Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Powell, Marvin A.||Frey, Sherman H.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Education


Learning; Psychology of


The study is designed to determine the difference in immediate recall of similar tasks under interrupted and uninterrupted conditions. The hypothesis of the problems which served as the basis for the design, is that the Zeigarnik effect would be eliminated in the immediate recall of completed and interrupted tasks that are similar under conditions of neutralized motivation. The study is essentially an investigation of the well established concept known as the Zeigarnik effect. High school students were used as subjects, a classroom as the setting, and similar rather than varied tasks as conditions. Following the original experiment by Zeigarnik, there were a series of studies designed to support and test the principles upon which the study was founded. Later, however, the investigations were conducted in an effort to isolate some of the possible relevant variables causing the Zeigarnik effect to appear. At present there is little or no attention being given to this research. The following study can only be considered within the limitations of the design. The limitations of the study are (1) Findings will have to be considered only within the range of intelligence, age, and mathematical backgrounds of the subjects included within the realm of this study. (2) The fact that the tasks varied in length may have an effect on results. (3) Similar tasks may have aided recall which would have an effect on the results. (4) The attempt to neutralize the motivation in the study may not have been accepted by all the subjects in the manner originally planned by the experimenter. The methods of gathering data were based on an operational definition of what recall is. For purposes of evaluation of performance, recall was operationally defined as a description of the task that distinguished it, in the experimenter's judgment, from all the other tasks in the test. Using this definition the number of completed and Interrupted tasks recalled were tallied. The data was interpreted in terms of the percentage of recalled tasks and then the raw scores were subjected to an analysis of variance technique in an attempt to obtain a significant F ratio in order to reject the hypothesis.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


28, 10 pages




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