The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

Human Visual Memory Capacity for Abstract and Concrete Stimuli


Ashley Bramwell


The purpose of this study was to determine the differences between human visual memory capacity regarding abstract and concrete visual stimuli. The procedure was a replication, with revisions, of Vaughan and Greene's (1984) "Pigeon Visual Memory Capacity". The birds scored an average of 90% correct during the first ten trials. When tested two years later, the birds maintained a high accuracy rate. Ten post-secondary students were shown 40 cards, one at a time, and were asked if they belonged to S+ or S-. This procedure was repeated two weeks later to examine if any discrimination was retained. There were no significant effects found regarding the type of stimuli or accuracy during immediate and delayed recall. A variety of factors influence human memory and perhaps this type of testing favours unrationalizing animal minds as opposed to humans.

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