stm capcity

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  • Capacity
    • amount of info that can be held in each store
    • in STM is limited
      • Jacobs 1887
        • laboratory experiment
          • digit span technique
          • participants shown a sequence of digits
            • increasing the length of digits in each trial
          • half a second between presentation of each digit
          • trial ended when participant failed to recall digits
        • average recall was    7-/+2
        • conclusion: stm capacity between 5 and 9 items
          • not determined by the nature of the content but by the size of the STM
      • further research by Miller
        • can be increased by chunking although the number of chunks is the same (7-/+)
      • evaluation
        • findings can be applied to everyday life
          • eg telephone numbers, post codes and car registrations
        • unmeaningful task so lacks mundane realism
      • other factors that affect capacity
        • influence of the LTM
          • the stm capacity is four chunks any more has been gradually rehearsed and stored in the LTM
          • Cowan 2000
        • reading aloud
          • digit span increases
          • Baddeley suggests this because digits are briefly stored in the echoic store
        • individual differences
          • eg people who highly anxious have a shorter  memeory span
          • Macleod and Donnellan 1993
    • LTM
      • Unlimited capacity
        • things are lost though by decay or interference


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