What and information can be lost with

What are we to
conclude from the data concerning the structure of Short Term Memory? We favor
the implication that the representational bases of storage for Short Term
Memory is low. Short-term
memory plays a crucial role in how our consciousness operates. Several years
ago a hypothesis has been formulated, according to which capacity of short-term
memory depends in a special way on two cycles of brain electric activity.
Scientists have now demonstrated this experimentally for the first time. That is, the same neural representations
initially activated during the encoding of a piece of information show
sustained activation during Short Term Memory and are the repository of
long-term representations. Because regions of neocortex represent different
sorts of information (e.g., verbal, spatial), it is reasonable to expect that
Short Term Memory will have an organization by type of material as well.
Functionally, memory in the short term seems to consist of items in the focus
of attention along with recently attended representations in Long Term Memory.
These items in the focus of attention number no more than four, and they may be
limited to just a single representation


Short-term memory (STM) is the second stage of
the multi-store memory model proposed by the Atkinson-Shiffrin. The duration of
Short Term Memory seems to be between 15 and 30 seconds, and the capacity about
7 items.

Short term memory has three key aspects:

1. limited capacity (only
about 7 items can be stored at a time)

2. Limited duration (storage
is very fragile and information can be lost with distraction or passage of

3. Encoding (primarily
acoustic, even translating visual information into sounds).

now believe that we can recall about four chunks of information at a time,
which works out to approximately six letters, five one-syllable words and seven

the purpose of our short-term memory? Short-term memory is that memory that we
gain and use immediately. For instance, if we’re given a phone number and call
it immediately.  If we hold information in our short-term memory long
enough and use it in different ways (working memory) it converts to long term

Relationship with working memory:

The relationship between short-term memory
and working memory is described differently by various
theories, but it is generally acknowledged that the two concepts are distinct..
Short-term memory in general refers, in a theory-neutral manner, to the
short-term storage of information, and it does not entail the manipulation or
organization of material held in memory. Thus, while there are short-term
memory components to working memory models, the concept of short-term memory is
distinct from these more hypothetical concepts.

Within Baddeley’s
influential 1986 model of working memory there are two short-term storage
mechanisms: the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad. Most of the research referred to involves the
phonological loop, because most of the work done on short-term memory has used
verbal material. Since the 1990s, however, there has been a surge in research
on visual short-term memory, and also increasing work on spatial
short-term memory.


short-term memory deficits are a common characteristic of children with reading
problems and may markedly increase the difficulty of learning to read. Previous
work suggests that the basis of the short-term memory deficit may involve
limitations in phonetic coding. In the present paper, a series of experiments
are reviewed which examined the role of phonological processes in short-term
memory. First, a developmental study is described in which a significant
relationship was found between phonetic processes and verbal memory span, but
not between phonetic processes and nonverbal memory. Second, additional studies
are reviewed which collectively found that children with reading problems are
less accurate at phonetic encoding than are good readers, and that performance
on phonetic processing corresponds with verbal memory span. No reading group
differences were obtained on nonverbal perception or memory tasks. These
findings suggest that both developmental and individual differences in verbal
memory span are related to the efficiency of phonological processes. Practical
implications of current cognitive research are discussed.

The role of
short-term memory and working memory in accomplished multilingual was investigated.
Twenty-eight accomplished multilingual were compared to 36 mainstream philology
students. The following instruments were used in the study: three memory
subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale (Digit Span, Digit-Symbol Coding,
and Arithmetic, which constitute a memory and resistance to distraction index);
two short-term memory tests of the Modern Language Aptitude Test; and the
verbal Intelligence Quotient (IQ), the nonverbal IQ, the general IQ, and a
working memory test, the Polish Reading Span (PRSPAN). The results of the
accomplished multilingual were compared to the results of 1st-year English
philology students (mainstream). The analysis revealed that short-term memory
and working memory abilities in the accomplished multilingual were higher than
in the mainstream philology students. Results might contribute to the
understanding of the controversial role of working memory and short-term memory
abilities in accomplished multilingual. A suggestion that the two components of
working memory (the phonological loop and the central executive) are
significant factors in determining the outcome of learning a foreign language
is discussed.


To find out the duration of the Short term

To find out how much information is stored in short
term memory at a time without rehearsal.

To find out the relationship between working
memory and short term memory.


Rehearsal increases the chances of retrieval of
information from short term memory.

There will be a significant difference between
the results of the two conditions. Chunking of numbers will improve memory
recall of short-term memory: the number of correct numbers recalled in the
second condition will be greater.

Significantly more digits will be recalled
accurately in sequence in the chunked condition than in the un-chunked


The nature of our research is an experiment.
The independent variable is whether the city names are chunked or not. Chunked
means that the city names will be read out in smaller groups rather than all
names at once. So we will be reading the names out in 1 group of 5 and 2 groups
of 3. There will be slight pauses in between each group of names. Un-chunked
means that the names will simply be read out without any breaks in between each
name. The dependent variable is how many of the city names are recalled in the
right order.

The extraneous variable is that when we read
the names out to the participants our voice might change pitch between each
participant. We might not be able to keep exactly the same amount of time
between each name as we read them. We will control this by recording our voice
speaking all 7 chunked and un-chunked names and then playing this recording
back to each participant. They will all hear the same recording which means
there will be no change in pitch, tone of voice and time in between each


Our sample will be of 25 participants for this
investigation, both male and female. The target population is 20-25 year old
students studying in university.


The sampling method used in this research will
be purposive sampling which means that the sample is selected on the basis of
who is available at the time of testing and willing to take part. This sampling
method is used because it is the quickest and easiest way to take a sample. We
will simply ask people who are available to do our experiment. We will use this
sampling method because it is convenient, low cost and fits our situation as we
are conducting a coursework experiment not an official experiment.

Inclusive Criteria:

Only university students will be

Day scholars and hostilities will be

Exclusive Criteria:

Participants with any physical/
mental disability will not be included.

Un-even gaps between the names of the
cities will be excluded.


Materials that
will be needed for the experiment are:

Record sheet – For us to record the

Tape recorder – To record and play
back my voice speaking the mobile phone numbers.




and Paper for every participant

in Progress, Do Not Enter” sign


participant will sit down in a class. They will be asked to keep silence. We
will then brief the participants on what they would have to do in the experiment.
Participants will be assured of confidentiality. We will then began the test by
first playing the 5 un-chunked city names one after the other with gaps in
between each name so the participants could say their answers. Then we will
play the chunked names one after the other with gaps in between each names so
the participant could say their answers. We will write their answers as they
say them. At the end of the test we will give them refreshments and asked them
if they have any questions. After that they are free to go.



Ethical Considerations:

will be provided with information relating to the research project including
details of what is expected of them, arrangements for confidentiality and how
the information collected will be used and their rights as informants.
Participants can give their consent to participate by signing a consent form. To avoid any ethical issues all participants were debriefed at the
start of the experiment and given the right to withdraw their results at any
moment. All results were anonymous for confidentiality and participants gave
consent to participate in the experiment.

Suggested Statistical Analysis:

The suggested statistical analysis of this experiment is that participants
will remember more chunked city names then un-chunked city names. 


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