Academic Master


The Impact of Stress on Human Memory and How it Negatively Affects the Performance of Humans Specifically Students in their Academic Performance.

Background research

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

During and after a stressful event, hormones and neurotransmitters get release 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 the memory formation but research has proved that stress also causes the 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.


There is a use of quantitative analysis for the purpose of gathering data and drawing a conclusion. There are 70 students taken as a sample having ages 12-20. Data is collected from this sample using the survey technique. There is a use of random sampling in this experiment aimed to discuss the negative effects of stress on the memory. Participants are randomly assigned to each group; a control group and experimental group. These groups do not differ regarding their as well as education level. Then, the collected data from both groups are analyzed using SPSS, ANCOVA as well as by performing correlations.

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 as well as implicit memory and all these are collectively assessed in a single experiment for having accurate and precise results with respect to studying the effect of stress on memory. Memories are considered as extremely dynamic units that are formed in humans in different stages with the passage of time. Memory formation in humans involve 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 consists 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 effects 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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