In class today, you asked me to explain the Glanzer and Cunitz study from 1966.
Glanzer and Cunitz was an experiment to test the hypothesis that short term memory and long term memory are two separate memory stores. The researchers used 240 army enlisted men.
In the first experiment, words presented to the participants at two different presentation rates. In one condition, the words were presented at a 3 second rate and in the other at a 2 second rate. Participants that were presented with words at a 3 second rate were more likely to remember the first words of the list than participants presented with the words at a 2 second rate. This is because they were able to rehearse the first words more, thus enabling it to enter long term memory.
In the second experiment, participants were presented with word lists and directly afterwards asked to count out loud. Participants that were asked to count out loud for 30 seconds remembered less of the last words on the list compared to participants that were asked to count out loud for 10 seconds.
This study supports many aspects of the multi store model of memory. It supports that rehearsal is important to store information in long term memory (it can be assumed that participants that were presented with the words at a longer presentation rate, rehearsed the words longer which improved their memory of the first words). The study also supports the idea that short term memory has a limited duration, as the memory for the last words was almost eliminated during the 30 second counting task.