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Forget Me Not

Table of Contents
Abstract Introduction Problem Hypothesis Variables Materials Procedure Results Conclusion Bibliography Acknowledgements Pictures Graphs InterviewwithHeatherGoode

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Abstract
The purpose of this science project was to discover how well a 4th, 5th, and 6th graders memory functions with anxiety, andiftheir genderhasanything to do withit. The hypothesis for this project was a 4th, 5th,6th gradersmemorywillbenegativelyaffected byanxiety, andgirls will be lessaffected byanxietythanboys.Thecontrolandconstantsin our experiment were the number ofobjects, the time givento look atthe objects, the time given towritedowntheobjects,andtheanxietywegavetothestudents.Whetherornotthe students reallytook the tests seriously isalsoacontroloftheexperiment.Theindependent variable in our experiment was the objects andthe conditions inwhich thestudents were tested.

Introduction
Anxietyafeelingofworryand/oruneasiness,usuallyaboutaneventorsomething wheretheoutcomeisuncertain.Whathappenswhenyoumixanxietyandmemories together?Thehippocampusandcerebralcortexofthebrainarenotalwaysaccuratewith memories.Thishappensbecausesomememoriesarestoredforshorttermwhileothers arestoredlongtermindifferentpartsofthecerebralcortex.Eventsthatoccurforabouttwo secondsorlesswouldhavealesserchanceofbeingrememberedthaneventsthat occurredforaroundthirtysecondsormore. Allpeopleexperienceanxietydifferently,someworsethanothers.Anxietyisoften causedbystressorworryaboutsomething.Mostofthetime,anxietyisbuiltupby someonetellsthemselvesnegativeoutcomesofasituationorrememberingsomething thatworriesoneself.Whenapersonrememberssomething,theinformationreturnstothe samepartofthecerebralcortex,wherethememoryisreplayed.Anxietycanbecontrolled inanaturalway.Deepbreathingandclosingtheeyesinanyenvironmentwillhelpslow downtheheartandcalmtheanxietythathasbeendeveloped.Medicationscanalsobe usedinaneffectivewaytocontrolanxiety. Whenanxietyoccurs,thereisachangeinbodytemperature.Yourbodytemperature cangohigherorlowerthannormal,orbedifferenteachexperienceanxiety.Youcouldalso experienceabnormalcywithallergies,backpains,coldchills,numbness,redskin,and twitching.Thesideeffectsofanxietycouldbeheightenedfears,dizziness,reduced hearing,afeelingofdjvu(afeelingofsomethingthatyouthinkyouhavedone, experienced,orseenbefore),ahardtimeconcentrating,depression,choking,anddifficulty sleeping.Althoughtherearealotofsymptomslisted,therearemanymore.The
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relationshipbetweenanxietyandmemoryisstillunclear,butassumptionsarethatpeople withanxietyhaveahigherworkingvisualmemorycapacity.Memoryiswhatpeopleuseto recordinformationinourbrains,whileusingthatspecificinformationtoexecutea challengeorcompleteatask. Anxietyhasbeeninexistencesincethebeginningofhumanity.Asadisorder, however,anxietywasfirstdiscoveredin1980.HermannEbbinghauswasthemanwho discoveredmemory,ormoreaccurately,wasassociatedwiththestudyofmemory,butwe donotknowwhenhediscoveredmemory. Anxietyoccursinthebrain,andcaneitherbeverymildandharmless,orverypotent andfatal.Memoryissomethingthatisunexplainablewhenquestionedhowitwas developed,buteveryoneusesmemory,foreventhesmallestofthings.

Problem
Howcananxietyaffecta4,5,6thgradersmemory?Doesgenderaffectitaswell?

Hypothesis
A4th,5th,6thgradersmemorywillbenegativelyaffectedbyanxiety,andgirlswillbeless affectedbyanxietythanboys.

Variables
Thecontrolandconstantsinourexperimentwerethenumberofobjects,thetime giventolookattheobjects,thetimegiventowritedowntheobjects,andtheanxietywe gavetothestudents.Whetherornotthestudentsreallytookthetestsseriouslyisalsoa controloftheexperiment.

