Throughout the day, people are confronted with manystimuli; ranging from the visual to the kinesthetic. For people to go abouttheir lives, the brain needs to encode and retrieve memories. In 1968, Atkinsonand Shiffrin proposed the multi-store memory model that states memory iscomposed of the sensory register, short-term store, and the long-term store. Memoriesare encoded and strengthened based on their necessity in daily tasks throughrehearsal. They may not be carried into long-term memory as they can faceencoding failure, which is the brain’s inability to create memory links throughinterference, repression, and generic cues. Long-termmemory for a common object was an experiment performed by Nickerson andAdams in 1979 concerning the ability of people to recall the visual details ofa penny through various tasks.
These tasks were to: draw a penny from memoryalone and then another penny from a list of details, select accurate details ofa penny, choose the correct penny from a group of pennies, and express theerrors within improperly drawn pennies. They discovered that subjects were unableto perform well in any of the tasks. These results were consistent with theideas of long-term memory as people only remember details that are sufficient enoughto distinguish between objects. Consequently, distinct details of a penny are proneto encoding failure. Today,people are surrounded with technology that gives the ability to readilypreserve information when in the past it was more difficult. The results ofthis study can be utilized to determine what the human mind deems necessary orunnecessary in daily life. This could be used to improve technology andaccordingly, the lives of people.
The aim of this research is tosuccessfully measure encoding failures and the conditions in which it occursfor common objects. The common object will consist of a penny which subjectswill be asked to recall visual details through tasks. This is a partial replicationof the study (Nickerson & Adams, 1979) as only two tasks will be performedto allow for a better focus on specific conditions of encoding failure.