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Sensory memory capacity
All sensory experiences
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Sensory memory duration
1/4 - 1/2 a second
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Sensory memory coding
Sense specific
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STM duration
18 seconds (Peterson & Peterson)
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STM capacity
5-9 items (Miller 1956)
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STM coding
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LTM duration
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LTM capacity
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LTM Coding
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Joseph Jacobs (1887)
Gave participants digits & asked them to recall them. Found that the mean span for digits was 9.3 and the mean span for letters was 7.3. It lacked adequate control, the participants were distracted and there were confounding variables
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George Miller (1956)
Thought capacity in STM is 7 (+/- 2) & is done through chuncking. However, it overestimated the capacity, Cowan (2001) said that capacity is 4 chunks.
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Gave 4 groups of participants word lists & asked them to recall in the correct order. Found when we recall immediately did worse on acoustically similar words & when asked to recall 20 minutes after did worse on semantically similar words.
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Peterson & Peterson (1959)
Students given consonant syllable & 3 digit number & asked to count down from the number until asked to stop. Found that STM duration is short unless we rehearse them. However, stimulus was artificial, lacks external validity, demand characterists
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Bahrick (1975)
392 people to say names of classmates & then match names with photos. 60% could just recall names. After 48 years photo recognition was at 80%
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Long Term Memory was proposed by
Tulving (1985)
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Procedural memory
Knowing how to do thing (walking, talking, eating)
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Semantic memory
General knowledge (celebrities, facts)
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Episodic memory
Personal recollections (marriage, giving birth, first day of school)
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Central Executive (WMM)
Takes all information in and directs attention to the specific part of the model that needs focus
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Visuospatial sketch pad (WMM)
Encodes information iconically. Creates an image of what we are recalling. Limited capacity that increases with age and mathematical skill
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Articulatory Control System- Articulatory loop (WMM)
Loop lasts 2 seconds meaning we can hold as much information as we can rehearse in this time. Rehearses sound information to prevent decay
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Articulatory Control System- Phonological Store (WMM)
Encodes acoustically. Known as the inner ear. Limited duration and capacity.
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Episodic Buffer
Integrates slave systems. Transfers information from WMM to LTM. Free from form, working independently from the senses so information is not coded
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Two types of interference
Proactive and Retroactive
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Encoding Specificity Principle
Cues have to be present at encoding and at retrieval
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What is a cue?
A trigger that allows us to locate a particular memory
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What are leading questions?
Questions that are worded to suggest a certain answer
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Research into leading questions
Loftus and Palmer (1974)
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What are post event discussions?
WItnesses discuss what they have seen with co-witnesses or other people
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What are the four parts in the Cognitive Interview?
Report everything, Reinstate the context,Change Perspective, Reverse the order
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Sensory memory duration


1/4 - 1/2 a second

Card 3


Sensory memory coding


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Card 4


STM duration


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Card 5


STM capacity


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