Outline and Evaluate Research Into the Duration of Long Term Memory and Short Term Memory.

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One research study into the duration of short term memory is by Peterson and Peterson [1959]. In their study the experimenter told participants a consonant syllable followed by a three-digit number. Immediately after hearing this they had to count backwards from the three-digit number in 3’s until told to stop. Then the participant was told to recall the nonsense syllable. They did this eight times and each time the retention interval was different. Peterson and Peterson found that when the retention interval was increased participants recall significantly decreased, with participants remembering 90% after 3 seconds but only 2% after 18 seconds. Another research study was made by Bharik et al [1975] on long term memory. In their experiment they asked people of various ages to put names to the faces of people from their high school yearbook. They found that after 48 years people were over 70% accurate. In addition to this, Shepard [1967] also conducted a research study on long term memory. In his experiment, he showed participants 612 memorable pictures, one at a time. After an hour they were shown the pictures amongst another set and found that almo0st every participant showed perfect recognition. Furthermore, after four months participants were still able to recognise 50% of the pictures. This therefore tells us that the duration of long term memory is much longer that the duration of short term memory. One possible advantage to both Bharik and Shepard’s research studies were that they both had high mundane realism because both experiments can be easily adapted to real life. On the other hand, Bharik’s experiment was higher in mundane realism because his experiment was done in a real life

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