There were 89 college students from a small southwestern university who participated as part of a psychology laboratory exercise. There were 13 males and 30 females in the read only group with a mean age of 26.53 (and a standard deviation of 8.32) and there were 2 males and 44 females in the note-taking group with M = 29.56 (SD = 11.22).
A five page passage about Thiamin (Wentzler, 1980) was used for the material to be studied. A multiple choice test consisting of ten questions developed by the experimenter was used for the recall test. A math test of 20 simple arithmetic problems developed by the experimenter was used for a distraction task.
Participants were randomly assigned to the read-only group or the note-taking group. Participants in the same condition were tested in small groups. Participants were given 15 min to read the passage and study it using the assigned method. Participants were told that they would be tested on the passage. After studying the passage, the participants had 1 min to complete a set of basic math problems as a distraction task. After the distraction task, participants either reviewed their notes or re-read the passage for three minutes. At the end of this review period, participants took a 10 item multiple choice test. The number correct was recorded for each individual.
A t-test for independent groups using a significance level of .05 was completed. The read only group (M=7.86, SD=1.77) had significantly more correct answers on the quiz than the note taking group (M = 6.85, SD = 1.97) , t(85) = 2.55, p = .012.
1999-2000 All rights reserved. Lee A. Becker & Kelli J. Klebe