PSY101 Introduction To Psychology B : Essay Fountain


Task Description

This task requires you to write and format a psychology laboratory report. The report will be based on an experiment conducted during the workshops in Week 5

Topic and Research Question

The broad topic for this research is memory. The research will attempt to answer the following specific research question:

Is information remembered better when presented in digital or paper learning environments?



“Is information remembered better when presented in digital or paper learning environments?


The research topic is related to memory which deals with impact of digital or paper learning environment in memorizing information in academic setting. The research addresses the question as “Is information remembered better when presented in digital or paper learning environments?

The levels of processing theory describes the memory as the function of depth of mental processing (Craik & Lockhart, 1972). It states that deeper level of examination for any particular things gives more elaborate, stronger and long lasting memory. In the earlier study on memory by Craik and Lockhart (1972) it was known that memory is the epitome of cognitive process, which arises during exposure to learning stimulus. The author indicate that the things that are learned through structural, phonemic, graphemic and orthographic means tends to have shallow memories, while maintaining distinctiveness and rehearsing the learned information could have long lasting memory.

Recent studies are focusing on other mode to memories the things. Green et al. (2010) has studied the influence of mode of visual demonstration on the memory for both number and written text in hard version and soft version. The author found that there is no clear difference on the impact of soft copy and hard copy in learning things and recalling performance. Another research by Sidi et al. (2017) on comparing the paper pencil learning and computer based learning conducted few experiments to conclude the finding. Author found that time pressure, text learning and reading burden is incurred in computerized environment. Moreover, author also suggested that memory is sensitive to the contextual cues which requires depth processing. Although studies have consistently reported the effect of the different mode of memorizing things, limited research has been noticed to get reliable result. Thus, there is the requirement to conduct more extensive research to find impact of paper learning and digital learning on memory.

The major rationale of the study is confirm the previous finding and testing the most effective mode of learning. Moreover, the finding of the study can also improve the learning process of students and increase the memory. Therefore, the primary aim of the research is find best environment of learning when information is presented in paper and digital mode. The study involves the students to test the impact. It is hypothesized that students who are involved in paper learning tend to have good memory of the information given and will score more correct answer than the students learned through digital mode.




There were total 357 psychological students involved in the experimental study of different age groups ranging from 17 years to 66 years of age (Mean age of 25.3 and standard deviation of 9.5). The participant selected were 281 females, 71 males and rest non-identified. The selection criteria that was followed to select the participants was only that they should not have any hearing or visual impairment.


The experimental design addressing the group experiment was used to conduct the research. The dependent variable was the test performance which was operationalized by providing score for the correct answers in the multiple choice questions which covers the question of the related experiments. The dependent variables was digital learning and paper learning with low score and high score. The participant was assigned to different group in random manner in paper learning and digital learning atmosphere.


The script of the question was prepared with the instruction of the participants. The questionnaire were having four parts; 1. Two demographic questions related to age and gender, 2. Followed by reading the short extract of text and then 3. Answering the math question, 4. 10 Multiple choice questions. The test was supposed to be complete it by pen on paper or on screen of computer. Hence, there was the requirement of the paper, pen and computers to finish the experiment.


The workshop has been conducted academic setting where the students were assigned to take part in the experiment in paper or digital condition. The students selection was random but in practical constraint and were divided into two different groups. One groups were exposed to paper condition and rest to screen condition. The research assistant conducted research firstly described the whole experiment that would be conducted and clarified the doubts.  Firstly, the participant involved in demographic question and mentioned their age and gender. Secondly, the research assistant provided a reading stimulus and asked to read it once without taking any notes. Thirdly the research assistant followed the experiment and undertook simple math test which contains only five question. Lastly, the research assistant asked the participants to give test which contains 10 multiple choice questions from the reading section. They were given score 1 for correct answer and 0 for wrong answer.  


