The expanding telephone number Part 1: Keying briefly presented multiple-digit numbers
The aim of this study was to examine immediate memory performance for multiple digit numbers in a practical read-and-key or listen-and-key task, and to evaluate the most effective ways of presenting multiple digit numbers. Variables measured were list length (4–10 digits), presentation mode (visual simultaneously, auditory), grouping format (1+1, 2+2, 3+3) and presentation time (0.5 sec/digit, 1.0 sec/digit). A total of 144 subjects participated. Not surprisingly, list length is a vital factor in recall. A longer presentation time was advantageous for both modes, while an effect of mode was observed only for the ungrouped numbers, where the auditory condition was inferior. The serial position curves showed primacy and recency with auditory presentation, and primacy and a superior performance on the middle part of the list using visual presentation. Local serial position effects revealed that ungrouped numbers presented visually are subjectively grouped in twos. The results have broad implications in the human factors area.
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