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Short Term Memory (STM)

Definition: Your memory of events in the present or immediate past.

Duration: 18 seconds
Evidence: Peterson and Peterson (1959)
Aim: To find out how long information remains in the STM without rehearsal
Procedures: 24 students heard trigrams over headphones. After each trigram they

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3) recognise photos of their classmates among unseen photos
F: Free recall was poor in all participants. Name recognition was good in all
participants. Visual recognition was best in all participants. Results generally
decreased with time since leaving school.
C: Visual and verbal recognition are easier to recall than free…

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For duration, capacity and encoding, see previous notes
Information: In STM decays without maintenance rehearsal or is displaced when
new information enters
Evidence: Beardsley (1997) found from fMRI that different parts of the brain are
active during the use of STM (prefrontal cortex) and LTM (hippocampus). This…

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Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad
Temporary memory for visual information
Encodes and maintains visual information; visual ­ what things look like,
spatial ­ relationship between things.
Mental `rough paper' ­ used for doing sums, finding way around (mental map)
Logie further divided the visuo-spatial sketchpad into: visual cache ­ stores
information about form…

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Factors affecting EWT
Leading questions
Misleading questions

Leading questions

Evidence: Loftus and Palmer (1974)
A: To investigate the effect of leading questions on the accuracy of EWT
P: 45 students were split into 5 groups and watched 7 different traffic accident films.
After each film, participants were given…

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F: Majority of studies suggested that high levels of stress negatively impact on the
accuracy of EWT
C: Anxiety decreases the accuracy of EWT

Evidence: Christian and Hubinette (1993)
A: To investigate the effect of anxiety on the accuracy of EWT
P: 58 real witnesses to bank robberies were questioned.…

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P: 651 adults were stopped in public places and asked to recall the physical
characteristics of a woman they had just spoken to
F: Younger adults were more confident in recall but there was no significant
difference in accuracy
C: Age doesn't affect accuracy of recall in adults

Evidence: Memon…

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Report Everything
Interviewee encouraged to report every single detail of the event, even if it
seems irrelevant
While this produces a lot of irrelevant material, details may be learnt that
would otherwise have been excluded

Mental Reinstatement of the Original Context
Interviewee encouraged to mentally recreate the environment of the…

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Strategies for Memory Improvement

Verbal Mnemonics

Word or sentence that is formed from the first letters of other words
E.g. ROY G. BIV = Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet

Poem or sentence where the first letter in each line or word forms the item
to be…


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