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. â€œShort-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 secondsâ€œ ( The University of Albertaâ€˜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 â€œthe act of eating or drinkingâ€ (Collins English Dictionary, 1998 Harper Collins Publishers). The chocolate consumed would obviously, not be chocolate obtained in its purest form. I would use Hersheyâ€™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 students.