Evaluation of the Description of the MSM

DURATION= SPERLING- demonstrated the very brief duration of the SM. They displayed digits and numbers for 50 milliseconds. When asked to report the whole thing, recall was poorer x5 then when asked to recall one line. This shows that information in the SM decays rapidly. PETERSON AND PETERSON- tested the duration of STM using consonant syllables followed by a 3 digit number (e.g. WRT 303 or SCX 591).After this the participants were asked to countdown in 3'/4's until asked to stop. Participants had about 90% recall when there was a 3 second interval but 2% recall when there was a 18 second interval. This suggests that when rehearsal is prevented, STM is about 20 seconds at most . NAIRNE ET AL- have shown that STM may actually last as long as 100 seconds- but this is really quite limited. BAHRICK ET AL- conducteda natural experiment to test LTM. They asked people of various ages to put names to faces from their high school year book; 48 years later, people were about 70% accurate. In this case, memory was extremely impressively long. This could be due to the fact that the information they were asked to remember was of emotional significance to the participants

CAPACITY= JACOBS- used the digit span technique to assess the capacity of STM. He found the average span of digits was 9.3, whereas it was 7.3 for letters. Although digits are easier to learn as there is only 10 digits to learn whilst there are 26 letters. MILLER proposed that the capacity of STM was…


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