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psych - Short-Term Memory Among the vast amounts of...

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Short-Term Memory Among the vast amounts of information registered by our sensory memory, we illuminate some with our attentional flashlight. We also retrieve information from long-term storage for "on-screen" display. But unless we meaningfully encode or rehearse that information, it quickly disappears. During your finger's trip from phone book to phone, your memory of a telephone number may evaporate. I To find out how quickly a short-term memory will disappear, Lloyd Peterson and Margaret Peterson (1959) asked people to remember three-consonant groups such as CHJ. To prevent rehearsal of the letters, the researchers asked participants, for example, to start at 100 and count aloud backwards by threes. After 3 seconds people recalled the letters only about half the time; after 12 seconds, they seldom recalled them at all (FIGURE 8.9). Without active processing, short-term memories have a limited life. I Short-term memory is limited not only in duration but also in capacity. As noted earlier, our short-
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