Baddeley 1966

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Aim: To investigate the encoding of memory and the influence of acoustic and semantic words on memory.


  • 4 lists of 10 words each (acoustically similar and dissimilar, semantically similar and dissimilar)
  • Each list spoken - one word every 3 seconds
  • They then carried out a distraction task - recalling 8 numbers.
  • After repeating this four times, he asked participants to recall the words in order.
  • Participants were allowed to see a jumbled list of words but not in order.
  • Repeated x4
  • After 15 minutes, he suprise tested them again - testing long term memory.


1st test - acoustic words couldn't be remembered as well as semantic words = STM is acoustic

2nd test - semantic words couldn't be remembered as well as acoustic = LTM is semantic

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  • Psychology students = demand characteristics


  • Highly controlled - same questions, same distractions, repeated several times, lab experiment


  • Not very applicable to real life - not everyday test (ecological validitity = low)


  • May have been bored and not tried after 2nd test = order effects


  • All ethical guidelines were met
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