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Memory Experiment

Seth Dennison and Jenna Snyder John Bryan Psychology of Gender 104 10/31/2012 Psychological Gender Experiment For our psychological gender experiment we chose to focus on the topic of memory differences between genders. At first we wanted to figure out if one gender had a better memory than the other, but then we also wanted to observe whether or not their memory showed better results when the objects were related to their gender.

Therefore, the hypothesis we constructed was: If we group together gender related items, then that specific gender will memorize those items more than the other items, furthermore we predict that females will have a better memory than males.

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The design of our experiment consisted of randomly selecting participants from the ages of 18 and over who were hanging out at a sit down area next to Chipotle and Starbucks in Menifee.

The experimental group was split into two parts: the male items and the female items, while the control group had non-specific gender items. For the experiment we used a tray to place the items on, 15 non-specific gender items, 5 female related items and 5 male related items, as well as a towel to cover the items and pens and paper for the participants to write their results on. The way we assigned groups was by rotating the items after every two participants; in the case of a group of 2 or more people we would switch the items right after.

The participants did not know that we would switch the items around and they were not aware that we had a bag full of different items. When we approached the participants we would ask them if they would take part in our project, then we explained the procedure of the ‘memory test’ and if they said yes we would escort them over to our table where they would write down their gender and age at the top of their paper and wait to start. Once the participants stated that they were ready, Seth started the timer while Jenna lifted the towel to display the items.

We allowed the participants to have 45 seconds to memorize as many items as possible and once the time was up Jenna covered up the items while Seth started the 1 minute timer followed by the both of us watching the participants to make sure no one was cheating. During the one minute, the participants had to write down as many of the items that they remembered as possible. Once they were done we allowed them to view the items one more time so that they could see which items they remembered and which ones they forgot.

After gathering the data from 24 participants we had 13 female participants and 11 male participants. In comparison of the experimental groups it was generally more common for woman to have the better memory. From the results gathered from the participants females on average would remember 11. 6, or 77%, of the items. On the other hand males on average would remember 11 of the items, or 73%. When it came to gender specific items females held an average of 3. 4 out of 5 items for feminine items, or 68%, which is 9% lower then their overall average score.

Males held an average of 2. 1/5 items for masculine items or 42%, which is 31% lower then their overall average. Though it is something to consider that the condom was almost always an item remembered among males. From the results we gathered our hypothesis was only half correct. Woman do have the better memory, even though it is a small margin. However it seems it does not matter if the items were related to the specific gender as the percentage of the time that those were specifically remembered were actually lower then each genders’ overall score.