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How Predictiveness Effect the Level of Processing Essay

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Updated: Oct 14th, 2021


Human beings involve themselves in various activities, the outcome of which is realized later. An action of a human being can give different results ranging from shocks, surprise to ecstasy and many more outcomes. This paper will throw light upon how Predictiveness affects the level of Processing. There will be numerous examples in the paper which will show the affect of Predictiveness on the minds of the people. With the help of examples, we will get to know what effects Predictiveness has on the level of processing. The experiment and the result will show that there is a greater response of individuals towards predictive words when compared to the Non- Predictive words or for that matter when compared to the fillers, which will be used in the experiment. Once when the results are arrived at, there will be a clear difference in regard to response towards the predictive words of the people who participate in the experiment.


Since this paper is all about Predictiveness, it is very important to know what the word predictive exactly means, according to the dictionary the word means foretelling or foreboding, to simply the same it is the ability to know something which has not happened, to be very precise it means to be able to know and forecast about something which has not happened previously. Our memory plays a key role in this process because human beings carry out many processes depending on their memory. According to Craik, “the longevity of the memory and its qualitative nature is purely dependent on the depth of processing.” Memory does many processes and one of the most important processes is of remembering and it has some vital subdivisions such as attention, encoding, rehearsal and retrieval. It is believed that the durability of the memory depends on the functions of the depth of processing. Going by this statement it is believed that the deeper the functions of various processes which go on in human mind, sharper the memory. According to Koriat, Ben-Zur, &Sheffer, “older adults suffer from many problems related to their memory, some of the common problems are that they tend to forget names very easily because of the unfamiliar words which make up the names of the people, another problem is supposed to be that they fail to link information or in other words connect a sequence of events because of their memory.” This paper will conduct research to prove that when people come across predictive words it becomes easier for them to anticipate and get the predictive words right, the performance of the memory in relation to the predictive words will be highlighted in the paper. The relation between Predictiveness and the level of processing will be arrived at the end of the paper.


The whole concept can be better understood by conducting an experiment; the experiment involves 132 students of which 82 are females with a mean age of 19.8. The experiment conducted required the students to watch a power point presentation, which consisted of 40 sentences of which 20 sentences were predictive and the rest 20 were non-predictive. The series of the sentences was in random order to have better results from the experiment. The experiment showed the students the 40 sentences and the arrangement was such that the final word of the sentences was not shown to the students and they were asked to think about the final word. After sometime the sentences were shown with the final word and each sentence stayed on the screen for 2 seconds, which is a very short duration. Some examples of predictive sentences shown to the students are, she put the new picture into a frame, when the music started he asked her to dance and some of the examples of non- predictive sentences shown to the students are, she went down town to see the new frame, she developed a severe headache at the dance. To get the results right, the predictive and the non- predictive words were rightly balanced. After showing the students the power point presentation they were all asked to undergo a recognition test and the test consisted of 80 items out of which 20 were predictive, 20 were non- predictive and the remaining 40 were just fillers to get the right results. The results of this experiment are on the following page.


The results can be better understood with the help of a table, which is pasted below.

Table 1. Mean recognition rate of filler, non-predictive and predictive words
Word Nature Recognition Rate Standard Deviation
Filler 0.16 ± 0.11
Non-Predictive 0.74 ± 0.74
Predictive 0.86 ± 0.16

It was found that there was a greater yes response as far as predictive words are concerned, as it can be seen from the table. The recognition rate of the predictive words was 0.86 much higher than any other section. The next to follow was the response of the non-predictive words; it was found that the recognition rate was 0.74 which is second only to predictive words. The last result was of the fillers and it was found that the recognition rate of the same was 0.16; this is also the least of all the results. The result of the fillers is affected because of a false alarm and it was found that the response of the same was much lower than the non- predictive words. Hence it is made out that the fillers went unrecognized to a great extent. It can also be seen from the results that the recognition rate of the predictive words is 0.12 higher than that of non- predictive words. Thus the predictive words were statistically more recognized over the non-predictive words. Conversely, the results when compared to the opposite group, whose target words were reversed from predictive to non-predictive and non-predictive to predictive, it did not show any statistical significance. Thus the choice of target words for recognition did not appear to have an effect on memory and result we observed were purely the phenomenon of predictive and non-predictive nature of words dependant on their preceding sentences.


Hence it is quite clear from the experiment and from the result of the same that the predictive words are far more easily recognized and processed rather than the non- predictive words or for that matter the fillers. It is easy to recognize and process predictive words because they are quite easy and familiar for the memory to process and it is also seen that even of the order of the predictive words and the non-predictive is altered, the results which come out still remain the same, the results may change to a small extent depending upon the individuals participating in the experiment but the results never change to a great extent. There is one more concept according to Schulman (1974) involved in Predictiveness and that is congruency. “It was that congruent words were much easier to predict and anticipate when compared with the incongruent words. For instance when people were asked “Is Soprano a Singer?” the answers received from the people were quite positive because this was a congruent question. On the other hand, when people were asked another question, which was “Is Mustard concave?” the results were not even close to the results which were received from the people who answer the congruent question. So with the help of this example it is concluded that the concept of Predictiveness is related to congruency and this is proved with the help of the above example. Hence to conclude it is very fair to say that the human memory processes and recognizes predictive words and congruent words faster and much more accurately than any other type of words or sentences.”


  1. Craik, Fergus I. M. (2002) ‘Levels of processing: Past, present … and future?’ Memory, 10:5, 305 — 318
  2. Craik, Fergus I. M. (2002) Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 1975, Vol. 104, No. 3, 268-294
  3. Koriat, A., Ben-Zur, H., & Sheffer, D. (1988). Telling the same story twice: Output monitoring and age. Journal of Memory and Language, 27, 23–39.
  4. Schulman, A. I. Recognition memory for targets from a scanned word list. British Journal of Psychology, 1971, 62, 335-346.
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