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a small-scale experiment

People often struggle to remember PIN numbers. As a researcher interested in testing the idea that using mnemonics might facilitate memory for these. For example the number 6601 could be remembered as Year of Battle of Hastings reversed. In a paragraph, describe how you might design an experiment to test the idea that mnemonics do help people recall four digit PINs. You will need to decide whether you use a within or between participants design and you should give reasons for your choice. Your description should include clear mention of your independent and dependent variables, and how you will operationalise them.
Consider potential confounding variables and how to deal with them, and suggest possible counterbalancing measures you may need to implement. Finally consider any problems that might arise in running and interpreting the findings from such an experiment. If you would like to devise some suitable stimulus materials these can be included in a table

(Please note that this is a question about methodology and although, if i was to do the experiment, i would need to think about ethics, (not required to discuss ethical issues in your answer.)

Solution Preview

Hi,

OK, well for one thing, if you're doing a memory experiment, it's best to use a within-subjects design if you can to get around issues of individual differences in memory ability. Using a between-subjects design always leads to more noise in the data (because of underlying individual differences, so it's good to use a within-subjects design if you can. So let's start by doing that.

Whenever we're using a within-subjects design though, we need to counterbalance the order in which people get the two treatments. For example, you don't want to have everyone complete the mnemonic condition first and the no-mnemonic condition second. So make sure that you have 1/2 of your sample do mnemonics first and the other ...

Solution Summary

Ideas to design a small-scale experiment are shown.

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