Psychology a Level Essay

298 Words2 Pages
Outline and evaluate research in to the duration, capacity and encoding information in short term memory. Short term memory is a system for storing information for a short period of time before important bits of information are transferred to the long term memory. There are differing opinions on the exact nature of short term memory with some researchers (e.g. Atkinson and Shiffrin 1968) stating that STM is simply a temporary storage depot for incoming information with others (e.g. Baddeley 1986) preferring to use the term 'working memory' to indicate its flexible aspects. STM has a limited capacity in that we can only hold a small number of items at any one time. According to Miller's 'magic number seven', most people's capacity for remembering sequences of digits, letters, words or even larger chunks of information is seven in a sequence-plus or minus two. longer words although Baddeley et al created another study to respond to this criticism which showed clearly the importance of pronunciation time over familiarity. Also, this was a laboratory experiment using lists of unconnected words which therefore did not reflect everyday use of STM but, positively, Miller did not account for the findings of studies which showed that immediate span depends on such things as the kinds of words used and the language in which they are spoken while this study can account for these findings. Another aspect of Short term memory is duration as the reason why things cannot be stored in the STM for a long period of time is because it has such a short duration. Rehearsal (i.e. repeating information in our minds) can increase the duration of STM as repeating is a method of repeatedly inserting the information into the STM, as can deliberate intention to recall
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