Short Term Memory Capacity Chunking Coding Click Here to Continue
Experiment 1 Before proceeding, you will need a pen/pencil and a sheet of paper. When you go to the next page, you will be presented with a sequence of numbers, which will appear in the centre of the screen at one second intervals. Try to memorise the numbers in sequence as they are presented. When you hear a tone/see the word NOW appear, write the numbers down in the same order as they were presented, (serial recall), on the sheet of paper. Click on the forward button to start Trial 1 of Experiment 1.
How did you do? - see below 5 7 4 8 3 1 9 6 2 Miller, (1956) talks of the magical number seven, plus or minus two, meaning that: on average, the capacity of STM is between 5 and 9 items of information. (See: Gross et al, 2000, p.12.). Try the experiment again, this time with letters as the stimulus material, writing them down in the same order as they were presented, when you see the word NOW appear. You will need a fresh sheet of paper. Click on the forward button to start Trial 2 of Experiment 1.
Difficult, isnt it? - Answers below Q A H E R S B K T You probably found that you remembered between 5 and 9 items, digits or letters, on each trial, in line with Millers (1954) findings. Now try Experiment 2 - click on the forward button for details.
Experiment 2 Before proceeding, you will need a pen/pencil and a fresh sheet of paper. When you go to the next page, you will be presented with a line of letters across the centre of the screen which will appear for approximately 10 seconds. Your task is to remember as many of the letters as you can, in the order in which they were presented. When you see the word NOW appear on the screen, write down on your paper as many of the letters as you can remember, in the same order as they were presented. Click on the forward button to start Trial 1 of Experiment 2.
You probably did better this time - Answers below. GCE BTEC GCSE GNVQ AS Why might this be? – (apart from having seen the stimulus material twice, an example of the practice effect). Miller (56) found that the capacity of STM could be considerably increased by combining, or organising, separate bits of information, e.g. letters or digits, into larger chunks. Use MIND-MAPPING and / or NOTE STRUCTURING / CUE CARDS to build chunks Armed with your new-found knowledge, click on the forward button to try Trial 3 of Experiment 2, writing your answers on a fresh sheet of paper when the word NOW appears.
How did you do this time? Answers below 1 9 0 0 1 9 1 4 1 9 1 8 1 9 3 9 1 9 4 5 2 0 0 0 Based on existing knowledge of the two World Wars of the 20th century, you might have been able to reorganise these 24 bits of information into 2 CHUNKS, i.e.: 1The dates of the two World Wars, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945; 2the beginning and end of the 20th century, 1900 and 2000.
Experiment 3 - Coding in STM As before, you will need a pen/pencil and a fresh sheet of paper. When you go to the next page, you will be presented with a sequence of letters, which will appear in the centre of the screen at one second intervals. Try to memorise the letters in sequence as they are presented. When you hear a tone/see the word NOW appear, write the letters down in the same order as they were presented, (serial recall), on the sheet of paper. Click on the forward button to start Trial 1 of Experiment 3.
How many did you get? - answers below. B D T G C P E V Remember, to count as correct, the letters must be in the correct sequence. Armed with a fresh sheet of paper, click on the forward button to start Trial 2 of Experiment 3.
How did you do this time? - answers below W L F Z M Q R A You probably did better on trial 2, above. This is in line with previous research which has found that sequences of letters, (Conrad, 1964), or words, (Baddeley, 1966), which sound similar, are harder to recall from STM than sequences which sound dissimilar. STM for such material mainly relies on a speech-based or acoustic code, even though the items were presented visually. There is a case for reading some material out loud when revising
Coding in LTM Interestingly, when Baddeley tested LONG-TERM MEMORY recall, similar sounding words had little effect, but words with similar meaning caused much confusion, i.e. fewer were recalled. So LTM is based on UNDERSTANDING meaning DEEP LEARNING REQUIRES UNDERSTANDING USE REVISION TECHNIQUES THAT PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING.
Further Resources For more information on the issues covered in this module and more, together with some further interactive experiments, click on the link below:
The End Content: Vic Cobbold Technical Support: Harry Cobbold. Click Here to Return to the Start
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