The result of the experiment was extracted by mean of data collected which was scored by calculating total number of correct response to the test questions and average across the samples in each of the different condition. The maximum score of the test was 10. As listed in the table, on average the participant who were involved in paper learning environment scored highest marks of 5.81 than the participants who were exposed to screen condition of giving test. However, the variability of the score of was not very high in both the paper and screen condition of experiment, which suggests that it is hard to determine to effectiveness of paper and screen condition in learning and memorizing.

Table 1

Mean, Standard Deviation, Minimum, and Maximum Test Performance Scores as a Function of memory.







Paper condition






Screen condition









It is hypothesized that students who are involved in paper learning tend to have good memory of the information given and will score more correct answer than the students learned through digital mode. The study assessed the impact of the digital and paper learning in memorizing things in academic setting. The hypothesis stated in the research that student who are involved in paper learning condition tends to score good marks than the students who are involved in the digital learning condition. The finding of the research conducted indicates that being exposed to paper learning condition have long lasting memory due to low time pressure, ease in reading and low stress on eyes during academic test. Conversely, the digital learning environment can be also effective in facilitating the memory as minor difference of standard deviation of 0.01. When the test scored is compared, it gets clear that paper learning condition is more effective in having long lasting memory.

The finding of the research is supported by the levels of processing theory by Craik and Lockhart (1972) which explains that anything processed in depth tends to stays for longer time. In paper learning, the students were having physical experience of reading, answering and giving test. They were able to able to process the information in better way and fetched good marks in the test. Whereas, in screen learning, students felt huge stressed in seeing the screen, which incur more reading and understanding time. The level of concentration was also low which can be due to stress in eyes. This has resulted in low marks while giving test on computer.  

The finding of the research is also consistent with research of Norman and Furnes (2016). The author has conducted an experiment to monitor the impact of paper and pen learning in the students of 10 to15 years of age. The author found that the students were able to understand the things in better way than the digital mode of learning. The feedback of students suggested that with better understanding the things, they are able to memories the information in easy way which remains for long period of time. In the research of García-Gavilanes et al. (2017) it is indicated that memory is interlinked with understanding. The author has given the statement that knowledge cannot be long lasting if it is memorized without understating. The information can be processed in depth if it is understood and conceptualized (Ryan, Henderson & Phillips, 2017). Therefore, it can be said that students reading the text in the experiment in paper format were able to understand the things in better way than the students who read the text in computer screen.

The major strength of the study is the experimental design and random selection of sample. It is evident that random selection and experimental design helps to remove the biasness of the study. However, the study does not involve control group in the experiment hence making it its vital weakness as this could lead to unreliable result. Therefore, more extensive research need to be conducted in future which can address the research question by real world evaluation condition.

Lastly, it can be concluded that paper learning is the most effective mean of memorizing things and practical application of the finding could facilitate better academic performance of the students. However, the research indicate that the finding could be beneficial to all age group of people in their learning stage and hence is not limited to the students for their academic performance.



Craik, F. I., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of verbal learning and verbal behavior, 11(6), 671-684. Retrieved from 

García-Gavilanes, R., Mollgaard, A., Tsvetkova, M., & Yasseri, T. (2017). The memory remains: Understanding collective memory in the digital age. Science advances, 3(4), e1602368. Retrieved from DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602368

Green, T. D., Perera, R. A., Dance, L. A., & Myers, E. A. (2010). Impact of Presentation Mode on Recall of Written Text and Numerical Information: Hard Copy Versus Electronic. North American Journal of Psychology, 12(2). Retrieved from 

Norman, E., & Furnes, B. (2016). The relationship between metacognitive experiences and learning: Is there a difference between digital and non-digital study media?. Computers in Human Behavior, 54, 301-309. Retrieved from 

Ryan, T., Henderson, M., & Phillips, M. (2019). Feedback modes matter: Comparing student perceptions of digital and non?digital feedback modes in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(3), 1507-1523. Retrieved from 

Sidi, Y., Shpigelman, M., Zalmanov, H., & Ackerman, R. (2017). Understanding metacognitive inferiority on screen by exposing cues for depth of processing. Learning and Instruction, 51, 61-73. Retrieved from 

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