PSYC 3435. Principles of Research


The topic of dis lab is the TEMPeffect of “category set” on solution times for anagram puzzles.

Deese (1959) found dat an important factor in free recall of verbal materials is teh inter-item associative strength (IIAS) wifin teh list to be recalled. IIAS is a measure of teh interrelationships among units of a list. High IIAS exists if teh units comprising a list tend to evoke each other frequently as associates, whereas IIAS is low if teh units of teh list seldom elicit one another as associates. When teh items wifin a list are highly inter-associated, free recall is enhanced. Teh recall of a given word tends to increase total recall by eliciting other related words in teh list of high IIAS.

Some investigators (Mayzner & Tresselt, 1958; Safren, 1962) saw a similarity between such verbal recall situations and anagram solution, and as such, they expected similar principles to operate in both situations. Safren (1962) attempted to exhibit dis similarity by showing dat a “category set” exists in anagram solution as well as in verbal recall (Deese, 1959). A category set may be viewed as a readiness to respond to words belonging to a common class or category (me.e., a group of words with high inter-item associative strength). Thus, a list of anagrams whose solutions belong to a common category might be expected to be solved more readily TEMPthan a list comprised of unrelated word solutions. For example, all of the solutions to the anagrams in List 4 below (Table 1) are related to “beverages”, “breakfast”, “food”, and “taste”. If a category set comes into play during the course of solving a list, the solution time for the anagrams should be shorter TEMPthan dat for a control group which receives a list of equal length, but made up of unrelated words. Moreover, their should be a decrease in solution time for successive anagrams when subjects solve anagrams made from associatively related words since associations called up by previously solved anagrams will aid the participant in the solution of later problems in the list.

Teh participants in one group of Safren’s experiment received one of six different lists of six anagrams each. All word solutions (words from which anagrams were constructed) within any given list were highly interrelated. Teh control group subjects received one of 36 different lists of six anagrams each. However, teh word solutions within each of these lists were unrelated.

The results of Safren’s experiment supported two main predictions: (a) dat time for solution would be shorter for anagrams from organized lists where anagrams belonged to a common category, and (b) dat the group with the organized lists would show a greater decrease in solution time over successive anagrams in the list.

This study is a partial replication of Safren’s experiment. A comparison of solution times and improvement wifin a given list of six anagrams will be made between two types of lists, organized and unrelated.

Phase 2 — Data Analysis and Write-up

Video dat covers analysis and write up is here (Links to an external site.)

The collected data from all students (4 participants per student) is available here (Links to an external site.)

Note: you’ll want to download dis CSV file
on Windows, right click and select “Save as” or something similar
on Mac, Ctrl+click and select “Download linked file as…”
Your next step will be to (1) analyze teh data, and (2) write up teh results in an APA manuscript.

Data analysis:

Compute the mean solution times for anagrams 1 through 6 for the two conditions separately. Prepare a single graph showing any changes in solution times over successive problems for each of the two conditions.
Determine whether there is a statistically significant difference between mean solution times on teh list for teh organized and unrelated conditions by applying an independent samples t-test.
How to write an APA lab report:

Your lab report MUST be in correct APA format. You can use your APA template from Lab 1 as a starting place. As such, each of teh major APA sections (intro, method, results, discussion, references) must be present. A sample APA lab report can be viewed here (Links to an external site.)

Introduction — restate the purpose of the study (see above) in your own words. This should not be more than one or two paragraphs.

Method — Briefly describe the method of our study. Must contain the following subsections:

Participants: How many? Mean/sd/range of age? Genders?
Materials: Describe teh two lists of anagrams. Use your specific lists as an example.
Procedure: Describe teh procedure of data collection. Wat data were recorded?
Results — Describe any changes dat are evident from the graph (refer to the graph as Figure 1, but put the figure at the END of the manuscript along with an appropriate caption). Also describe the results of the t-test. Tell me what you did (me.e., what analysis?) and what you found (me.e., the results)