Explanation of results: The directional hypothesis in this experiment stated that products from adverts at the beginning and end of the block would be correctly recalled significantly more than adverts in the middle of the block. The graph in the results section suggests that this hypothesis is correct as condition A (primacy/ recency: positions 1-4 and 13-16) clearly shows higher central tendencies (mode – 7, median – 7 and mean – 6. 7) than condition B (middle: positions 5-12) which displayed central tendencies of mode – 5, median – 5 and mean – 4.6. After calculating the Wilcoxon T score, it is possible to see that the T score (4.
5) is a much lower value than the critical value (60). This means, therefore, that the results of the experiment display that there was more than 5% difference between condition A and B. This 5% was the significance boundary that was selected as the experiment focussed on an average test of memory which, as a result, did not require a significance boundary that was too lenient or stringent.Therefore, I have accepted the Experimental hypothesis and rejected the Null hypothesis.
Due to the results showing a significant difference between the two conditions it is acceptable to reject the Null-hypothesis, which was that there would be no difference at all between the amounts of products recalled from both conditions. Relation to previous studies: The results of this experiment agree with the findings of all the experiments which were discussed in the introduction (Glanzer and Cunitz, Murdock, Pieters and Bijmolt and Scott).Although Pieters and Bijmolt’s study presented evidence to support the primacy/ recency effect, the procedure allowed participants a delay before recall, which makes the results of this experiment less relevant to the study described in previous sections.
Also, their study was carried out as a field experiment, which means that although the ecological validity would be high, the reliability and validity would be low as it was difficult to control the environment and variables.The results of Scott’s (2005) laboratory experiment relates most closely to the findings of this experiment as he found that recall of the adverts in the primacy and recency positions were recalled most consistently, and adverts in the middle of the block were recalled less consistently. The results of this experiment support the hypothesis that primacy and recency effect does affect recall of information in those positions in a list.Limitations and modifications: One potential limitation with this study was that some participants used word association techniques in order to remember more of the adverts. This may have affected the results and made them less valid. If the study was to be carried out again, the standardised instructions would have been modified so the participants were told not to use any techniques that might help or hinder their recall of the adverts.Another possible limitation was that the experiment was carried out at the end of a lesson. This could have meant that some participants were tired or bored of their surroundings, resulting in them feeling less motivated to concentrate and recall the adverts to the best of their abilities.
A modification would be to carry out the experiment at the beginning of the day when participants may feel less fatigued. Also, some adverts may have been more distinctive to some participants than others.To improve this, participants who are all exposed to different media genres could be used to produce generalisable results for a wide variety of people. Implications of the study and suggestions for future research: This study into serial position is significantly ecologically valid because it may relate to commercial advertising. This study suggests that adverts at the beginning and end of a block are better remembered than studies in the middle of a block. This study also may hold some relevance for education.The study could support the argument that material that is taught in lessons at the beginning and end of the school day may be remembered significantly more consistently than material taught in the middle of the day. Further research could be carried out to investigate the theory that the order of lessons in a school timetable may affect children’s ability to learn the subject.
A simple test could be carried out at the end of each school term in each of the subjects and results will be analysed and referred to the position of the lesson within the school day.