APFCC - Memory

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Clive Wearing & H.M

AIM: Test if the Short Term Memory can funciton independantly from the Long Term Memory. (Clive's STM functioned find but he has a severly impaired LTM)

PROCEDURES: Longitudinal study of the same variables over a long period of time. Participants were observed in their natural settings - naturalistic observation (their homes) Researches watched the way they interacted with family members and other professionals.

FINDINGS: Researchers witnessed how participants could not form new memories because they were only able to remember the last 30 seconds. H.M could remember everything up to the age of 16 but forgot everything after that including the last few minutes. It was concluded the STM and LTM were independent as he could retrieve from his LTM but information could not be transferred from STM to LTM.

CONCLUSIONS: Supports the Working Memory Model and not the Multi Store Model as it indicates how one type of memory can function without the other. It shows the journey from STM to LTM and they can't remember anything new

CRITICISMS: The study cannot be generalised as the cases are extremely rare

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Murdock (1962)

AIMS: Test if the position of words in a list has an impace on memory and recall

PROCEEDURES: Taking part in a lab experiment where participants were presented with a list of words they were required to recall in any order they chose

FINDINGS: The first and last words on the list were recalled better than middle words. This is the serial position effect. Words at the beginning have ben recalled better because they have been rehearsed many times and transferred to the LTM. Words from the end are recalled because they are still in the STM fresh.

CONCLUSIONS: Supports the idea of a seperate STM and LTM - therefore supporting the WMM. It shows there is a system as the words were transferred from the STM to the LTM systematically through attention and repetition.

CRITICISMS: This study can be limited due to participants variables such as a dyslexic participant or someone suffering from an existing memory defect such as short term memory loss. They may find it hard to recall any words regardless of their position in the list.

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Peterson and Peterson (1959)

AIMS: Test the duration of how long information can be stored in the STM without rehearsing anything

PROCEEDURES: In a lab experiment, participants would read nonsense trigrams (PXY) and then count backwards aloud in groups of three from a large number for between 3 and 18 seconds.

FINDINGS: About 90% of trigrams were recalled after a 3 second interval while counting where only 5% were recalled after counting for 18 seconds.

CONCLUSIONS: Information can be held in the short term memory for around 20 - 30 seconds without rehearsal

CRITICISMS: Participant variables can affect the findings. If a participant suffered from dyslexia or other memory affecting disorder they would not be able to recall the letters after any period. Also, the need to recall trigrams in real life means this study lacks ecological validity.

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Baddeley et al (1975) - Word Length Effect

AIMS: Test if the length of words affects te amount of words that can be recalled

PROCEEDURES: Lab experiment where participants are shown lists of words that they had to remember then recall. The words varies in length and chucked in varying sizes

FINDINGS: The length of words beung chunked affected recall ability. Participants were more likely to recall short words than long ones.

CONLUSIONS: It was suggested that the capacity of the STM was limites to about 7 (+/- 2) pieces of information. This research goes against the idea of the one way system in the Multi Store memory becasue the chunking process means participants could use information already in the LTM to assist in the recall of information in the STM
Chunking - combining items into meaningful units

CRTICISMS: The study is limited because of participant variables. Things such as dyslexia and other memory restiricting issues means participants may struggle to recall words anyway. 

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Baddeley (1975)

AIMS: Investigate the existence of a visuo-spatial sketchpad in STM

PROCEEDURES: Participants were asked to track the movement of a laser or something similar at the same time as stating the angles on a letter or carrying out a verbal tast

FINDINGS: They both used the visuo-spatial sketchpad component simultaneously and the capacity meant they could only concentrate on one at a time. Task two saw participants carrying out a visual task at the same time as a verbal task and they performed much better as two different components were being used each was used to full capacity and didn't interfer with the other.

CONCLUSIONS: Supports the existence of seperate stores in STM because the findings show visual and auditory information is separate from one another as participants were able to focus on each task with a serparate component. This was better than when trying to complete tasks using the same component.


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