• Question: how much can a human remember in objects? @Diana

    Asked by con guy jebes 123 to Wil, Diana on 10 Mar 2017.
    • Photo: Wilhelmiina Toivo

      Wilhelmiina Toivo answered on 10 Mar 2017:

      Our memories are in different formats – some of them are visual, some of them are auditory and sometimes you remember smells or how something feels against your skin. Quite often these are combined together – that’s why it is hard to say ho much can be remembered in objects specifically.

      As for your short-term memory (that is, the things that you can hold in your immediate memory), the usual span of that is 5-9 things at a time; this could be words or objects or numbers for example. The capacity of your short-term memory also depends on how much you get to rehearse and how quickly after memorising objects you have to recall them. Some people are much better at this than others! You can experiment this yourself – put a bunch of objects on a table, give yourself a minute to rehearse them and then see ho many you can remember without looking.