The Effects of Commercial Chocolate on Short-Term Memory
The independent variable in this experiment is commercial chocolate. The dependent variable is the participants performance on the short-term memory assessment test. "Short-term memory has two important characteristics. First, short-term memory can contain at any one time seven, plus or minus two, "chunks" of information. Second, items remain in short-term memory around twenty seconds" ( The University of Alberta ˜s Cognitive Science Dictionary, Feb. 1997).
The amount of chocolate consumed is the independent variable. The concept of consumption is a main factor in determining the definition of this construct. Consumption is "the act of eating or drinking (Collins English Dictionary, 1998 Harper Collins Publishers). The chocolate consumed would obviously, not be chocolate obtained in its purest form. I would use Hershey's chocolate, which also contains other ingredients. This type of chocolate is commercial chocolate. The consumption of chocolate before taking a test measuring short-term memory should have an affect on the participants performance on the test. This would mean that there is some correlation between the consumption of chocolate and short-term memory.
The population of interest for this study is all college students. The participants will be a randomly selected group of 100 undergraduate volunteers. The group would be half male (50 participants) and half female (50 participants). I would select the participants for this project using cluster sampling. I would obtain rosters of core classes (ie ENG 101,102) available at the college, this would give me a sampling pool of participants with a variety of different majors and other characteristics. Since I am using core class rosters to select the sample, many of my volunteers will probably be first year or second year college stude