Subject responses: The test was more interesting and challenging, hence made them eager to participate fully, however it could be made more challenging. How it helped: The modifications made from all the trials proved to be a huge success therefore were corporate into the main experiment Despite the trial being made more challenging, it could be improved therefore this was modified for the final experiment.(see below)

14 2.8 Analysis of trials:

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Through the continual modification of the memory tests, method, and onboard of the subjects responses, the trials helped inform the planning of the final experiment by identifying the potential risks and how to avoid and minimise them. The trials also helped identify the control variables hence made sure the final experiment could be modified to take them into account. In addition the trials identified what observations need to be taken and the best means to record them. Finally the trials highlighted the correct apparatus and memory tests that would be needed for a perfected experiment. The justification for plotting the mean results in graphs was to clearly show the data in an interpretable manner whilst also segregating it into its respective groups. From the manipulation of data and the raw averages its identified that all the trials show the females to have recalled more data, but trial two and three which also measured the time taken to recall, also show the females to have taken longer for their method of recall. Some sources of random error were identified from the trials which were: Genetic variance, due to this some of the subjects may have better memory than others and may also have higher IQs therefore more academically able, thus also able to perform better in the memory test. The attention span/ amount of effort put in will vary based on the individual, therefore those more able to concentrate and participate better will achieve better results. External factors such as the subjects daily life, stress, level of sleep, diet, exercise and there mood will affect how well they perform. 2.9 Final modifications for use in the experiment: For the final experiment to be accurate the subjects need to remain interested and want to participate properly so a true measure of their STM capacity can be identified, therefore the memory test was made more challenging by adding levels (see method section for full explanation), to not only make the test more accurate but also fun as the participants now considered it a game therefore determined to try their best. Making it more challenging also increased the range of data, as trial one and two showed that because they were easy most people excelled and had similar results, hence limiting the results. To also make the trial a challenge extra images were added which were not part of their memorization tasks, the images acted as a distracter for the subjects as it prevented cued recall by the subjects and eliminated the possibility of the subjects trying to guess, subsequently increasing the accuracy of the experiment. The subjects were also put under examination conditions to prevent cheating. In addition the experiment also observed whether the subjects recalled the data in order, in chunks or randomly and reminiscent of the observations in the trials, whether gender had an effect on their method of recall. This modification was because of Jacobs (1887) study which correspondingly to this experiment used both images and letters in his test, the study also asked the subject to repeat data back in the correct order.

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Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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Unlike the trials the results of the experiment were recorded based on the levels reached by the subjects. There were also repeats to ensure reliability therefore a mean for the levels reached and number of images recalled was calculated from the three memory tests and then plotted on graphs. Presenting data using this method enable determination of correlations. Bar Charts were used as two categorical independent variables are being used. For statistical analysis of the data a Paired t-test was used. The reasoning for this will be further discussed in the statistics section. 3.01 Final experiment: Method: Subjects were occupied in small groups and seated apart; the subjects started on level 1 and were shown 2 images for 20 seconds, after this they were told a distracter joke, and then asked to recall and record the images/letters they had previously been shown off a grid (see appendix 3 and 4) containing the images, as well as additional images. Upon correct identification the subject moved on to level 2 where 3 images were to be memorized for 20 seconds then recalled after the distracter. Likewise the subject progressed up the levels, with the potentially highest level being level 10, until the subject answered incorrectly. The level the subject reached was recorded in a table coupled with the total number of images they could recall; hence a precise value of their STM capacity could be obtained, whilst also allowing comparisons between subjects who reached the same level. The same method was repeated two more times, however the memory test was altered so the order and selection of the data within the levels will not be the same, hence preventing subjects recalling answers from the first experiment. This also ensured that the memory test was of the same difficulty level for all of the repeats to make the results valid. Repeats 3 repeats were done until concordant results were obtained, to ensure reliability in the experiment. Doing repeats also ensured reliability as anomalies could be detected and then removed when calculating the mean, without affecting the overall results. Thus ensuring any trends observed in the data is accurate and thus the conclusion formed is correct. Results: Memory Test 1: Subject Male 1 Male 2 Male 3 Male 4 Male 5 Male 6 Male 7 Male 8 Male 9 Level Reached 5 8 7 6 5 8 2* 6 8 Number of images recalled 16 37 31 23 16 34 4 21 36 Method of recall Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Order Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Order

