The Impact of Categorization on Word Recall Research Paper by scribbler

The Impact of Categorization on Word Recall
A study to demonstrate how the organization of sets of words influences the rate of word recall.
# 153449 | 1,835 words | 6 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Jun 03, 2013 in Psychology (Memory)

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The paper looks at the research that shows that organizational strategies aid in memorization tasks such as word recall, and then focuses on the strategy of hierarchical categorization in aiding word recall. The paper presents an experiment that is a partial replication of the study conducted by Bower et al (1969) to demonstrate how the organization of sets of words influences the rate of word recall. The paper describes the methodology of the study and relates that while these results were not as definitive as the Bower et al (1969) study, they do yield implications for further research for additional age groups.


From the Paper:

"Research has shown that organizational strategies aid in memorization tasks such as word recall. Matlin (2002) presents four such organizational strategies: chunking, first-letter technique, narrative technique, and hierarchy technique. In chunking, small bits of information are combined into larger, more meaningful units. An example of this is telephone numbers. A seemingly random set of ten numbers (2125076573) may be difficult to remember, but when organized into chunks - 212-507-6573, it becomes much easier to remember. Similarly, a method frequently used by students to organize information is the first-letter technique. For example, most elementary school students learn the order of mathematical operations using the acronym PEMDAS (Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally) which stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, and Subtract. The third technique described by Matlin (2002) is the narrative technique. With this technique, people are instructed to create a story to remember the words. Matlin (2002) cites a study where participant using the narrative technique recalled six times as many words as those who did not, but cautions that the technique is only effective if the story is easily generated in both learning and recall. Finally, constructing a hierarchy is an effective way to remember information. Matlin (2002) explains that a hierarchy is "a system in which items are arranged in a series of classes, from the most general classes to the most specific" (p. 166)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bower, G.H., Clark, M.C., Lesgold, A.M., Winzenz, D. (1969). Hierarchical retrieval schemes in recall of categorized word lists. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 8, 323-343.
  • Cohen, B. H. (1963). Recall of categorized words lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66(3), 227-234. doi:10.1037/h0048846
  • Longenecker, J., Kohn, P., Liu, S., Zoltick, B., Weinberger, D. R., & Elvevag, B. (2010). Data-driven methodology illustrating mechanisms underlying word list recall: Applications to clinical research. Neuropsychology, 24(5), 625-636. doi:10.1037/a0019368
  • Marzano, R. J. (2009). Setting the record straight on "high-yield" strategies. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(1), 30-37. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  • Matlin, M.W. (2002). Mnemonics using organization. Excerpt from Cognition (5th ed., pp 166-168). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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APA Format

The Impact of Categorization on Word Recall (2013, June 03) Retrieved August 18, 2022, from

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"The Impact of Categorization on Word Recall" 03 June 2013. Web. 18 August. 2022. <>