Memory Essay Conclusion

Memory Essay Conclusion-55
The conclusion from Hayes and Pollack’s experiments (see figure 1) was that the amount of information transmitted increases in a linear fashion along with the amount of information per unit input (Miller, 1956). Measurements of memory for information sources of different types and bit quotients, compared to expected results for constant information.Results from Hayes (left) and Pollack (right) cited by (Miller, 1956) Miller refers to a ‘bit’ of information as ‘the amount of information needed to make a decision between two equally likely alternatives’.Given that recoding involves rehearsal and the use of long-term memory formation, anything that prevents or influences these will obviously affect the ability to recode successfully (Cowan, 2001).

The conclusion from Hayes and Pollack’s experiments (see figure 1) was that the amount of information transmitted increases in a linear fashion along with the amount of information per unit input (Miller, 1956). Measurements of memory for information sources of different types and bit quotients, compared to expected results for constant information.

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Cowan refers to the maximum number of chunks that can be recalled as the memory storage capacity (Cowan, 2001).

It is noted that the number of chunks can be affected by long-term memory information, as indicated by Miller in terms of recoding - with additional information to enable this recoding coming from long-term memory.

The propensity to use rehearsal and memory aids is a serious complication in accurately measuring the capacity of short-term memory.

Indeed many of the studies ostentatiously measuring short-term memory capacity have been argued to be actually measuring the ability to rehearse and access long-term memory stores (Cowan, 2001).

Thus a simple either or decision requires one bit of information; with more required for more complex decisions, along a binary pathway (Miller, 1956).

Decimal digits are worth 3.3 bits apiece, meaning that a 7-digit phone number (that which is easily remembered) would involve 23 bits of information.Miller distinguishes between bits and chunks of information, the distinction being that a chunk is made up of multiple bits of information.It is interesting to note that whilst there is a finite capacity to remember chunks of information, the amount of bits in each of those chunks can vary widely (Miller, 1956).For instance, if attention is directed away from the target stimulus during presentation there is too much information being processed to attend properly to the target stimulus.Therefore fewer items would be remembered as they would have been replaced by information from this alternate direction.Short-term memory is the memory for a stimulus that lasts for a short while (Carlson, 2001).In practical terms visual short-term memory is often used for a comparative purpose when one cannot look in two places at once but wish to compare two or more possibilities.In this participants had to recall information read aloud to them and results clearly showed that there was a normal upper limit of 9 when binary items were used.This was despite the constant information hypothesis, which has suggested that the span should be long if each presented item contained little information (Miller, 1956).However an apparent contradiction to this is the fact that, if an English word is worth around 10 bits and only 23 bits could be remembered then only 2-3 words could be remembered at any one time, obviously incorrect.The limiting span can better be understood in terms of the assimilation of bits into chunks.

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