Short Term Memory (MSM)

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  • Created by: hlouiset
  • Created on: 30-01-16 10:21
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  • Short Term Memory
    • Capacity
      • 7+/-2
    • Duration
      • 18-30 seconds maximum
    • Coding
      • Acoustic
  • Case Studies
    • Jacobs (1887) Digit Span
      • The experiment and participant were in a room with no distractions. The experimenter read out digit spans with out chunking them.
        • The participants then immediately recall the numbers in  the correct order and write them down.
          • This repeats, adding a digit after two groups, until the participant can't repeat both groups of the same number of digits.
      • It was found the average amount of digits remembered was around 9 and letters was 7
      • It was concluded we can store about 7 (+/- 2) bits of information on out STM
      • The environment in which it takes place
        • The environment is isolated from real life situations
        • This gives the study a low ecological validity
        • This could also be an advantage as it makes the results more reliable
      • The one on one situation
        • The situation could be excessive pressure on the participant
    • Peterson and Peterson (1959) Trigrams
      • The aim of this study was to investigate the duration of the STM
      • A lab experiment was conducted in which 24 participants had to recall trigrams. To prevent rehearsal participants were given an interference task.
        • Participants were asked to recall trigrams after intervals of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 or 18 secnds.
      • It was found that the longer the interval delay the less trigrams were recalled.
        • 80% of trigrams after a 3 second delay were recalled
        • Less than 10% of trigrams were recalled after a 18 second interval
      • It was concluded that STM has a limited duration when rehearsal is prevented
        • STM is different from LTM in terms of duration
      • It is not a real life situation
        • This gives the study a low ecological validity
      • It was a laboratory experiment
        • Allows us to see the casual effect  of time passing on recall
    • Conrad (1964) Letter Sequences
      • He showed participants a random sequence of six consonants projected rapidly onto a screen.
        • Some participants were shown similar consonants that were acoustically similar. Other participants were shown ones that were acoustically dissimilar
          • Immediately following participants wrote down the letters in the order shown
      • It was found that participants frequently made errors of recall, more so with acoustically similar consonants
      • It was concluded that the STM had converted the visual image to an acoustic code and that the coding resulted in errors in recall
      • Other studies have supported the conclusions
        • Posner and Kale
      • Its too simplistic to conclude all encoding in STM is acoustic
    • Baddeley (1966) Word Lists
      • Participants were shown a list of 20 words and asked to immediately recall what they were
        • The words were from catagories that were acoustically similar and acoustically dissimilar as well as semantically similar and semantically dissimilar
          • They had to recall the words again after 20 minutes
      • It was found that words that were acoustically similar were harder to recall
      • It was concluded that STM relies on acoustic coding
      • STM can also use other forms of coding
      • The research was scientific

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