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The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
VALENZUELA, A. J. (2006). A Look into Memory and Personality. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 9. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved December 6, 2023 .

A Look into Memory and Personality

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (cronk@missouriwestern.edu)
The difference in memory between Introverts and Extroverts was investigated. Two different types of memory tests were also used, words and three digit numbers. The personality types were determined by using a Jungian Typology test. The results indicate that there is no significant different in correct recalls between the two personality types. There was a significant interaction between personality type and the number of false recalls for the different memory tests. The findings are not congruent with the research in this field.

Many people have met others who seem to have an easier time remembering things. While intelligence may affect this, I also believe that personality affects what you remember and how easy it is for you to remember. Memory, personality, behavior, and academic performance have always been areas of study for psychologists. While psychologists have studied any combination of those variables the combination that I find the least material over are memory and personality. Things such as personality and behavior (attending class) have shown to be good predictors of academic performance and they may be useful in helping students improve their academic development (Conard, 2006). The tests Conard was using to help predict academic performance were the SAT and the ACT, these are the standardized tests that students use to get into college. With most colleges requiring one or the other and possibly both, it is important to see how much of a role personality plays in these tests. Anyone who has been to a college or university knows that most of the tests you take are tests where you have to recall the information you memorized and put it back into the test. There are two basic systems when you are talking about memory the structure and control. The structure is the physical and wired in processes that will remain constant across experiences. While the control is while the control is the one that varies across people and situations. (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968 as cited in Johnson, 1974). Control can also refer to the techniques that people use to recall information, Short term memory or short term store usually lasts for about 30 seconds before it dissipates, this can be avoided by repetition or with some sort of aid or control device (technique for recall). If the sensory information makes it into long term storage it is considered remembered and the individual can recall that information at a later date. Memory studies before 1956 generally studied episodic long term storage (LTS), as it was seen that short term storage was of limited use. Most of this work was concerned with interrupting memory recall. Studies today are mostly focused on how memory is stored and encoded in long term storage and how it is recalled when needed. There is little work done on short term memory and personality as they relate to each other. It is important to note that some view short term memory as not acceptable for testing unless the chance for recall is immediate. One of the best articles on classic studies of personality and memory was by Johnson (1974) who does an excellent job of summing up all of the important works up to his time. Two of the most common ways to measure personality are through the Big Five personality traits: Openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The other is Jungian Typology which consists of two attitudes introversion and extroversion as well as four functions of sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling. Introversion and extraversion are focuses of cognitive activity in individuals. Introversion is the focus on the internal representation of experiences, while extroversion focuses on the outside world. The Jungian typology test has given rise to a major standardized personality inventory the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Myers, 1962 as cited in Carlson & Levy, 1973). This test is used in many colleges and universities in the assessment of studentís personalities for potential strengths and weaknesses. In Study 1 of Carlson and Levy (1973) short term memory (STM) was tested by presenting subjects with a stimulus for a brief period of time, and then they were asked to recognize or reproduce stimulus content. Testing STM requires individual differences in cognitive orientation thus testing extroversion and introversion. In this study they found that Introverts were significantly superior on digit span tasks and extraverted were significantly more accurate on facial expressions. My theory is that introverted personality types will do better on number recollection, while extroverts will recall words better. Using a Jung Typology test I will test individuals for their major personality type introverted or extroverted. To see the difference between the two I will use four memory lists, two will be words and the other two will be three digit numbers. With extroverts focus on the outside world I believe the words will be easier because they represent things in the outside world, while the numbers or digits will not have any reference to the outside world and will be easier to internalize. By changing between words and numbers I hope to see a difference between recall accuracy and personality types.


I used 64 undergraduate students from Missouri Western State University were used. These students were taken from introduction level psychology classes. These students were given extra credit for their psychology class for their participation. The exact amount given was determined by the professor of the psychology classes. Out of the 64 students there were 36 extroverts, 16 were introverts, and 12 were unusable because of incomplete forms.

For this experiment I used a 72 question Jungian Typology Test from http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm to measure introversion and extroversion. There were two word lists and two number lists used in this experiment. The two word lists had 15 random words each of which were chosen from zokutou.co.uk/randomword. The two number lists had 15 random numbers each ranging from 100-999 that were chosen from http://www.random.org/nform.html. The memory tests were presented on a power point presentation. I handed out data collection sheets to write down the information from the tests to the participants. At the bottom of these sheets there were also be instructions on how to get to the personality test, as well as room to write down the results of the test. An envelope big enough to fit a normal 8 Ĺ by 11 sheet of paper was used to put the data collection sheets in.

