Psychology - Memory - Coding, Capacity and Duration of Memory

What is Coding?
The format in which information is stored in the various memory stores
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What is Capacity?
The amount of information that can be held in a memory store
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What is Duration?
The length of time information can be held in memory
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What is Short-Term Memory (STM)?
The limited-capacity memory store. Coding is mainly acoustic (sounds), capacity is between 5 and 9 items on average, duration is between about 18 and 30 seconds
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What is Long-Term Memory (LTM)?
The permanent memory store. Coding is mainly semantic (meaning), it has unlimited capacity and can store memories for up to a lifetime
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What was the Procedure of Baddeley's (1966) Research into Coding in the STM and LTM?
Gave different lists of words to four groups to remember: acoustically similar words - (cat, cab) - group 1 or dissimilar (pit, few) - group 2. Semantically similar words (large, big) - group 3 or dissimilar (good, hot) - group 4
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What were the Findings of Baddeley's (1966) Research into Coding in the STM and LTM?
Immediate recall worse with acoustically similar, STM is acoustic. Recall after 20 minutes worse with semantically similar words, LTM is semantic
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What was the Procedure of Jacobs' (1987) Research into Capacity of STM?
Digit span: researcher reads four digits and increases until the participant cannot recall the order correctly
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What were the Findings of Jacobs' (1987) Research into Capacity of STM?
On average, participants could repeat back 9.3 numbers and 7.3 letters in the correct order immediately after they were presented
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What was the Procedure of Miller's (1956) Research into the Capacity of STM?
Miller made observations of everyday practice. For example, he noted that things come in sevens: there are seven notes on the musical scale, seven days of the week, seven deadly sins, and so on.
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What were the Findings of Miller's (1956) Research into the Capacity of STM?
The span of STM is about seven items (plus or minus two) but can be improved by chunking - grouping sets of digits/letters into meaningful units
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What was the Procedure of Peterson and Peterson's (1959) Research into the Duration of STM?
24 students were given a consonant syllable (e.g. YCG) to remember and a three-digit number to count backwards for 3,6,9,12,15 or 18 seconds
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What were the Findings of Peterson and Peterson's (1959) Research into the Duration of STM?
Students recalled 80% of the syllables correctly with a three-second interval. Average recall after 18 seconds fell to 3%. Suggesting that duration of STM without rehearsal is about 18-30 seconds
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What was the Procedure of Bahrick et al.'s (1975) Research into LTM?
Participants = 392 Americans aged between 17 and 74. 1. Recognition test: 50 photos from participants' high school yearbook. 2. Free recall test: participants listed names of their graduating class
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What were the Findings of Bahrick et al.'s (1975) Research into the Duration of LTM?
Participants tested 48 years after graduation were about 70% accurate in photo recognition. Free recall was less accurate
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AO3: A Limitation of Baddeley's Study is that it Didn't Use Meaningful Material
Words used - no personal meaning to participants. When processing meaningful information, people may use semantic coding even for STM tasks. Results - limited application. Should be cautious about generalising the findings to different memory tasks
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AO3: A Limitation of Jacobs' Study is that it was Conducted a Long Time Ago
Early research - extraneous variables - not controlled. For example, distractions that could've affected participants' performance. Results may not be valid - confounding variables weren't controlled. Validity of results - confirmed in other research
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AO3: A Limitation of Miller's Research is it May Have Overestimated Capacity of STM
For example, Cowan (2001) reviewed other research. He concluded that the capacity of STM was only about 4 chunks. This suggests that the lower end of Miller's estimate (5 items) is more appropriate than 7 items
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AO3: A Limitation of Peterson and Peterson's Study is the Artificial Stimulus
Memorising consonant syllables doesn't reflect most real-life (meaningful) memory activities.This study could lack external validity. However, we do sometimes try to remember meaningless things, e.g. phone numbers. The study isn't totally irrelevant
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AO3: A Strength of Bahrick et al.'s Study is That it Had High External Validity
Real-life meaningful memories (faces/names). Lab studies used meaningless pictures, recall rates = lower (Shepard 1967). Real-life research = confounding variables - not controlled. Bahrick's participants could've looked at/rehearsed yearbook photos
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is Capacity?

Back

The amount of information that can be held in a memory store

Card 3

Front

What is Duration?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is Short-Term Memory (STM)?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is Long-Term Memory (LTM)?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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