Science project

Is It Easier To Memorize Words With Fewer Syllables?

Difficulty of Project



Less than $1

Safety Issues


Material Availability

Easily available from the internet or your brain.

Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

At least an hour


  • To establish whether it is easier to memorize words with fewer syllables.
  • To understand how memory works. 

Materials and Equipment / Ingredients

  • A list of numbers
  • A list of one-syllable words
  • A list of two-syllable words
  • A list of three-syllable words

(Note: these lists will be completely random. No word will link to another on the list. For instance, if you had “hat”, the next word should not be “head”.) 


Many people have trouble with memorization. Some use mnemonic devices in order to help them memorize long words. Others may find longer words easier to memorize, since if you remember the first syllable, the rest might come back to you, but find short words more difficult to memorize. Which, in general, is easier? 

Research Questions
  • Are words with fewer syllables easier to memorize?
  • Are words with more syllables harder to memorize? 
Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research
  • How does memory work?
  • Is there research which shows people having an easier time remembering words with fewer syllables?
  • How can you compare people who have different memory capacities? 

Experimental Procedure

  1. Gather a group of subjects who are interested in participating in this experiment.
  2. Divide these subjects into three groups.
  3. Give each subject (in all groups) a list of numbers to memorize and a set time in which to memorize it. This is your control, and will inform you how the subject’s memorization skills are in general.
  4. Give the subject a second list to memorize, and a set time in which to memorize it in, based on the group that he/she is in: a. In group A, give the subject a list of one-syllable words. b. In group B, give the subject a list of two-syllable words. c. In group C, give the subject a list of three-syllable words.
  5. Compare the accuracy and number of words recalled for each group.


Vanhuele, Marc; Laurent, Gilles; Dreze, Xavier; Calder, Bobby. “People Remember Prices More Easily If They Have Fewer Syllables.” Medical News Today. June 24, 2006.
Berman, Dennis R. “US Patent 6585520 - Method and system for enhancing memorization by using a mnemonic display.” July 1, 2003.
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against that arise thereof. In addition, your access to's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items