An Investigation Of The Immediate And Delayed Recall Of Information By Males And Females Using Three Presentation Formats: Narrative Only, Narrative With Inserted Related Graphs, And Graphs Only

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Doctor of Education (Educat.D.)


This study investigated the immediate and delayed recall of information by males and females using three different formats: narrative only, narrative with inserted related graphs, and graphs only. The subjects included 62 male and 88 female college students (N = 150), enrolled in the subjects areas of Geography, Politics and Public Affairs, Communications and Education at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The subjects were randomly assigned to experimental materials and to one of two test conditions: immediate or delayed recall. Three pilot studies determined topic interest, attention to graphs, and passage dependency of test questions. The test materials were constructed on the topic of employment, which was determined by the first pilot study to be a subject to neither high nor low interest to the participants.Split-halves analysis of the test results produced a Pearson Product-Moment Correlation of.75. The data were analyzed using ANOVA and Tukey's Post Hoc Test of Honestly Significant Differences; the alpha level was set at $p<.05.$ The major findings were: (1) The narrative only format scores were significantly higher than the graphs only format scores. (2) The narrative with inserted related graphs format scores were significantly higher than the graphs only format scores. (3) The poorest achievement for both males and females was on the graphs only format in both the immediate and delayed conditions. (4) There were no interactions.The results of this study suggest that graphs should be accompanied by a relevant explanation in textual material containing statistical information. Time and format were ascertained to be important factors in the retention of statistical data; this research found the narrative only format to be the best method for delivering statistical information that is to be used immediately. The results also suggest that in both the immediate and delayed conditions males will perform better than females in processing statistical data presented in the formats contained in this study. Another inference that can be made is that the narrative with inserted related graphs format may be as efficacious as the narrative only format in its ability to facilitate information retention. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)


Education, Reading

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