Duration of STM - Peterson and Peterson

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  • Peterson and Peterson (duration of STM)
    • Aim
      • To test how long STM lasts when rehearsal is prevented
    • Procedure
      • Participants had to remember trigrams in order after a delay of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 seconds
      • They were asked to count backwards in 3s from a random 3 digit number to prevent rehearsal
    • Findings
      • Participants were 90% correct after 3 seconds, 20% correct after 9 seconds and 2% after 18 seconds
      • STM has a very short duration (18 seconds or less) as long as verbal rehearsal is prevented
    • Evaluation
      • Trigrams are artificial and don't reflect everyday memory
      • May be that interference for earlier trigrams may cause poor recall, not simply decay
      • Lab experiment so it allows us to see the effect of time passing (IV) on the recall of trigrams (DV)


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