Materials
30randomobjects 204thgraders(10girls/10boys) 205thgraders(10girls/10boys) 206thgraders(10girls/10boys) stopwatch 20pencilsorpens/sheetsofpaper
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Procedure
1.Gather5girlsand5boys,eachfroma4,5,6thgradeclass. 2.Place15randomobjectsplacedonatableandgivethem2minutestomemorizethe objects. 3.Whenthe2minutesisup,takealltheobjectsoffthetable. 3.Giveeachstudentapieceofpaperandapencil.Askthemtowritetheirnames,the date,andtheirgenderandtheywillbegiven4minutesmaximumtowriteeverythingthey canrememberthatwasonthetable. 4.Gradethestudentsonhowmanyoftheobjectstheyremembered. 5.Thenextday,takethesamestudentstothesamelocationandgivethem15different objectstomemorizein2minutes. 6.Tellthestudentsthattheirteachersaremakingthisatestandtheywillbegradedonhow wellthememorizedtheobjects. 7.Pencilsandpaperswillbegiventoeachstudenttowritedowneachobject.4minutes willbegiventowritedowneveryobjectthestudentsrememberedonthetable. 8.ThestudentswillbegradedthesameastheyareinStep4. 9.RepeatSteps18with5moregirlsandboys,eachfroma4,5,or6thgradeclass.

Results
Theaverage numberof objectsremembered duringthefirsttestwas10.9,rounded to thenearesttenth.Theaveragenumberofobjectsrememberedduringtesttwowas10.2, rounded to the nearest tenth. The average number of objects remembered by females during Test1 was 11.8,and the average numberofobjectsremembered by malesduring Test 1 was 10.2. In Test 2, the average number of objects rememberedbyfemaleswas 14.4,andtheaveragenumberofobjectsrememberedbymaleswas9.9. We concludedthatthefemaletestsubjectswouldexcelunderanxietybetterthanthe males, becausefemalesseemto bemorefocused,thereforeendingupwithbetterscores than the males with ourwithout anxiety. For themales,we believe they didnottryas hard asthe females,thereforeendingup with lower scores than withouttheanxiety.Wethought thatthe scores of thefirsttestweresomewhatlowbecausethechildrendidnotthinkitwas too important, therefore theydid notfocus asmuchuntilthesecondtest wherethesubjects weretold theyweregoingtoreceiveagrade.Ourhypothesiswaspartiallycorrectbecause

the females did get a higher average score than the males, but our hypothesisdidstate thatfemalesand males wouldget lower test scores under high anxiety,which wasnottrue forthefemales.

Conclusion
From thisexperiment,weprovedthatourhypothesis wasalmostcompletelycorrect. We were correctin presumingthat females would be less affected by anxiety than males, but wewere notcorrect thatanxietywouldnegativelyaffectallthesubjects.28femalesand 20 males were testedgivingus 48 test subjectstotal. We would havetested 50 subjects, butsomestudentswereabsentonTest2,sowedidnotusetheirdata. Ifwe were to improve this project,we wouldensurethat wehadanequalamountof females and males for our testing, a larger group of subjects, a larger age variety, and more objects forthe subjectsto remember. We alsofindthat thegreatest lossof memory from anxietycomesfrompublicspeaking. We haveexperiencedthisandwouldliketotest it. We would also like to test how anxiety disorders would take an affect on the some certainsubjects.

