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Encoding in Short-term and Long-term memory.

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Cognitive Psychology: Human Memory Encoding in Short-term and Long-term memory Aim: * 1960's- Controversy concerning the nature of coding in memory. - Baddeley tested if acoustic coding (based on the sound of the word) is used in STM. -Semantic coding (based on the memory of the word) us used in LTM. * Research based on Conrad's research- 1964 - Argued STM encodes information acoustically -No clarification which code preferred by LTM * Baddeley- aimed to confirm Conrad's findings and establish understanding of LTM Procedure:- Laboratory experiment using independent measures design - 4 types of word list -first 2-experimental conditions -Other 2 - control conditions * Acoustically similar (e.g. meet/feet/sweet) * Semantically similar (e.g. neat/clean/tidy) * Acoustically dissimilar (e.g. hot/far/jam) * Semantically dissimilar (e.g. pen/jump/day) * Independent variable- type of word list (acoustically similar/dissimilar or semantically similar/dissimilar) * Dependent variable- number of substitution errors made (one item confused with another)- Indicates main form on encoding * Participants recalled common words readily-similar frequency words * Participants asked to recall words in same order of presentation immediately for STM/ after timed delay =LTM Findings * STM (immediate recall)- more substitution errors on acoustically similar lists than acoustically dissimilar. ...read more.


-Digits recalled better (9.3 items) and letters 7/3 items. -Individual differences -STM span increased with age- 6.6 average for 8 year olds and 8.6 for 19 year olds. Conclusions- Findings show STM has limited storage capacity -between 5-9 items. -STM- capacity not determined by nature of information learnt -size of STM span - constant across individuals. -Individual differences as STM span increased with age - increasing brain capacity/improved memory techniques- chunking. Criticisms * Historical importance- represents first systematic attempt to assess capacity of STM Key Findings-capacity is small. * Research lacks mundane realism-digit-span task not representative of everyday memory demands -Artificiality of task-biased result -Letters/digits not meaningful- remembered less well than meaningful information. -Capacity of STM- greater for everyday memory -Jacobs's findings-not safely generated to real life memory. Ecological validity? Argument- meaningful material produces less "pure" measure of STM capacity - participants make use of LTM to improve performance. * Findings - usefully applied to improve memory. -Telephone numbers, codes, car registration- based on total digit span idea, -Memory -improvement techniques based on findings-digit span cannot be increased - size of information can be. Chunking- applied in mnemonics (memory aids) - ROY G BIV= colours of rainbow. ...read more.


-Show memories last over several decades -support assumption that duration of memory-lifetime -Aimed to test VLTM in ecologically valid way- testing memory for real life information. Procedure-sample of 392 ex-high school students- 17-71 * Free recall of names of former class mates * Photo recognition test-identity class mates in set of 50 photos-only were thier classmates * Name recognition test * Name and photo matching test -Tests assesses VTLM- time since leaving high school was 48 years. -Participant's accuracy (duration of memory)- assessed comparing responses with yearbooks with pictures and names of all students. Findings: Bahrick et al found- 90% accuracy in face and name recognition- even for those whi left 34 years previously - 80% name recognition, 40% face recognition- 48 years. Free recall less accurate- 60%-15 years - 30%- 48 years. Conclusion: - Before research by Bahrick et al- assumption that information could remain in LTM for long periods of time- No experimental tests of this assumption * Classmates faces and names- particular type of information -Might have emotional significance -Opportunity for rehearsal- daily contact -Same is not true for other types of information-findings on VLTM cannot be generalised to other types of information. * Compared to majority of other research-takes place in laboratory-research has mundane realism, real-life memory. -Represents natural behaviour-high ecological validity. -Possible to generalise findings to other settings. ...read more.

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