Memory Recall in Relation to Chunking and Time

Short-term memory is the summation of instant knowledge. It consists of bursts of information that are stored only long enough to be used and then forgotten. This form of memory is used often in memorizing and then transferring information to a physical form—such as copying a few words or writing down a phone number.

The purpose of this experiment was to discover the peak number of units that can be stored over the short-term by comparing two conflicting theories on the subject. A population was presented with seven numbers in straight sets and in chunked sets. The participants were to view the numbers for varying times of five or ten seconds and were then given 30 seconds to write down all seven numbers, in order, as accurately as possible. The number of correct in each group of time and set type were compared in two two-proportion z test. Our results were consistent with that of George A. Miller's experiments and theory showing that the optimal number of units for short-term memory is seven plus or minus two.

Research Done By:

MacKenzie Krolczyk
Cousino High School

Zachary Smith
Sterling Heights High School