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Effect of Verbal & Pictorial Materials on Memory Retention among Undergraduate Students – An Interventional Study | Chapter 05 | New Insights into Disease and Pathogen Research Vol. 1

Aims: To compare the effectiveness of pictorial against verbal materials in memory retention among medical students.

Study Design: Crossover randomized controlled trial.

Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted in Melaka-Manipal Medical College, Muar, Johor, Malaysia in April 2016.

Methodology: 38 right-handed medical students of Melaka-Manipal Medical College were volunteers and participants were divided into two groups equally via simple random sampling. One group of participants were to recall pictures shown first followed by words while the other group of participants were to recall words first followed by pictures. All the pictures and words shown were of everyday objects. Data were analysed using Epi Info version 7.

Results: There was a significant difference of memory retention between pictures and words (P-value =; p < 0.05) and of memory accuracy (P-value; p < 0.05). For memory retention, both groups were found to have higher scores for pictures than words as both groups obtained a mean score of 11.3 and 13.4 respectively for the pictures and 9.7 and 11.1 respectively for words. For memory accuracy, pictures were found to be recalled better than words as the mean scores for the pictures are higher than words in both groups.

Conclusion: Information in the form of pictures should be more utilized in medical schools so that medical students can have better memory retention which in turn will lead to better academic performances. This study shows that picture superiority effect has a remarkable effect in the memory retention of pictorial and verbal materials. Therefore, the results of this study support the need to implement and apply this theory in medical schools which require heavy memorization of informations in the form of pictures and text. Hence, the utilization of this method of study is essential for more efficient learning and improving academic performance.

Author(s) Details

Dr Khoo Jing Hern
Department of Community Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia.

Dr. Muhammad Khairul Anwar bin Mohd Yusof
Department of Community Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia.

Dr. Fatin Nuraidil binti Zaifulbahri
Department of Community Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia.

Nurfarah Aini binti Azahar
Department of Community Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia.

Dr. Grace Sugumaran
Department of Community Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia.

Navin Kumar Sarkunam
Department of Community Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia.


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