Memory whole unit

  • WMM, MSM
  • Encoding Duration and Capacity
  • EWT...
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Memory revision
Encoding STM
Conrad 1964 - STM encodes info acoustically (sound), visual info encoded (changed) to
Shulman 1970 ­ disagrees with Conrad and says memory coded info visually also and
according to semantics (meaning)
Heyer and Barrett 1974 ­ Visual images hard to acoustically code may also be briefly stored
in STM
Research into STM encoding = CONRAD
Participants given list of consonants for roughly ¾ of a second
Participants asked to recall
Found that errors of recall link with letters semantically similar (same meaning)
Suggests visually presented info encoded according to sound. Errors = Acoustic confusion
Shulman criticises ­ says that memory codes info visually as well as semantically.
Both experiments lab experiments so lack ecological validity
Due to lack of deception may have been egs of demand characteristics.
Capacity STM
Miller 1956 ­ magic capacity number = 7 + or ­ 2 items may be in numbers, letters, words etc
each bit of info referred to as chunks.
Miller suggested capacity can be grown by grouping items with links.
Participants given sentences of varying lengths and asked to recall in right order given in the
Found that the more sense the sentence made grammatically the better recall
Suggests semantic & grammatical structure used to help increase info stored in STM by
combining to create larger chunks. RECALL STILL ABOUT 7 PIECES OF INFO
Criticisms = ecological validity, demand characteristics, biased examiner and individual
differences. But is reliable.
Duration STM
Peterson and Peterson 1959 Suggested STM can hold info for about 15-30 seconds if there is
no maintenance rehearsal
Suggest info decays rapidly in STM unless rehearsed.
Gave participants a series of 3 letter nonsense words, and a few seconds to memorise them.
Then told one group to count backwards in 3s for 18 seconds the other group for 3 seconds.
One group had 80% recall the 18 sec group considerably less
Suggests when rehearsed continually is in STM indefinitely but lost as soon as rehearsal
Lacks ecological validity, demand characteristics etc...
Capacity, duration and encoding of LTM
Thought to be unlimited for both capacity and duration

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Encoding either semantic (memory for meanings) or episodic (Past experiences)
Multistore model ­ Atkinson and Shiffren 1968
Suggests memory has 3 stores: sensory, STM and LTM.
If rehearsed enough info moves from STM to LTM info
needing recall passes through STM to produce
Evidence for: Primacy recency effect shows we recall
what we hear first and last best as the first rehearsed
to LTM and last items recalled from STM; K.F. suffers
brain damage to STM but LTM fine.…read more

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Loftus and Palmer try showing memorys not factual record of event and can be distracted by
post event information.
Aim to find out how infos supplied after an event influences witnesses memory of event.…read more

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Milne and Bull (2002) found when they used 1 and 2 recall much higher
Stein and Memon (2006) Compare normal and CI techniques in Brazil CI increased number of
right info and more details.
Plays key role in legal system
Questioning technique used by police to enhance retrieval of info from witnesses memory.
CI problems
Fisher et al (1987) studied real life interviews by detectives in Florida over a 4 month period.
Many officers don't use CI as they're not trained.…read more

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