I am doing a research study on short-term memory. My research study will be whether gender has an impact on short term memory for college students. I need help identifying the scale of measurement for the dependent variable (which is the ability of both genders to recall the words) and providing a rationale.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi DVargas, Welcome at CogSci. Have you done any research yourself already that you could share with us? Moreover, could you provide a little more info about the experiment you will be conducting? $\endgroup$ May 7 '17 at 10:45
  • $\begingroup$ Something like "counts of words remembered" is kindof a grey area, dealt with in its own way (of the traditional 4, ordinal may be the most accurate, though intuitively counts are somewhere between ordinal and ratio, but not interval). Sometimes counts can be "viewed" on a continuous scale. I'd suggest this article for some more details. $\endgroup$
    – mflo-ByeSE
    May 10 '17 at 22:43

I understand Dependent and Independent Variables as:

The Independent variable: What you Manipulate, in this case gender, and to a lesser degree the stimulus (word, nonsense syllable, size of nonsense syllable, etc)

The Dependent variable: A measure of performance, in your case if you are testing for word or nonsense syllable recall (I suggest the later as to avoid familiarity issues), how many they could remember after X time period, which you could turn into recall probability.


Tulving, Endel, and Fergus IM Craik. The Oxford handbook of memory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Additional variations on dependent variables &tests targeting short term memory and variations are mentioned in various chapters, see page 20 for instance and the chapters on short term memory


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