Memory Span


Memory Span Experiment Lab Report Seven Plus or Minus Two Final Group Project

Amanda Ernstberger Hanover College


Memory Span Many cognitive theories discuss the existence of short term memory or working memory stores. The evidence for these stores exist with the mind’s capacity to hold information before it is processed into long term memory. The purpose of this research is to explore that capacity and how much the mind can remember or recognize after a short period of time. The Memory Span experiment included five different types of stimuli, which were numbers, letters that sound different, letters that sound the same, short words, and long words. Participants are presented with a series of stimuli and after a period of time are asked to recall what was just presented to them. From previous research such as the Memory Span experiment is has been suggested that the capacity to hold information reaches its limits at seven plus or minus two items. In order to further the previous findings it has been suggested to modify the memory span experiment to explore the effects different types of items have on memory and the magic number of seven. The current study explores digits and words as if the mind processes these in the same or different ways. This research explores whether the capacity will be the same for numbers or words of different lengths. It is expected that participants will recognize more 2 digit numbers than 4 digit numbers, as well as, more short words than long words. As part of this hypothesis, it is also expected that participants will be able to recognize more long words than long numbers. Method

MEMORY SPAN Participants The participants in this experiment include 22 students who attend a Midwestern liberal arts college. The participants were contacted by the three researchers through e-mail and asked to volunteer. Their participation was not a requirement of any class and they did not receive credit for their...