16 Male 10 Mean Female 1 Female 2 Female 3 Female 4 Female 5 Female 6 Female 7 Female 8 Female 9 Female 10 Mean *Anomalous Result Memory Test 2: Subject Male 1 Male 2 Male 3 Male 4 Male 5 Male 6 Male 7 Male 8 Male 9 Male 10 Mean Female 1 Female 2 Female 3 Female 4 Female 5 Female 6 Female 7 Female 8 Female 9 Female 10 Mean

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory 9 6.8 5 7 6 8 7 6 9 8 7 8 7.1 46 28.8 17 30 24 36 32 25 46 41 29 35 31.5

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Recalled in Order Recalled in Order Recalled in Order Recalled in Order Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Order

Level Reached 5 9 7 5 5 9 8 6 8 7 6.2 6 7 5 9 7 6 8 9 7 8 7.2

Number of images recalled 17 40 31 20 16 36 36 22 38 34 29 19 29 21 39 33 24 42 48 28 36 31.9

Method of recall

Recalled in Order Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Chunks

Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Order

Recalled in Order Recalled in Order Recalled in Order Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Order Recalled in Order Recalled in Chunks

17 Memory Test 3: Subject Male 1 Male 2 Male 3 Male 4 Male 5 Male 6 Male 7 Male 8 Male 9 Male 10 Mean Female 1 Female 2 Female 3 Female 4 Female 5 Female 6 Female 7 Female 8 Female 9 Female 10 Mean

Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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Level Reached 4 9 7 6 5 9 7 7 8 9 7.1 6 8 7 9 6 6 8 9 7 8 7.4

Number of images recalled 14 38 30 24 15 36 29 24 37 45 29.2 21 34 26 38 28 25 42 47 31 35 32.7

Method of recall Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Order Recalled in Order Recalled in Order

Recalled in Chunks Recalled in Order

Recalled in Order Recalled in Order Recalled in Order Recalled in Order

From the raw data it is visible that all the means are similar and yet again the means for the females are higher than those of the males, however this has to be further analysed using graphs before any further assumptions can be made. About 50% of females recalled the data in order where as only 20% of males did. Whereas 50% more Male recalled the data in chunks, compared to females. Therefore indicating the method of recalling in order may have helped the females to perform better. In relation to biological principles it could be said that females have a characteristic within their brains which enables them to recall data more efficiently than males, hence are able to multitask.

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Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory

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Graph 5 Graph 4

The final experiment showed that Females outperformed the males in the memory tests, as the bar charts of the means show the female bar to be higher than the male bar. The mean number of images recalled for the females was 32 whereas the mean number recalled for the males was 29; therefore the females outperformed the males by 9.4%. Similarly the females outperformed the males in the mean level reached by 7.37%. 4.01 Statistics The correct statistical test had to be chosen to analyse the data, so a correct conclusion of the results could be made. The experiment was looking for a difference between two sets of data (Male and female memory); therefore spearmans and Pearsons rank could not be used as they look at correlations. The data had been measurements rather than frequencies, so chi-squared could not be used to analysis the data. T-test was the only statistical test that remained. Paired t-test was chosen instead of unpaired as with unpaired data points in the sample do not necessarily match. The one tailed test had been favoured over the two tailed test, on the basis of the observations from the trials and experimental data of other researchers that had been mentioned earlier, that there may be a difference between the two sets of data. The one tailed test is also used to allow comparisons between the data and to help form an accurate conclusion.Subsequently the paired t-test is the most suitable test to analyse the data. This is because this test is used to compare two sets of data, the memory differences between the two genders. An unpaired t-test wasnt used as the independent variables are paired as there is a link between two different genders. Key: d = sum of n= the number of values collected x= the mean average of the differences

