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Flashcards in Memory Deck (12):


The way in which memory is stored in the various memory stores.



The amount of memory that can be held in a memory store.



The length of time information can be held in memory.


>Short-term memory.

>The limited-capacity memory store.
>Coding is mainly acoustic, capacity is between about 5 - 9 items on average
>duration is between about 18-30 seconds.


>Long-term memory.

>The permanent memory store.
>Coding is mainly semantic (meaning),
>It has unlimited capacity and
>Can store memories up for a lifetime.



Memories that are learnt through hearing. Goes into short-term memory.



Something that has meaning to someone will be coded semantically. Goes into long term memory.


>Baddeley - research on coding.

Group 1 (acoustically similar) - Words sounded similar.
Group 2 (acoustically dissimilar) - Words sounded different.
Group 3 (semantically similar) - Words with similar meanings.
Group 4 (semantically dissimilar) - Words that all had different meanings.
Participants were shown the original words and asked to recall them in the correct order, when they had to do this immediately after hearing the words they tended to do worse with words that sound similar. If participants were asked to recall the word list after 20 minutes, they did worse with the semantically similar words.


>Jacobs - research on capacity.

Developed a technique to measure digit span. The researcher gives, for example, 4 digits and then the participant is asked to recall these in the correct order out loud. If this is correct, the researcher reads out 5 digits and so on until the participant cannot recall the order correctly. This determines the individual's digit span. The mean span for digits across all participants was 9.3 and the mean span for letters was 7.3.


>Miller - research on capacity.

Made observations of everyday practice. He noticed that that things come in sevens: 7 notes on the piano, 7 days in a week, 7 deadly sins and so on. This suggests that the spen or capacity of STM is about 7 items (plus or minus 2). However, Miller also noted that people can recall 5 words as well as they can recall 5 letters. They do this by chunking - grouping sets of digits or letters into units or chunks.


>Margaret and Lloyd Peterson - Research on Duration of STM.

Tester 24 undergraduate students. Each student took part in eight trials On each trial the participant was given a constant syllable to remember and was also given a 3-digit number. The participant was told to count backwards from that 3-digit number until told to stop. The counting backwards was to prevent any mental rehearsal of the constant syllable. On each trial they were told to stop after a different amount of time. This is called the retention interval. It suggests that STM may have a very short duration unless we repeat something over and over again.


>Harry Bahrick and colleagues - Research on Duration of LTM.

Studied 392 participants from Ohio aged between 17 and 74. High school yearbooks were obtained from the participants or directly from the schools. Recall was tested in various ways including: photo recognition of 50 photos and free recall tests where participants recalled names of people from their graduating class. Participants tested within 15 years of graduation were about 90% accurate. After 48 years recall declined about 70% for photo recognition. Free recall was less good than photo recognition , after 15 years they were about 60% accurate, after 48 years they were about 30%.