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Examining the relationship between gender and short term memory Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

The objective of this experiment is to investigate whether the gender of a person will affect his or her ability to recall information from his or her short term memory. The experiment will involve participants looking at 20 objects for two minutes, after which the participants will be required to list down the items that they can recall.

Hypothesis

Female participants will have a better short term memory than male participants.
 

Scientific Terms

Psychology, brain, senses, short term memory, long term memory

Background

Memory

Memory is a cognitive process and refers to the information processing system in our brain that works constructively to encode, store, and retrieve information.. Our brain receives information through our five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell, and processes them by attaching meaning to these information or stimuli to make associations among ideas and concepts that are already stored in our brain. For example, we receive information through our sense of sight when we read a book, after which our brain will process the alphabets that we see to transform them into meaningful words that we understand.

There are three stages of memory, which are sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory. Sensory memory refers to the stage whereby our brain has to sort through the thousands of stimuli received though our senses. In other words, sensory memory holds the barrage of incoming sensations just long enouh for our brain to scan it and decide which stream of information needs attention.

Short term memory, on the other hand, refers to the part of our memory system that stores limited amounts of information for a limited amount of time, such as a few minutes or a few days. It normally deals with information that are not very important, or information that are non-reoccurring. For example, what you had for dinner last night might not be remembered two weeks later.

Information stored in long term memory is more lasting and permanent. For example, we will always remember our names and names of our immediate family members, and will not forget important phone numbers and birthdays. This type of information is more permanent or in other words, etched into our memory, as we need to recall and use them repetitively. Long term memory is also important in enabling students to remember concepts that have been learnt  and enablesadults to acquire new job skills.

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Complexity level:
3
Project cost ($):
5
Time required:
Preparation will take approximately one hour, and observation and recording of data will require another hour
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

None