• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and evaluate nature of short term memory using studies e.g. capacity, duration and ...

    3 star(s)

    proved that the important aspect in digit span recollection is the number of chunks to be remembered rather than the number of individual items i.e. letters. Peterson and Peterson (1959) did a study on duration with an aim to test how long STM lasts when rehearsal is prevented.


    It was also found that the information was recalled if it had personal importance or specific meaning to the participant. The study also lacks mundane realism as people rarely learn lists of words therefore it is unable to be generalised to real life situation.

  1. Investigate into the Primacy and Recency effect

    This shows that there is perhaps the possibility that an interference task affects all parts of the memory. Below are results from the experiment with the interference task. The calculations for this can be seen in appendix D Condition 1-Interference task Condition 2- Non Interference Mean - First 5 1.5

  2. Investigating the short-term memory

    The experimenter for each group would read them out. This list included words that sounded the same and has similar meanings. The 10 words were; log, fast, dog, sign, lip, teeth, last, hip, line, sweet. (See appendix 4). 20 consent forms were needed as participants had to give their consent before participating.

  1. Primacy and Recency effect

    experiment to show whether participants tend to remember the first few words and the last few words better than the middle words. Hypothesis: one tailed hypothesis The first 10 words of a list of 30 (positioned from 1-10) and the last 10 words (positioned from 21-30)

  2. effects of chunking and unchunking on short term memory

    To overcome this effect counterbalancing is done. Counterbalancing uses the ABBA procedure; the participants are split into two groups by placing all names into a hat and randomly pulling out the first 12 names to form group one, this reduces the experiment effect. Group 1 do condition A followed by condition B; whilst group 2 do condition B followed by condition A.

  1. Psychology Retrospective Interference coursework

    Discussion Explanations of findings The aim of this study was constructed based on the original research of McGeoch and McDonald (1931) and this present experiment was to replicate their experiment to examine interference theory of LTM. The aim of this study was also to investigate the strength of retroactive interference in LTM.

  2. Investigation into acoustic and visual encoding in short-term memory

    According to this theory material currently circulating in STM, which has been insufficiently processed to pass onto LTM, will be pushed out or displaced by new incoming information. However displacement is not the only theory associated with this research, according to the decay theory information is forgotten due to the passage of time.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work