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The following activity is awesome to illustrate the limitations of short term memory. Some facts about short term memory:

  1. It can store 7 items (+ or – 2)
  2. It last for 20 seconds

This test is simple memory exercise. Letter are show with each trial and the students are asked to remember each set of letter correctly. There are 6 trial. Students can complete the activity in their note or you can type up a worksheet.

Simply click on the link below to complete the activity. (Be careful. The last slide shows the answers immediately.)

The answers
Trial #1    UM
Trial #2    TZLD
Trial #3    KXCEJO
Trial #4   AVCYISEH
Ask the students who do the best, how they remembered the letters so well. Very often they use chunking which is also a concept covered in memory and thought.