The Effects of Rhythm Versus Visual Images on Working Memory Recall


The Effects of Rhythm Versus Visual Images on Working Memory Recall
Sarah Hughes
Faculty Sponsor
Melissa Cunningham
Gavin Keulks
In the current study, the researcher aimed to examine the interaction between the independent variable of mnemonic modalities (visual images versus auditory rhythms) and working memory recall. Previous research indicates that information encodes better when presented with rhythm compared to a no-rhythm condition. This suggests that rhythm acts as a mnemonic, or a memory aid. However, across the numerous studies on rhythm and memory, rhythm’s effectiveness on memory retention has not been compared to the effectiveness of more commonly used mnemonics, such as images. The researcher hypothesized that the auditory rhythm condition would produce better working memory recall compared to the visual images condition. Participants for this study included 11 undergraduate students at Western Oregon University. In Learning Condition A, participants learned ten words in Estonian and their associated English meaning, paired with images related to each word shown. In Learning Condition B, participants learned the same list, paired with a rhythm. After a short distraction, participants in both conditions were asked to recall the English meanings. The difference between the two conditions was significant, t(10) = 3.184, p < .05, supporting visuals as the better mnemonic device, leading the researcher to fail to reject the null. Future research should include more participants.
Honors Thesis
Honors Program
Western Oregon University Library has determined, as of 06/01/2023, this item is in copyright, which is held by the author. Users may use the item in accordance with copyright limitations and exceptions, including fair use. For other uses, please ask permission from the author.