Every participant received a data collection sheet that had space to write down recalled words and numbers. I then gave the give the participants the memory tests consisting of the four memory lists. The time for learning the lists was 40 seconds. That was followed by 20 seconds of transition time, then a minute for recall. After the memory tests were over participants were instructed to read the bottom of their data collection sheets that instruct them on how to get to the personality test. After they have done the personality test and recorded their answers the sheets they were given to the instructor of the class and put in an appropriate sized envelope and sealed and given to me. Students were given their extra credit at the time of hand in, and only received the credit if they hand in the sheet with everything filled out.

A 2 (Personality) x 2 (Type of Memory Test) mixed design ANOVA was calculated for the number of words correctly recalled. The main effect for type of memory test was significant (F(1,45) = 164.87, p<.05). The main effect for personality type was not significant (F(1,45) = 1.07, p=.307). The type of memory test by personality type interaction was not significant (F(1,45) = .14, p=.711). Thus it appears that the type of memory test has a significant effect on the number of correct recalls. The personality type does not have a significant effect on the number of correct recalls. See Figure one.A 2 (Personality) x 2 (Type of Memory Test) mixed design ANOVA was calculated for the number of words incorrectly recalled. The main effect for type of memory test was significant (F(1,45) = 62.54, p<.05). The main effect for personality type was not significant (F(1,45) = 1.501, p=.227). The type of memory test by personality type interaction was significant (F(1,45) = 6.567, p<.05). Thus it appears that the type of memory test has a significant affect on the number of correct recalls. The personality type does not have a significant effect on the number of correct recalls. Extroverts were more willing to recall a false words (m = .8788, sd = 1.746) than Introverts (m = .5714, sd = .9376). And Introverts were more willing to recall false numbers (m = 4.786, sd = 3.285) than Extroverts (m = 3.030, sd = 2.518). See Figure two.

The original hypothesis was rejected; there was not a significant difference between the personality types on recall of numbers and words. It was interesting to find though that the Introverts were more willing to write down wrong numbers than Extroverts were; and that Extroverts were more willing to write down false words. Conard (2006) stated that personality and behavior could be used to predict academic performance. The fact that the different personality types were more willing to put wrong answers down for different types of information could mean something in the academic field. They may have more confidence in the type of information they are remembering even though itís not right. While I havenít done enough research on memory and personality perhaps there is a way to reduce the false recall rate while increasing the correct recall rate. If it would be possible to make personal learning programs for students when they are young maybe we can help them develop better, or understand why this occurs in the first place. Carlson and Levy (1973) in their first study found that Introverts were better at a digit span test and Extroverts were better at remembering facial expressions. Perhaps, if I had a bigger sample size and an even number of Introverts to Extroverts I might have found that the findings could have carried over to words and numbers. I found myself limited in not having enough Introverts for my research. As I stated if it were possible I would like to have anywhere between 50 and 100 of each personality type, I believe this would provide greater results than what I was able to find. As well it should be mentioned there has been some debate as to whether college students are good as research subjects. If anyone else were to do this study I would advise them to use a group of non college students and a group of college students. If I were to do this again instead of just three digit numbers I would use a digit span test like Carlson and Levy. I believe that a digit span test would be a better measurement for Introverts than just remembering sets of numbers.

Carlson, R., & Levy, N. (1973). Studies of Jungian typology: I. Memory, social perception, and social action. Journal of Personality, 41(4), 559-576.Conard, M. (2006). Aptitude is not enough: How personality and behavior predict academic performance. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(3), 339-346Johnson, J. (1974). Memory and personality: An information processing approach. Journal of Research in Personality, 8(1), 1-32.

