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The evidence for short term memory and its hypothetical construct and its nature

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Introduction

The evidence for short term memory and its hypothetical construct and its nature (w/word limit) The recency effect is another method of assessing the very small capacity of short term memory. The recency affect can be measured using "free recall", a process wherebye participants are shown a list of words and asked to recall them in any order immediately after the list was presented. The recency effect is demonstrated by the fact that the last few items in a list are usually much better remembered than items from the middle of the list. In 1966 two psychologists Glanzer and Cunitz found that people could remember a similar number of words from earlier in the recall list but not the few at the end, if the recall test involved "interference" i.e. ...read more.

Middle

Participants were required to remember a fairly artificial kind of data: trigrams ( three consonants) and then later recall them after different, set, time periods. They were also given an interference task to prevent them rehearsing the trigram. The simple nature of this experiment meant that we could clearly identify the effect of the independent variable (time delay) on the dependant variable (recall). The conclusion was that short-term memory would just about disappear after 18 seconds. Short term memory can also be defined by the concept of encoding, a concept likely to be less familiar than the capacity and duration of short-term memory. Encoding refers to the way in which information is stored in the memory. It was found by the psychologist Baddely using free recall, that short-term memory largely uses an acoustic code where the words are stored in relation to the way they sound. ...read more.

Conclusion

They studied a participant who had suffered brain damage. The participant had no problem with long-term memory, but had an extremely poor digit span indicating his short-term memory was drastically reduced. Combined with the knowledge of amnesia - when a person loses much of their long-term memory due to brain damage but had almost normal short-term memories, it was suggested that different parts of the brain are involved in short-term and long-term memory. Further studies from Warrington and Shallice gave additional insight into short term memory. It was found that the participant earlier assessed would forget things that were heard much more than the forgetting of visual stimuli. They also found that the participants short-term memory deficit was limited to verbal materials and did not extend to meaningful sounds. This further suggested that there is a number of different stores of more than one short term memory, each represented in different parts of the brain. ...read more.

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