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Effect Of Gender On Short Term Memory T- test formula:

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Standard deviation formula:

The paired t-test will be calculated using the above formulas and the critical value will be identified using the statistical table which will be shown below. To calculate the t-test firstly the average of the repeats is calculated first for the 10 male and female subjects, then the difference was calculated by subtracting each female subjects mean from each male subjects mean. Then using this, the sum and the mean of the differences was calculated as well as the sum of d. Standard deviation (s) was then calculated as the value of S was used. The critical value was then compared to the t-test which was calculated. If the t-test value is greater than the critical value in the table then the null hypothesis will be rejected and the alternative hypothesis will be accepted. Null hypothesis: Gender has no effect on short term memory. Alternative hypothesis: Females have better short term memory than males. 4.02 Statistics Test 1: The level reached by the male and female subjects

. d= 29.084 x= .2 3 n= 10

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Before the critical value could be calculated the degrees of freedom needed to be calculated using the n-1 rule (10-1). The probability level which was used was 95% (0.05). The critical values table for the ttest is shown below. The value for the critical value will remain the same in all the statistics test as the degrees of freedom will be the same as will the confidence level.

Critical Value = 2.262

T-test value = 0.45

The critical value is bigger than the T-test value, therefore the Alternative hypothesis that females have better short term memory than males is rejected and the Null hypothesis is accepted.

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4.03 Statistics test 2: Number of images recalled by the male and female subjects. (Male 7s anomalous result from his first memory test was discounted, therefore only a mean of his two repeats was calculated for him.)

. d= 1459.451111 x= 3. n= 10

Critical value =2.262 T-test value = 0.79 The critical value is larger than the T-test value, so yet again the null hypothesis is accepted.

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5.01 Conclusion From analysing the data using the paired T-test, it can be concluded that Gender has no effect on memory, and therefore the Alternative hypothesis is rejected and the null hypothesis is accepted. However there was a limited quantity of data, and as discussed in the research and rationale section, no consistent proof of the alternative hypothesis. However the raw data that was obtained as well as the graphs of the mean level reached (graph 4)and the mean number of images recalled (graph 5) showed that females had better short term memory than males, as the main trend was that females were performing better than males. The reason for this, as suggested on page 5 links into puberty and the time over which it occurs; in turn relating to hormone levels. Puberty take 6 years in males, therefore testosterone produced at smaller, regular levels and consistently produced. Subsequently the development of the synaptic density of the hippocampus will be lower in males. Females, who enter puberty earlier and develop over only 4 years, have a higher level of oestrogen produced regularly so the synaptic density of the hippocampus is able to develop quicker; allowing the retention of information and development of stable neurological pathways. Overall this gives them better memory during these ages. The reason behind the raw data and the T-test not agreeing may be due to external factors, caused by anomalous data or the difference may be too small for a direct conclusion to be made, as shown by the statistical analysis The experiment also showed that about 50% of females recalled the data in order compared to only 20% of the males, hence indicating the method of recalling in order may have helped the females to perform better. A study at Johns Hopkins University, recently reporting in the "Cerebral Cortex" scholarly journal have discovered a brain region in the cortex, called inferior-parietal lobule (IPL) which is significantly larger in men than in women. Furthermore, the left side IPL is larger in men than the right side. In women, this asymmetry is reversed, although the difference between left and right sides is not as large as in men, this is the same area which was shown to be larger in the brain of Albert Einstein, as well as in other physicists and mathematicians. So, it seems that IPL's size correlates highly with mental mathematical abilities; therefore this study can help explain why the females recalled in order, whereas 50% more males recalled in chunks. (19) In future to help determine a better conclusion the number of participants shouldnt be limited to 20 as this is too small, and the methodology should include more repeats of the experiment with a control for comparative purposes, all these were not able to be addressed in this experiment due to time constraints and a lack of available participants. 5.02 Evaluation

