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To retrieve memory in STM we search through them 1 at a time in the order that we received each piece of information for example if we view a sample of 20 pictures and are told to right each 1 down after viewing all 20 we will remember the first 1s we saw easily and find it hard to remember the last few, so we can conclude that information is stored in a sequence in our STM. To retrieve memory in our LTM we have to link it to other info already there, that’s why we may find it difficult to recall new material.
The link gives the new material a meaning.
An example of this is say you had a bike accident whilst you were a child and in your later age say around 60 when your grand children may have had the same experience you will remember your experience because while you were talking about it, your memory will be triggered by the new information entering your brain.
If we think we have forgotten something but than get a clue we will most likely remember the whole process. One reason why I chose to do this experiment is because we have done it previously in class so I have some experience with it. Previous research done on this subject is Millers experiment.
Miller came up with the theory of the ‘magic number’, the magic number is 7 because he believed that most adults could remember between 5 and 9 things at one time and once the slots were filled up new information entering into the STM will push out the old info (7 + or – 2).
He closed his theory with an experiment, in his experiment he gave a string of numbers to individuals, which they would most likely to forget after 30sec but this time he gave a meaning to the numbers like each number is the square root of 2 and also put the numbers into smaller groups.
This proved that people could remember more than 7 + or – 2 if the information was chunked or given meaning to. Some methodological considerations that may affect my results are things like the people I choose to take part in my experiment, if I choose the wrong people this could show a red hearing in my results for example if I chose a psychology student they would most likely know what I am doing and may previously have done the experiment them selves so would know the general idea behind the experiment.
Another consideration is to make my instructions as clear and accurate as possible and make sure everyone has the same exact instructions to keep it fair and so that the situation does not change. I will also consider having each sample under the same exact conditions and at the same time of day so it’s fair and everyone has an equal chance to do the best.
The general aim of my experiment is to see if Millers theory is correct and that I can prove it in a practical way with taking practical problems into consideration and to prove that chunking information and giving meaning to information helps you remember more than you usually can. Hypothesis I predict that Millers theory will be correct and in my two groups people with the chunked list will remember more than the people with the letter string. My research aims are to learn more about memory and the theories behind it.
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