Is the Cocktail Party Effect the Same Over the Short and Long Term?
Simmy Kaur Sandhu, Umme Salma Amir, Sarp Gonenc Samanci, Caitlin Carol McMahon, PSY435: Human Memory
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Stephani M. Foraker, Psychology
The "cocktail party effect" is when our selective attention automatically alerts us to particular external stimuli that we were not trying to pay attention to before. This can cause a distraction, making it harder to remember the original thing we were attending to. Our current study focused on the cocktail party effect for short-term and long-term memory. The hypothesis is that the cocktail party effect will have a greater influence on information retention on long-term memory than short-term memory. The study consists of two groups, one measuring short-term memory and the other long-term memory. Participants will be randomly assigned. Participants in the short-term memory group will be given a demographic questionnaire at the beginning of the study. They will then be given a reading comprehension passage while simultaneously listening to audio in the background. Lastly, they will proceed to immediately fill out questions regarding the passage they just read. Participants in the long-term memory group will first read the same passage as the other group while simultaneously listening to audio in the background. Next, they will complete the demographic questionnaire as well as two other critical thinking questions unrelated to the passage. Lastly, they will answer the questions about the passage they read. We will then compare participants' recall accuracy for the questions about the passage, which should be lower for the long-term memory group because of the intervening material. Data collection is currently in progress and full results will be reported in the presentation.
Sandhu, Simmy Kaur; Amir, Umme Salma; Samanci, Sarp Gonenc; and McMahon, Caitlin Carol, "Is the Cocktail Party Effect the Same Over the Short and Long Term?" (2021). Psychology and Social Sciences. 27.