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Many factors affected the reliability of the t-test results and the experimental data as a whole therefore a definitive answer to whether Gender has an effect on memory could not be formed. Although the trials informed the planning of the final experiment and therefore made it a success in terms of being undertaken as predicted, with no major problems, good co-operation and subject feedback there were still other issues that affected the reliability of the experiment. There were many limitations of the experiment; the biggest limitation of this experiment is the use of humans as unlike other subjects many human factors cannot be controlled which will inevitably affect the results the other limitations were When the memory test was being undertaken many of the participants didnt arrive on time, and in some cases were absent. This meant that the experiment wasnt being undertaken at the same time. However an attempt to compensate was formed for the students late arrival by altering the time period in which the experiment took place. Though the subjects were watched and under examination conditions, they mayve cheated or wrote data down during the test, hence affecting the accuracy of the experiment. Environmental factors such as upbringing, where they live and lifestyle will vary for each subject. However these external factors affect memory, but they cannot be controlled. Genetic difference such as ethnic variation and other either favourable genes or unfavourable ones would also affect how they may respond to the experiment and also how they may perform. The attention span of each subject varies and will affect how focused they are to the experiment; however this is individual and cannot be controlled, despite modifications to help make the main experiment fun. The number of students that participated was also a limitation, as the test was conducted within a small sixth form with small number of available students, it was also difficult to obtain participants who were willing to do the test at lunch time, and therefore only a small sample size could be obtained. This restricted the chance of gaining reliable, concrete data that would, once put through the t-test produce a secure conclusion and also contradicted some of the information found from the studies researched, as all of the studies had considerably higher sample sizes. Anything substances the subject may have taken such as drugs or caffeine will affect their performance, as caffeine is well known as a mental stimulant, hence would improve their focus thus their result. If any medication is taken this can also affect the students performance and thus their result. However this too cannot be controlled. The use of random students is also a limitation as more students from a certain ethnicity may be chosen or a higher proportion of academic achievers and vice versa may be chosen, thus reducing the accuracy of the data. Subjects academic abilities will also affect their results, thus the right proportion of both capabilities will be chosen, however the only way to test the students general intelligence as opposed to information theyve just learnt from book, is by looking aptitude exam scores such as the CAT tests, however this data is highly confidential thus protected.

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Only 3 repeats were done due to time constraint however the reliability of the results should be increased by increasing the number of repeats because consistency will be increased and more, concordant results will be obtained. The three repeats were done consecutively, this mayve stressed out and tired the subjects, thus affecting their results, however this could not be controlled due to time constraints, hence making it a limitation The subjects day/week is also a limitation as those subjects who had a more demanding day/week in terms of lesson or by the work required of them, may be stressed out again this factor can affect how they perform, thus affecting the results.

5.03 Evaluation and reliability of sources used The first reference I will be commenting on is my non web based source that i used; the book called Discovering the brain I used this source to investigate how a memory is formed and the role of the hippocampus. I think this book (11) is a reliable source as it was published by the national academic press, they publish the reports issued by the National Academy of Sciences, theyve also published thousands of reports and hundreds of books. Therefore this source must be reliable as a well known reputable organization, would carry out vast amounts of extensive research to not only protect its reputation and high calibre but to also help advance learning. I also think this book is a reliable source as its writer Sandra J. Ackerman is very reputable and well known. She covers new developments in science and medicine is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and a former managing editor of American Scientist therefore is a professional who is well educated and whose opinion would be reliable on the topic of neurophysiology. The other reference I will be commenting on is a web based source is used; Science News section, (July 2 1 ) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/sciencenews/7896385/Scientists-prove-that-women-are-better-at-multitasking-than-men.html (accessed 11th March 2013) I used this source to look at theories about differences between genders. This source may be unreliable as it was originally published as an article in the independant, a British tabloid newspaper, the aims of most tabloid papers as stated on free dictionary tabloid section http: www.thefreedictionary.com tabloid (accessed on 20th March 2013) Is to give sensational material therefore I believe this source may be unreliable as the article may be over-dramaticised to lure more readers into wanting to read the paper, thus purchasing it which in turn

