This is a paper on the basics of human memory, specifically on the effectiveness of maintenance and elaborative rehearsals.

Essay by kstyleUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2002

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The human brain is an extremely intricate instrument, whose processes cannot fully be interpreted. One of the essential jobs of the human brain is to control memory. Why we remember things and what we remember in the long term, to some extent, cannot be understood. However, experiments have been done trying to understand how our short-term memory works. Although the works of the short-term memory may not seem entirely too difficult to understand, if everyone had mastered them, one would assume that grades and test scores would be much higher than they are. One hypothesis made by scientists puts the emphasis on maintenance rehearsal. This said that presenting information that is supposed to be remembered more often would result in a better remembrance of that information. Scientists then set up an experiment that would prove maintenance rehearsal resulted in a better short-term memory.

In this experiment, subjects were told that they would be tested on their memory of words that were presented to them one at a time on a list.

The subjects were asked to say that they were thinking aloud so it could be recorded on tape for observation. The subjects were then asked what words they remembered. It turned out that the words that agreed with the hypothesis made on maintenance rehearsal, which stated that the more the information was repeated, the better it was going to be remembered. In this experiment, the dependent variables were the words on the list that were to be memorized and the independent variable was the amount of times that the subject repeated the words.

Although the results of the test agreed with the hypothesis made by scientists, not everyone was satisfied with the results. The experiment didn't take into account outside variables that could have affected the results. As a...