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Beckman (2002) states that researchers have had a hard time showing that peopleís ability to see things in color helps them to remember what they are seeing. Earlier studies compared memory with line drawings done in black and white and in color, resulting in few differences. Beckman also states that only natural colors improves memory versus black and white and also falsified color, especially when viewing a nature scene, landscape, or people.
Color is used in memory through learning strategies. Harlow (1988) defines learning strategies as a set of processes used by a learner that can facilitate the acquisition, storage, and/or utilization of information, and highlighting falls under the category of a learning strategy. Phillips (2004) states that the color yellow stimulates the brain, which is basis for my hypothesis that yellow will show the highest results, and why yellow is such a popular highlighter color.
Rachel Bailey (2001), a Missouri Western State College student, did a study with highlighting and found information that showed highlighting did not increase the learning of enrichment. In her study, she used a control group of non-highlighting, and two experimental groups with highlighting: one group had key terms highlighted, and the other had the wrong terms highlighted. Her results showed that there was a significant difference between the scores of the highlighted group and scores of the non-highlighted group.
I have found that when I study, highlighting helped me remember essential information for tests. I have also found that certain colors stimulate learning more than others when I study, I steer away from greens and blues because they didnít seem to keep my concentration. In this study the dependent variable will be memory, shown by the number of correct answers. The independent variable will be highlighting and the color of highlighter. The purpose of this study is to find whether highlighting improves memory and is an effective learning strategy.
There were 62 participants in this experiment: 24 participants in the control group and 19 for each level of the independent variable. The participants were from general studies classes of Missouri Western State College, including a 100 level psychology class and a 100 level criminal justice class
The participants received a pen and paper test packet including a reading passage, a multiple-choice questionnaire, and a short demographics section (see appendix).
Each general studies course had participants assigned to each level of independent variable because it is an individual test. Those who received the control test will answer the same questions as those who receive the experiment packets, the only difference is that the control group has nothing highlighted in their reading passage, whereas the experimental groupsí passage has key terms highlighted in either yellow, or alternating yellow and pink. The demographics section was the same in all the test packets as well as the multiple-choice questions. The tests were collected and put face down into a large envelope, and graded by whether the question was answered correctly or incorrectly. Correct answers received one point, and incorrect answers were given zero points.
Cycowicz, Y.M., & Friedman, D. (2003). Pictures and their colors: what do children remember? Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15, 759.
Harlow, L.L. (1988). The effects of the yellow-highlighter?second language learning strategies and their effectiveness- a research update. Canadian Modern Language Review, 45, 91-102.
Howe, M.L. (2004). Demystifying the beginnings of memory. Developmental Review, 24, 1-5.
Phillips, S. (2004). Pastels are good for the brain. Times Educational Supplement, 4596, 2.
The Dalai Lama. (2001). An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life. Boston: Little. Brown and Company.
turn it back to this page:
Calm abiding, or single-pointed concentration, is a form of meditation whereby you choose an object and fix your mind upon it. This degree of focus is not achieved in one sitting! You must train your mind by
degrees. Slowly, you will find that your mind is capable of greater and greater concentration and focus. Calm abiding is the steady state in
which your mind is able to remain focused on a mental object for as long as desired, with a calm that is free from all distractions. In this meditation practice, as with all the others, motivation is once
again all-important. The skill involved in concentrating on a single object can be used to various ends. It is a purely technical expertise,
and its outcome is determined by your motivation. Naturally, as spiritual practitioners, we are interested in a virtuous motivation and a virtuous end. Let us now analyze the technical aspects of this
practice. Calm abiding is practiced by members of many faiths. A meditator begins the process of training his or her mind by choosing and object of meditation. Whatever object you choose, your single-pointed concentration must possess qualities of stability and
clarity. Stability is undermined by excitement, the scattered, distracted quality of mind that is one aspect of attachment. The mind is easily distracted by thoughts of desirable objects. Such thoughts
keep us from developing the stable, settled quality necessary for us to abide truly and calmly on the object we have chosen. Clarity, on the other hand, is hindered more by mental laxity, what is sometimes called a sinking quality of mind.
Please answer the following then turn to the next page, and do not turn
back to the first page.
Years completed in college:_______________
Estimated hours spent studying per week:__________________
Do you use highlighters when studying for classes?___________________
Read the questions and write the letter of the correct answer in the
space provided by the question number. When you are finished please
raise your hand and your packet will be collected.
______1. What form of meditation is this passage discussing?
______2. It is a purely __________, and its outcome is determined by
A. technical experience, determination
B. technical expertise, motivation
C. technical experience, motivation
D. technological, motivation
______3. What is undermined by excitement?
______4. Naturally, as spiritual _________, we are interested in a
______5. What should ?calm? be free of?
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