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benefits the company. I also believe this source may be unreliable as the author of this source is not a reputable scientist, but merely a journalist. Sources 1 and 2 are references obtained from scientific journals obtained from the University of Manchester, John Rylands Library and Google scholar. These journals have been peer-reviewed and checked by university students as well as staff to ensure that the information being passed on is accurate and reliable. The journals have also been published by highly regarded universities and written by high calibre scientists and therefore, should be a reliable source. Therefore these sources are reliable.

26 Bibliography

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(1) De Goede M, Postma A, Brain and Cognition, Gender differences in memory for objects and their locations: a study on automatic versus controlled encoding and retrieval contexts, Volume 66, Issue 3, 2008 Helmholtz Research Instituut, Utrecht University

(2) Agneta Herlitz, Lars-Gran Nilsson, Lars Bckman,Memory & Cognition, Gender differences in episodic memory, Volume 25, Issue 6, November 1997 (3) Ellis, Lee, Sex differences: summarizing more than a century of scientific research, CRC Press, 2008, (4) Science News section, (July 2 1 ) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/sciencenews/7896385/Scientists-prove-that-women-are-better-at-multitasking-than-men.html (accessed 11th March 2013) (5) Reports section, (December 2003) http://andrewd.ces.clemson.edu/courses/cpsc412/fall03/teams/reports/group5.pdf (accessed 11th March 2013)

(6) Gender and Examination Results at GCE Advanced Level section (February 2 13) http://www.earlhamsociologypages.co.uk/genddata.htm#Advanced (accessed 12th March 2013) (7) brain anatomy section http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/3d/ (accessed 12th March 2013) (8) Long-Term Potentiation and Memory, Lynch,M.A.1b. http://zomobo.net/synapse (accessed 12th March 2013) (9)Research Section (January 2 13) http://www.mpg.de/5005704/brain_oscillations_memory (accessed 12th March 2013) (10) Limbic system section (march 2 13) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbic_system (accessed 13th March 2013) (11) Sandra J. Ackerman, Discovering the brain, http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=1785&page=124 the national academic press, published 1992. (12)Limbic system section http://biology.about.com/od/anatomy/a/aa042205a.htm (accessed 13th March 2013) (13)hippocampus section http://biology.about.com/od/anatomy/p/hippocampus.htm (accessed 13th March 2013)

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(14)biology of memory section http://www.sparknotes.com/psychology/psych101/memory/section5.rhtml (accessed 14th March 2013) (15) long term memory section (October 2 12) http://education.calumet.purdue.edu/vockell/edPsybook/Edpsy6/edpsy6_long.htm (accessed 14th March 2013) (16) model working memory (2 13) http://news.softpedia.com/newsImage/Good-Mood-HindersWorking-Memory-2.jpg/ (accessed 15th March 2013) (17) Interactions between STM and LTM in the verbal domain Annabel Thorn and Mike Page ISBN: 9781841696393 (accessed 12th March 2013) (18)PSYCHEDUCATION (2003) MEMORY, LEARNING, AND EMOTION: THE HIPPOCAMPUS th HTTP://WWW.PSYCHEDUCATION.ORG/EMOTION/HIPPOCAMPUS.HTM(accessed 12 March 2013) (19) Are There Differences between the Brains of Males and Females? Renato M.E. Sabbatini, PhD (1997) p://www.cerebromente.org.br/n11/mente/eisntein/cerebro-homens.html (accessed 14th March 2013) (20) Mary S. Pilman The effects of air temperature variance on memory ability, Copyright 2009 Missouri Western State University http://clearinghouse.missouriwestern.edu/manuscripts/306.php (accessed 13th March 2013)