Paper Example on Operational Span Experiment

Paper Type:  Research proposal
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  654 Words
Date:  2022-05-23

Describe the Cog Lab Experiment Which Is the Basis of Your Idea

The Operational Span experiment is the main basis of my research proposal. In this experiment, Turner and Engle (1989) participants were asked to read and verify a simple math problem (such as "is (4/2)-1=1?) and then read a word after the operation. After a series of problems and words have been presented, the participants recall the words that followed each operation. The number of operation-word strings in a sequence is increased and decreases to measure the participant's operation span. Operation span measures predict verbal abilities and reading comprehension even though the subjects are solving mathematical problems. Engle and his colleagues have argued that this implies a general pool of resources that are used in every type of working memory situation. Based on this conclusion about operation span, this research proposal aims to test the effects of doing exercise increase the operational span.

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I would like to propose a working memory study to test the remembrance levels of children aged ten years. In the test, I will have four series of symbols, each series containing four different types of images. First, each series will be shown at a time for one second, and the participants will be required to remember each symbol they see. The number of series will be increased successively until the last one where four series will be shown within four seconds, and the children will be required to recall the symbols in the four series. The influence of repetitive exposure will also be examined on this test through the successive increment of the series of images without changing the series shown first. The other different idea in this study is that I will be able to examine the influence of external factors, such as awards or punishment on the working memory. Therefore, the test will be repeated with the participants promised an amount of money for whoever will be able to remember all the symbols or other most of the symbols

State What Is Missing in the Literature That You Would Like to Explore

The current literature is focusing on working memory and exercise as measured by OSPAN has been primarily aimed at studying inhibitory/executive control and working memory in physically active compared to passive participants. In this test, there are two dimensions brought in, that is, the influence of repetitive exposure on working memory and also the external factors such as awards and punishments.

State Your Main Directional Hypothesis

The main directional hypothesis being tested is that the working memory of the students increases tremendously with the promise of awards an also with the repetitive exposure.

Describe the Theory That Motivates Your Question (I.E., the Hypothesis)

The theory that motivated my question is that past research has proposed the theory that some external factors have a big impact on the memory levels across all ages. Also, another motivation in this study is that the increase in the exposure time to some content increases the working memory capacity significantly.

Describe the Independent Variable (s) That You Are Adding to the Coglab Experiment

My main independent variables will be the effects of repetitive exposure to the symbols on the working memory and the effects of external factors, specifically awards on the working memory. The dependent variables will be based on the kind of external controls applied, in this case, the award promised. The effect of repetitively showing the symbols will also be a dependent variable.


Baddeley, Alan. "Working memory." Science255.5044 (1992): 556-559.

Hsieh, S., Chang, Y., Hung, T., & Fang, C. (2016). The effects of acute resistance exercise

On young and older males' working memory. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 22286-293. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2015.09.004

Smith, A. M., Spiegler, K. M., Sauce, B., Wass, C. D., Sturzoiu, T., & Matzel, L. D. (2013). Voluntary aerobic exercise increases the cognitive enhancing effects of working memory training. Behavioural Brain Research, 256626-635. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2013.09.012

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