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Lecture Notes 2 21 2013

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Louisiana State University
PSYC 3030

2212013ShortTerm MemoryWe can talk about the duration and capacity of STM just like SMPetersonPeterson 1959 were the first to study duration of STM They gave participants a list of letters 3 at a time and then they were asked to count and then repeat the letters The purpose of the counting task is to prevent rehearsal of the letters They found that the longer the counting time the worse they were at recalling the digits reflecting decay The problem with the way that they looked at their data was looked at by Keppel and Underwood 1962 They reanalyzed the data and found that if you only look at the first trial there was very little difference in the performance on the first trial because they didnt have a bunch of other letters in their memory yet There was no proactive interference when info learned earlier interferes with the ability to recall information learned later They found that the duration of STM was about 1520 seconds if you have no interference PetersonPeterson only looked at 3 letters at a time but how much can we fit into our STM at a time George Miller 1957 looked at the magic number 7 In a variety of tasks he noticed a pattern of behavior that in each task people started to fail when they had to remember about 7 itemsLucky number 7 Vogel 1997 revisited the issue of the magic number 7 They had participants do a visual task They had to study a series of simple shapes which would be displayed for 100500 ms They would take away the shapes for almost a full second Then theyd have to show which one changed
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