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Recency and Primacy Effects

Remember graphic (string on index finger)The order in which information is learned determines how reliably it will be recalled. The first item in a list is initially distinguished from previous activities as important (primacy effect) and may be transferred to long-term memory by the time of recall. Items at the end of the list are still in short-term memory (recency effect) at the time of recall.

Students learn about short- and long-term memory by conducting an experiment where they try to remember a list of 20 words.

Grade Level: 4-12

Lesson Length: 1 class period

Adapted from Neuroscience for Kids website and the Brain Link Activity books developed by the Baylor College of Medicine

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Teacher Guide67.57 KB
Student Guide (graph and questions)47.42 KB
Word List30.31 KB
Documents in MS Word format423.94 KB