Memory Activity Primacy And Recency
THE PRIMACY AND RECENCY
EFFECTS OF ACTIVE MEMORY
The text discusses the tendency for items at the beginning and end of a list to
be remembered more readily than items in the middle of the list.
This can be readily illustrated by the following demonstration:
After distributing the protocol sheet, tell the class: “This is an experiment in
memory in which I am going to read you a series of unrelated nouns. Try to
recall as many of those words as you can, regardless of the order in which I
read them. Please begin to write them down only after I have read the entire
list and have given you the signal, ‘Go.”‘ Begin by saying, ‘Ready?’ Then
read the list (at a rate of about one per second).
Here is the suggested list:
Ask how many learners remembered Candle (primacy) or Doorbell (recency).
Then ask who remembered Ocean or Paper.
If you ask learners to raise their hands, everyone can see the effects very easily.