A study into the capacity of the STM

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Aim: To investigate whether the STM has a limited capacity

Method: A list of words was shown to the pps one word at a time.(3 sec per word, 15 words in the list) 3 scenarios

  • Recalled words straight away
  • Counted for 10 secs before recall
  • Counted for 20 secs before recall

Results: Immediate recall you rememeber the words at the beginning. When you count for 10 seconds you remember the words towards the end that happen if you count for 30 seconds aswell. The more you focus on the counting the less you remember as you counting for more than 18 seconds 

Conclusion: The results back up the idea of short term memory having limited capacity

Evaluation:+ Supporting evidence for the limited capacity of stm. Glanzer and Cuntiz reported that when people werer asked to recall a list of words they had just heard they performed much worse recalling the end words of the lis, if they were set a 30 second counting exercise in between.That is the words had been displaced. 

- Lacks ecological validty because in everyday life yu wouldnt have to remember words and count 

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