Maintenance Rehearsal: Notes

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Maintenance Rehearsal

•Relies on the conscious recitation of information in a rote fashion, so that it can be kept in short-term memory for longer than the usual maximum duration of approx twenty secs.

•EG: Repeating info over and over in one’s head.

Maintenance rehearsal is easily affected by distraction from our STM.

•Another drawback is that when info is continually renewed in STM through rehearsal process, the amount of new info that can enter is restricted because of the limited storage capacity of STM.

•It can be verbal, which involves the use of words. It can also be non-verbal, involving visual or spatial info.

•Research shows that most people tend to favour verbal, either sub-vocal (‘in their head’) or vocal (‘aloud’) rehearsal.

Maintenance rehearsal is a shallow form of processing information which involves focusing on an object without thought to its meaning or its association with other objects. For example the repetition of a series of numbers is a form of maintenance rehearsal. In contrast,

Maintenance rehearsal has been demonstrated to be important in learning but its effects can only be demonstrated using indirect methods such as lexical decision tasks,[21] and word stem completion[22] which are used to assess implicit learning. In general, however previous learning by maintenance rehearsal is not apparent when memory is being tested directly or explicitly with questions like “ Is this the word you were shown earlier?

EG: The first sequence of 12 letters exceeded the capacity of STM, whereas the second letter sequence can be perceived as four ‘chunks’, which is within the capacity of STM.

Chunks can take many forms; numbers, images, words, sentences, phrases or abbreviations (such as BHP, RACV or CSIRO).

•We particularly find it easy to remember telephone numbers in chunks, and so that is how they are often written. Eg. 5382 0499, 0407 240 576, etc.

People are usually able to recall more the...
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