The Influences of the Zeigarnik Effect on Education

Friday, February 17, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Hynes Convention Center)
John Gahwyler, None, Louisville, KY

The purpose of this research project is to determine if the Zeigarnik Effect can have any significant effect on the educational performance of children. I hypothesized that, if I could successfully integrate the Effect into a class, the Effect would improve the students’ learning and allow them to perform better in class. This hypothesis was tested by taking two sixth grade English classes and providing each with an extra portion of content. One group, the control group, was simply taught this content normally, along with the rest of the regular content. However, to implement the Effect, the second group was forced to experience an interruption by being unable to go through all of the added content. This, in theory, would cause the Effect to occur and get the added content to stick out more in the experiment group students’ minds, which would allow them to perform better on tests with the content.

To determine if the process was successful, problems relating to the extra content were added to a test the students were scheduled to take, and while the students’ grades were unaffected, added questions were used to grade their performance in the experiment. If the experiment group scored higher than the control group, this would suggest the Effect had successfully improved the performance of the students in the experiment group. When the test was conducted, the control group scored higher than the experiment group. However, a hypothesis test revealed the results weren’t enough to form a definite conclusion.