In your pairs, one of you must be the
experimenter, one must be the
The experimenter must create a
triangle of 15 numbers.
The experimenter will then let the
participant remember them for 20
The participant must then write down 02
how many they can remember.
Experimenter will record how many
54 33 49
16 07 13 66
44 90 24 11 12
What are the results?
How do they compare with
What do these results
suggest about STM?
How will I know if I am learning?
By the end of the lesson…
Will be able to define capacity.
Will be able to explain how capacity differs
between STM & STM.
Will be able to explain & evaluate research
into capacity in STM & LTM.
Now for a
you fit in a
How much can be held in a
LTM has a potentially unlimited
STM has a limited capacity.
Look at the string of numbers on the
sheet in front of you. Cover all but the
first and say the digit. Then shut your
eyes and recall it. Then do the same
but try and remember 2 numbers, then
3, 4, 5, 6 and so on.
How many can you remember before
getting it wrong?
Jacobs (1887) was among the first to
use this technique to assess the
capacity of STM.
He found the average span for
numbers to be 9.3 items.
For letters the average decreased to
Why could there be a difference between numbers and
study in your workbook.
Draw an image to help
you remember how to
test digit span!
George Miller: ‘The magic number is 7 plus or
(We are good at remembering between 5-9 items)
From what we have looked at in the lesson, how far do you
agree with our STM can hold about 7 items?
I need one volunteer!
What were the results of the
Why might more letters be
remembered on the second
Miller argued that our capacity for remembering
information can be increased if we chunk items
If we find links between things and group them
together then we will remember more.
MSN AQA CBA
1) Complete the Miller section of your workbook by
summarising his arguments.
2) Create your own string of chunked numbers or
letters to illustrate the chunking method. They
must be different to the example!
Chunking: Real Life Application??
Cowan (2001) reviewed a variety of
studies on the capacity of STM and
argues that it is more limited (to 4 chunks).
Vogel et al (2001) looked at capacity for
visual information and found a limit of 4
Freud hasn’t been listening
and hasn’t been attending (or
rehearsing!) the information he
has been given!
It is your job to fill him in!
Pass Freud around the
classroom… everyone must
contribute one thing from the
You can expand on someone
else’s point if you get stuck!