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Psychology report

Posted: 10th November 2017

Debrief on Psychology Experiments, Open Day 23 September 2017

The Psychology Department used the opportunity of the Wychwood Open Day on 23rd September to conduct three studies.

• Study I and Study II ran a fun experiment involving the senses, specifically the dependence of the gustatory (taste) sense on the olfactory sense (sense of smell).

• Study I and Shell ran an online personality test which used your results to determine where in Britain you should live. This was based on data collected from more than half a million people by the BBC for the Big Personality Test. Only one of our visitors was predicted to be happiest In Oxford!

• UTs conducted an experiment on memory and the aim was to investigate whether or not your chance of recalling words depends on their position in a list of words presented visually on cards, each for a few seconds. Research findings suggest that you are more likely to remember the words at the beginning and end of the list: primacy and recency effect in psychological terminology. To do this we decided to use 20 five-letter words and all the participants were shown each word for a few seconds. They were then asked to recall and write down as many words as possible. The evidence was found to support the primacy/recency effect when participants were shown a total of ten words but not when they were shown a total of twenty words. It is always important to debrief participants following a psychology experiment. This means that you explain to participants the aim of the research. We hope you found this debrief interesting!

Report by Amelia Ghanea-Hercock, UT MP

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