Bibliography
"AllScienceFairProjects."ScienceFairProjects.AllScienceFairProjects.com,n.d. Web.18Dec.2013. Dowshen,Steven."KidsHeath."MemoryMatters.TheNemoursFoundation,Oct.2013. Web.16Dec.2013. Mohs,RichardC.,andCarolTurkington."HowHumanMemoryWorks."HowStuffWorks. HowStuffWorks,Inc,n.d.Web.17Dec.2013. Foster,JoshuaD.,andIlanShrira."WhyDoYouWorryMorethanOther People?"PsychologyToday.SussexPublishers,LLC,11Aug.2008.Web.18
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Dec.2013. Tartakovsky,Margarita."15SmallStepsYouCanTakeTodaytoImproveAnxiety Symptoms|PsychCentral."PsychCentral.com.PsychCentral,8June2013.Web. 18Dec.2013. Lyness,D'Arcy."KidsHealth."BeingAfraid.TheNemoursFoundation,Jan.2011.Web.15 Dec.2013. "AnxietySymptoms,AnxietyAttackSymptoms(PanicAttackSymptoms),Symptomsof Anxiety."AnxietySymptoms.Anxietycentre,n.d.Web.11Jan.2014. Moriya,Jun,andYoshinoriSugiura."HighVisualWorkingMemoryCapacityinTraitSocial Anxiety."PLOSONE:.N.p.,9Apr.2012.Web.11Jan.2014. Stuart,Annie."WhatIsWorkingMemoryandWhyDoesItMatter?"NationalCenterfor LearningDisabilities.NationalCenterforLearningDisabilites,n.d.Web.11Jan. 2014. "WhenWasAnxietyDiscovered?|ThirdAge."WhenWasAnxietyDiscovered?| ThirdAge.ThirdAge,n.d.Web.11Jan.2014. "HumanIntelligence:HermannEbbinghaus."HumanIntelligence:HermannEbbinghaus. HumanIntelligence,7Nov.2013.Web.11Jan.2014.

Acknowledgements
Wewouldliketothanktheparentsandteacherswhocontributedtheirhelpand supportthroughoutthecompletionofthisproject.AlsoabigthankstoHeatherGoodefor lettingusinterviewher.Wewouldalsoliketothankthestudentsforallowingustotestand takepicturesofthemfordata.

Pictures

Graphs

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Interview with Heather Goode


