An experimental study of the effects of noise upon short term memory


The overall aim of this study was to examine experimentally the effects of noise upon short-term memory tasks in the hope of shedding further light upon the apparently inconsistent results of previous research in the area. Seven experiments are presented. The first chapter of the thesis comprised a comprehensive review of the literature on noise and human performance while in the second chapter some theoretical questions concerning the effects of noise were considered in more detail follovred by a more detailed examination of the effects of noise upon memory. Chapter 3 described an experiment which examined the effects of noise on attention allocation in short-term memory as a function of list length. The results provided only weak evidence of increased selectivity in noise. In further chapters no~effects Here investigated in conjunction vrith various parameters of short-term memory tasks e.g. the retention interval, presentation rate. The results suggested that noise effects were significantly affected by the length of the retention interval but not by the rate of presentation. Later chapters examined the possibility of differential noise effects on the mode of recall (recall v. recognition) and the type of presentation (sequential v. simultaneous) as well as an investigation of the effect of varying the point of introduction of the noise and the importance of individual differences in noise research. The results of this study were consistent with the hypothesis that noise at presentation facilitates phonemic coding. However, noise during recall appeared to affect the retrieval strategy adopted by the subject.

Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
Additional Information: Department: Psychology If you have discovered material in Aston Research Explorer which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either yours or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown policy and contact the service immediately (
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: noise,short term memory
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 08:07
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2011 13:04
Completed Date: 1977-09
Authors: Kwoka, Maria


Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record