Academic Master

Education, English

The Effects Of Stress On Different Memory Tasks

Background Research

There are different effects of stress on memory, and these are not limited to the creation of memories but also encompass memory retrieval. Students are observed to have a high level of stress while dealing with exams, constricted deadlines, and interpersonal conflicts. Especially exams are a source of stress for students, and their performance on tests is associated with the level of stress that they experience at the time of tests. Schoolchildren frequently encounter stressful events within their schools and outside environments. Almost 70% of primary school children are found to have symptoms of stress that include worries, anxiety, and sadness (Vogel & Schwabe, 2016).

During and after a stressful event, hormones and neurotransmitters get released and serve as a source of the main modulator of human learning and memory processes. These have serious consequences for educational contexts. In the past, stress was considered as a source of enhancing memory formation but research has proved that stress also causes robust memories and harms memory retrieval (Schwabe, Joëls, Roozendaal, Wolf, & Oitzl, 2012). Research in psychology and neuroscience can play an effective role in reducing the level of stress in educational contexts for students and can facilitate the process of education for both students.

Aims And Hypotheses

To examine the impact of stress on human memory and how it negatively affects the performance of humans specifically students in their academic performance.


Quantitative analysis is used to gather data and draw a conclusion. There are 70 students taken as a sample ages 12-20. Data is collected from this sample using the survey technique. The use of random sampling in this experiment aimed at discussing the negative effects of stress on memory. Participants are randomly assigned to each group: a control group and an experimental group. These groups do not differ in terms of their education level. Then, the collected data from both groups are analyzed using SPSS and ANCOVA, and correlations are performed.

Expected Results

ANCOVA and correlation results

Discussion Points

The objective of this experiment is to investigate the effects of stress on different memory tasks. These tasks include explicit, working, and implicit memory, and all of these are collectively assessed in a single experiment to have accurate and precise results with respect to studying the effect of stress on memory. Memories are considered extremely dynamic units that are formed in humans in different stages with the passage of time. Memory formation in humans involves the initial encoding, and then this is alleviated during a consolidation procedure. When there is a long-lasting stressful situation, then this particularly affects the brain during critical periods of brain development that consist of childhood as well as youth. The results of the experiments show that stress and enhanced glucocorticoid levels have an effect on memory performance in the context of both negative and positive consequences (Luethi, Meier & Sandi, 2009). During psychological stress, explicit as well as working memory recurrently get impaired after corticosteroid administration.


Luethi, M., Meier, B., & Sandi, C. (2009). Stress affects on working memory, explicit memory, and implicit memory for neutral and emotional stimuli in healthy men. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 2, 5.

Schwabe, L., Joëls, M., Roozendaal, B., Wolf, O. T., & Oitzl, M. S. (2012). Stress effects on memory: an update and integration. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 36(7), 1740-1749.

Vogel, S., & Schwabe, L. (2016). Learning and memory under stress: implications for the classroom. npj Science of Learning, 1, 16011.



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