1. Howeffectiveisanxietyforcertainages? Anxiety is a very biological necessity to ensure our survival as a species.Even when we werecavemenandcavewomen,ourbodiesrequiredtheflightorfightsensationofanxiety in order to ensure survival. For example, if a bear was coming to attack you, your body needed togearuptodecide ifitwas goingtofightthebear orrunawayfromthebear.Our body instinctively knows what to do in orderto conserveenergysothat wecaneitherrun away from thesituation or fightourway through thesituation.The two systemsinour body thatregulate this action are called the parasympatheticand sympatheticnervoussystems. Whenwe are inafight orflightsituation,ourbody clicksintothesympatheticsystem.So thatmeansthatourheartbeatspeedsupsowehavemorebloodavailableinourbody,our bronchi in our lungs dilate so we have more air available to breathe, our liver starts converting glycogen to glucose so that we have more energy available, and the adrenal glands on our kidneys secreteadrenaline and noradrenaline(chemicalsthathelpourbody get up and go!). Also, our body slows down thesystems inour bodythat would NOT be very helpful if we needed to run away or needed to fight someone or something. For example, our bladder muscles slow down because, well, it would not be very helpfulifwe startedto pee in themiddleof a fight!Similarly,ourstomach andintestines slow downso our energy can be used for more helpful things rather than digesting our food. These changes occurin thebodyatanyageandarehelpfulallthetimewhenweNEEDanxietyto help motivateus. However,whensomeonehas an anxiety disorder, which means thatthe sympathetic system isactivating itselfevenwhenthere isnothingtofightandnothingtorun away from and thatcanbe veryuncomfortableandnotadaptive.Thatisthedefinitionofan anxietydisorder! 2. Doyouknowaboutanyeffectsthatanxietycanhaveonmemory? Anxiety, at times can cause a very brief, but heightened memorybut onthe otherhand it can sometimes cause decreased concentration which can lead to poor memory. When anxiety helps memory: Acute (only lasting for a short amount of time) anxiety can often cause an increased memory. This phenomenonis called flashbulb memory. This usually occurs in brief moments of very heightened anxiety, for example, most people can remember where they were and what they were doing at the exact moment they heard about the terrorist attacks on 9/11.Individuals whohave experienced a trauma,such as a caraccidentormuggingmayalsoexperiencethisphenomenon. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/09/memories.aspx When anxiety interferes with memory: More often than not, people suffer from chronic
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anxiety, which means thatthey experience anxiety more days than notandmoremoments than not, day in and day out. This tends to causedifficulty concentratingbecause we are using up all our bodies resources on being anxious.Difficulty concentrating isone ofthe most important symptoms that someone may be experiencing an anxiety disorder, most specifically,GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseasesconditions/generalizedanxietydisorder/basics/sympto ms/con20024562 3. How canapersonfind outiftheyhaveanxiety?Isitclearlynoticable,orisitlikea secretdiscovery? Ifanindividual believes heor sheis sufferingfromanxiety, definitely go seeadoctor!Any kind of doctor is fine pediatrician, family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatrist. It is importantto haveafull evaluation by atrainedmedicaldoctorbecausetherecanbesome other causes of anxiety that are not psychiatric. For example, hyperthyroidism is a very commoncauseofanxietythatneedstobetreatedwiththyroidmedications. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseasesconditions/hyperthyroidism/basics/symptoms/con200 20986 Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed by a medical doctor by getting blood tests. Additionally, there are some rarer but more serious causes of anxiety such as tumors. Some rare tumors can secrete the chemical norepinephrine that activates our sympathetic nervous system (see #1 above!) that causes all of the symptoms of anxiety. This is called a pheochromocytoma. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseasesconditions/pheochromocytoma/basics/symptoms/con 20030435 Once medical causes of anxiety have been ruled out by a medical doctor, psychiatric causes of anxiety can be explored. In my office, I do a detailedinterviewandalsosome questionnaires to determine what kinds of symptoms of anxiety someone is having. The questionnaire I use most often is called the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional DisordersScale(SCARED).Seelinkbelow. http://www.psychiatry.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/Documents/assessments/SCARED%20Chi ld.pdf 4. Isanxietyrareorcommoninhumans? Anxiety occurs in everyone! We need anxiety in order to survive. It is adaptive in certain situationsand it motivatesusto completeour dayto day activities aswell.Forexample,if we didnot havealittlebitofanxiety,wemightnotstudyfortests,andtherefore,notdovery well. An anxiety disorder, on the other hand, is defined as when anxiety becomes unadaptive and starts causing us more harm than good. Anxiety disorders are very common in children, adolescents, and adults. You can use this chart from the National Alliance of Mental Health to determine the specificsfor each of theanxiety disorders and between adults, children, and adolescents. Combining all the statistics, in children and
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adolescents, about 25% of them experience anxiety such to the degree as it would be consideredadisorder.Foradults,therateisabout18%. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/Statistics/index.shtml 5. Whydopeoplehaveanxiety? SeeAnswerto#1above. 6. Whydodifferentpeoplehavedifferenttypesofanxiety? Itdepends on a persons lifeexperience mostofthetime.Sometimessomeonejustgets a certain type of anxiety disorder based on their genetic makeup combined with their environment this is why anxiety disordersandmostmentaldisordersaredefinedasbeing multifactorialmeaning thatthere are manycauses.Sometimes,ifsomeoneexperiences a specific trauma that is threatening to their life or thelife ofsomeone closeby, they can experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If they have a specificphobiato something, likesnakes,thentheywouldbeclassifiedashavingSpecificPhobia. 7. Whatarethemostcommontypesofanxietyfoundinhumans? SpecificPhobia GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder PanicDisorder SocialAnxietyDisorder SeparationAnxietyDisorder ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder PostTraumaticStressDisorder Seethelinkprovidedin#4forthespecificsofeachoftheseanxietydisorders andtheirprevalences. 8. Whatarethemaintypesofanxietyoutthere? Seeabove#7 9. Doyouthinkanxietyisagoodthing,orabadthing? Anxiety is necessary foroursurvivalashumanbeings.Anxietydisorders,ontheotherhand canbeverymaladaptiveandinterferewithindividualsfunctioning. 10. Howcananxietybeprevented,ifitcanatall? We would never want to prevent having anxiety because we need it in order to survive. Anxietydisorders,iftheyoccur,however,canbetreatedwiththerapyand/ormedications.

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