Word List OneYellZeroWhiteNannyInvestingLionSexismFatigueChallengeBlueWildYearElvisOrangeBus

Number List One250















Word List TwoChristmasShirtConfidentialSightEvolutionLampSeaTenderBendDistortUserJobSettleRepairFight

Number List Two807374538276159940361630216158274197575758665

Jungian Typology TestAs a rule, current preoccupations worryyou more than your future plans Yes NoYou find it difficult to talk about your feelings Yes NoYou feel at ease in a crowd Yes NoYou do your best to complete a task on time Yes NoYou are strongly touched by the stories about people`s troubles Yes NoYou are more interested in a general idea than in the details of its realization Yes NoStrict observance of the established rules is likely to prevent a good outcome Yes NoOften you prefer to read a book than go to a party Yes NoYou tend to rely on your experience rather thanon theoretical alternatives Yes NoIt`s difficult to get you excited Yes NoYou rapidly get involved in social lifeat a new workplace Yes NoIt is in your nature to assume responsibility Yes NoYou frequently and easily express your feelings and emotions Yes NoYou often think about humankind and its destiny Yes NoYou believe the best decision is one that can be easily changed Yes NoYou are a person somewhat reserved and distant in communication Yes NoYou prefer to act immediately rather than speculateabout various options Yes NoYou trust reason rather than feelings

You spend your leisure time actively socializingwith a group of people, attending parties, shopping, etc. Yes NoYou usually plan your actions in advance Yes NoYour actions are frequently influenced by emotions Yes NoYou often contemplate about the complexity of life Yes NoYou often do jobs in a hurry Yes NoYou find it difficult to speak loudly Yes NoYou get bored if you have to read theoretical books Yes NoYou value justice higher than mercy Yes NoThe more people with whom you speak, the better you feel Yes NoYou like to keep a check on how thingsare progressing Yes NoYou easily empathize with the concerns of other people Yes NoYou are more inclined to experiment thanto follow familiar approaches Yes NoYou avoid being bound by obligations Yes NoYou prefer to isolate yourself from outside noises Yes NoIt`s essential for you to try things with your own hands Yes NoYou think that almost everything can be analyzed Yes NoYou are usually the first to react to a sudden event:the telephone ringing or unexpected question Yes NoYou take pleasure in putting things in order Yes NoYou feel involved when watching TV soaps Yes No You easily understand new theoretical principles Yes No

The process of searching for solution is moreimportant to you than the solution itself Yes NoYou usually place yourself nearer to the sidethan in the center of the room Yes NoWhen solving a problem you would rather followa familiar approach than seek a new one Yes NoYou try to stand firmly by your principles Yes NoIt is easy for you to communicate in social situations Yes NoYou are consistent in your habits Yes NoYou willingly involve yourself in matterswhich engage your sympathies Yes NoYou easily perceive various waysin which events could develop Yes NoA thirst for adventure is close to your heart Yes NoYou prefer meeting in small groups to interactionwith lots of people Yes NoWhen considering a situation you pay more attention tothe current situation and less to a possible sequence of events Yes NoYou consider the scientific approach to be the best Yes NoYou enjoy having a wide circle of acquaintances Yes NoYou are almost never late for your appointments Yes NoYou readily help people while asking nothing in return Yes NoYou often spend time thinking of how thingscould be improved Yes NoYour decisions are based more on the feelingsof a moment than on the careful planning Yes NoYou prefer to spend your leisure time alone or relaxing in a tranquil family atmosphere Yes NoYou feel more comfortable sticking toconventional ways Yes NoObjective criticism is always useful in any activity Yes NoYou enjoy being at the center of events in whichother people are directly involved Yes NoYou know how to put every minute of yourtime to good purpose Yes NoYou are easily affected by strong emotions Yes NoYou are always looking for opportunities Yes NoDeadlines seem to you to be of relative, rather than absolute, importance Yes NoAfter prolonged socializing you feel you needto get away and be alone Yes NoYour desk, workbench etc. is usually neat and orderly Yes NoYou tend to be unbiased even if this might endangeryour good relations with people Yes NoYou like to be engaged in an active and fast-paced job Yes NoYou have good control over your desires and temptations Yes NoYou tend to sympathize with other people Yes NoYou easily see the general principle behindspecific occurrences Yes NoYou are inclined to rely more on improvisationthan on careful planning Yes NoYou get pleasure from solitary walks Yes No

Data Collection SheetPlease put your answers for each test in the corresponding section.

Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Test 4

Please go to http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm and click the button that says: do it! Once you have clicked on the button please fill out the questions. When you are done hit submit and you will be given four categories with a number below them. Please copy down the categories and their corresponding numbers in the space below. Example Ė Sensing 15%_______________ _______________ _______________ ______________


Submitted 12/7/2006 12:40:42 PM
Last Edited 12/7/2006 1:00:19 PM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

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