Research Proposal Word Count: 1210
A look into the Memory Retention: Can stimulants increase a person’s memory? A quantitative research proposal.
For this research proposal, memory will be looked into to see whether a person’s memory can be increased via the intake of stimulants. This quantitative research will then look into whether there are any future benefits in consuming stimulants if memory is found to be increased. There is already research similar in nature to this study to which explores improving memory with caffeine (Hartney, E. 2013); this research proposal will aim to go one further in the aim to provide evidence for or against the use of stimulants to aid memory in students and the future implications this could have. In conjunction with this; there will be a control test where students will be given decaf coffee as a placebo to look at whether the thought of being stimulated is enough to have a positive impact on memory retention (Capek, S., & Guenther, R. 2009).
The dependent variable for this research would be the adults in whom the research will be based upon, and also the amount and similarity of words used in the lists against the group to gain a fair comparison in the three tests.
The independent variable for this study will be word lists so that the participants do not remember the words given through repetition. Another independent variable will be the drinks given to the participants. These will include coffee, energy drinks, water, and decaf coffee.
The hypothesis for this research is that caffeine will increase memory retention in the students tested. It will be interesting to note on whether the decaf coffee being the placebo gives the participants a higher memory retention result compared to the water as theoretically they should appear the same due to both lacking caffeine (Kelemen, W. & Creeley, C. 2003).
The participants chosen for this research proposal would be on adults in a college of the same age group. There is research that suggests men and women use different parts of their brain when it comes to retaining information, however there will not be two separate groups of gender and they will be both treated equally together. This applies for all tests in order to keep this test fair, however an even number of both genders will be aimed for. There will also be specification on the age of the participant, requiring them to be of the same age group, and also for them to be studying similar levels of qualifications so that testing people on the same level of intelligence is more plausible (Arnold, M. E., Petros, T. V., Beckwith, B. E., Coons, G., & Gorman, N.1987).
The research will be aiming to cover around 20-30 individuals (a typical class), both men and women. There will not be any compensation for participation, however if this were to prove problematic to gaining the required interest then compensation in the form of being entered into a draw to win vouchers could be introduced.
Computer hardware and software will be required to keep note of the intake of research, create graphs and ‘Z’ scores to measure the information gained, and create the word lists, posters and flyers required. Also required will be the comparative look into other similar articles in this area to help with furthering this research and increase correlation between stimulants and memory. The results from this will be recorded on paper via the participants jotting the words that they could remember and then this will collaborated and transmuted into graphs and information on a computer software such as excel.
To carry out this research, a group of participants gained from advertisements at a selected college will be supplied a word lists to memorise whilst consuming their given drink in a free classroom at that college. All participants will be given the same amount of drink to consume and be