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The first 200 words of this essay...
Peterson and Peterson (1959)
Aims: To prove that things only stay in short term memory for around 20 seconds and then, if it is not rehearsed, it disappears forever.
Procedures: Participants were given sets of trigrams to learn and then tested on their recall. They had to recall them after 3, 6, 9, 12 or 18 seconds. They also had an interference task, counting backwards, in threes from a random number. The independent variable was the time delay and the dependant variable was how good the recall was.
After 3 seconds: 80%
After 6 seconds: 50%
After 18 seconds: Less than 10%
Conclusions: They had proved their hypothesis, there was very little left of the trace after approx. 20 seconds. It also proved that there was a distinct difference between the LTM and the STM.
Criticisms: It lacks mundane realism because the likelihood of the recall of trigrams in real life probably wouldn't happen. The trigrams are not meaningful. Other research has shown that more meaningful things are remembered.
Bahrick et al (1975)
Aims: They aimed to test VLTM. They wanted to see whether
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