Memory- STM, LTM and duration

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  • Memory
    • Duration of STM
      • A measure of long a memory lasts before it is no longer available
      • Peterson and Peterson (1959)
        • 24 students
          • consonant syllable followed by 3 digit number (eg WRT 303)
            • After hearing the syllable and number- had to count backwards from this number in 3s or 4s
              • Participants were given practice trials- then 8 trials
                • On each trial the retention interval was different
                  • (Time spent counting backwards)
                  • (e.g 3,6,9,12,15,18 seconds)
                • Participants remembered about 90% with a 3 second interval.
                  • 2% with an 18 second interval
                    • When rehearsal is prevented, STM lasts about 20 seconds max
    • Duration of LTM
      • Shepard (1967)
        • 612 pictures
          • Hour later, shown pictures again with others- almost perfect recognition
            • 50% recognised after four months
      • Bahrick et al (1975)
        • Names to faces inYear books
          • 48 years on -70% accurate
    • Evaluation
      • Marsh et al (1997)
        • when participants do not expect  to be tested after this interval, forgetting may occur after just 2 seconds.
      • Nairne et al (1999)
        • Items could be recalled as long as 96 seconds
          • Information remains in STM for quite a while unless other material replaces it or overwrites it.

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