Teenagers’ memory recall of narrative writing versus informational writing and its link to emotion
(1) Burbank High School, Burbank, California, (2) Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California, (3) No institutional affiliation, Burbank, California
Memory, the ability to store and recall information over time, is an imperative component of our everyday lives. At first glance, the process of memorization might only be tied to studying and/or learning, but in reality, memory recall impacts every aspect of our lives. Something as simple as knowing a friend’s name, requires memory recall. Hence, scientists have extensively studied memory and classified it into 3 major memory processes: encoding, retention, and recall. However, not much research has been done to determine whether the type of information that one is exposed to impacts memory recall. In this study, we investigated whether teenagers’ memory recall was stronger for narrative writing or informational writing. We hypothesized that healthy male and female teenagers ages 13–19 would recall more information from narrative writing than informational writing since narrative writing promotes an emotional response. We tested this hypothesis on a group of 30 participants who read one narrative and one informational piece in counterbalanced order. After each reading period, they were given a memory test to assess their memory recall. Our results supported our hypothesis; we found that on average the participants were able to recall more information from the piece of narrative writing than the informational one. These results are significant as they indicate that emotional response could contribute to improved memory recall.