Differences Between Stm and Ltm

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Q1. Describe two differences between Short term memory (STM) and Long term memory (LTM) in term of duration and capacity (3 marks) STM has duration of 3-18 seconds whereas the duration of LTM memory can last anything from a few minutes to a lifetime. The STM theory was supported by Peterson and Petersons Study (1959), which was their Trigram experiment. They attained this evidence by asking the participants to remember a single nonsense syllable of three consonants i.e. KPD. They were then given another task to do to stop them rehearsing the trigram. Their recollect was tested after 3,6,9,12,15,18 seconds and the recall had to be in correct order to count. They discovered that 80% of participants recalled the trigrams very well after 3 seconds, but this dropped dramatically to 10 % after 18 seconds. The supporting evidence for the duration of LTM was brought about by Ebbinghaus who tested his memory using nonsense syllables after delays ranging from 20 minutes to 31 days later and found that a large proportion of the information in LTM was lost comparatively quickly, i.e. in the first hour and thereafter stabilised to a much slower rate of loss. Linton used a diary to record at least 2 everyday events from her life each day for 6 years and then she had to aimlessly test her later recall of them. The results were that there was a much more even and gradual loss of data over time. STM has a limited storage capacity; whereas the capacity of LTM is impossible to measure therefore it is enormous. Many early researchers such as Ebbinghaus proposed the capacity of STM and Miller (1956) investigated this limited capacity experimentally. The experiment was known as 'the magical number seven, plus or minus two' and he found out that the amount of information that could be reserved could be increased by the process of chunking (packaging the information into larger
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