Sample Psychology Research Proposal Summary on Memory


Memory is an essential aspect in human life. The remembrance of the past is critical in present functioning as well as in planning for the future. Memory loss in the medical field is referred to as amnesia, but this only describes temporary forgetfulness. Other more severe aspects occur through conditions such as Alzheimer’s which results in complete memory loss. The human memory functions in the three stages which involve encoding, storage and retrieval of information. Although people normally refer to memory as a thing, it is actually the process of remembering itself (Turkington, 2002). Memory involves reference to the past experiences to guide decision making. For information to be used effectively, it has to go through sensory, short term and then long term memory. Information that lands at the recipient source has to be encoded into a format that is in line with the memory. The information can be visual, acoustic or semantic.

Most adults are capable of storing up to 9 items in the short term memory for up to 30 minutes at a time. However, the long term memory lasts longer and carries an infinite amount of information. Some of the information can stay in the long term memory for a lifetime. Although Alzheimer’s disease is considered to be the major cause of memory loss, there are other factors that may result in memory loss. For instance, depression, poor nutrition, substance abuse and anxiety can all result in memory loss. Using a cluster method of sample collection, study will be carried out to distinguish normal memory loss due to aging from other causes of memory loss. A total of 60 participants will be chosen from various hospitals and who are across several age groups. Both male and female participants will be chosen from different wards in the hospitals.

The research will use a questionnaire to obtain information from the participants. The questionnaires will involve pictures as it has been shown that recalling memory needs the participants to willfully give information without having clues given to them (Weiten, 2011). The format of the questions will be such that the respondents will easily understand and thus answer according to their own capabilities. To assess the participants’ memory, the researcher will request the participants to observe a list of words and then later report on the number of words they remember accurately. Determining the difference between normal memory loss and Alzheimer’s will mean that a comparison will be made between the reports from patients with Alzheimer’s and those of patients without. The results will be presented through Power Point presentations. However, at this proposal stage, it is only possible to speculate on the expected results.

The memory will be divided into three i.e. visual, acoustic and semantic memories. In addition to this, episodic memory, which relates to the instantaneous experiences, will be analyzed through personal experiences (Spielberger, 2004). On the other hand, the implicit memory, also a part of the long term memory will be tested through observations of movements that are not sequential and which cannot be explained in words. Children have greater memory capacities than adults and are less prone to memory loss. As people grow, their brains also grow, reaching a maximum in the mid twenties. Although the elderly live in fear of memory loss, researchers have found ways through which memory loss can be prevented even among the elderly. Participation in social and physical activities; having a positive attitude about aging and nutritional changes are all ways through which memory can be boosted while negative behaviors such as smoking are considered detrimental to memory development.



Spielberger, C. D. (2004). Encyclopedia of applied psychology. Oxford: Academic.

Turkington, C. (2002). Memory: A Self-Teaching Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Weiten, W. (2011). Psychology: Themes and variations. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.


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