Thursday, August 8, 2013

How Stress Shatters Your Memory

Let's try a quick experiment. Read the following list of random words:
water, first, people, although, sound, little, place, after, different, another

Now grab a pen and paper, look away from your screen, and write out as many of the words as you can remember. If you want, you can re-read the list to make sure it's fresh in your memory.

I got five out of ten (water, although, different, people, and place). What's your score? Some studies have claimed that the average is about seven, while others have said four is more typical - and still others have pointed out that it all depends on variables like word length, familiarity, and similarity between words. And of course, if you're startled by a fire engine screeching by the window, the number's likely to take a sharp drop.

Tests like this one - along with similar games involving individual letters, numbers, sounds and so on - help scientists measure the capacity of what they call... Read the entire article.

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