Written by Tragic Rabbit
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Friday, 25 April 2008

image for Idiots vindicated: scientists prove that memory sucks
Vindicated.

According to a new study, the average idiot can keep only one or two things in their working memory or conscious mind at a time.

University of Mistaken Data researchers have claimed that the findings may lead to better ways to assess and help idiots with attention-deficit and focus difficulties, improve classroom performance and enhance test scores.

"Most people believe the human mind is incredibly complex," said Jeff Reeldum, associate professor of eejit psychology in the MDU College of Arts and Science. "Psych!"

"We were able to use a relatively simple experiment and look at how many objects can be in maintained in the idiot conscious mind at any one time. We found that every idiot has the capacity to hold a one or two objects in his or her mind.

"Working memory is like the number of memory registers in a computer. Every object takes one register and each individual has a fixed number of registers, with idiots coming in on the far, low end of the table. Limits in working memory are important because working memory is the mental process of holding information in a short-term, readily accessible, easily manipulated form where it can be combined, rearranged and stored more productively," Reeldum added.

When idiots are going to do any tasks in the house like remembering the location of keys, turning off the stove, combining ingredients for a cake, chewing gum while walking, or recalling their current girlfriend's phone number, they use working memory to keep in mind all the different aspects of the tasks.

For the research, the scientists conducted a simple experiment involving an array of small, scattered, different-colored squares, to test their theory of working memory. The idiots saw two or three squares in the array, depending on the trial. The array was then wiped out by another display consisting of the same squares, minus the colors, though that generally made things worse.

Finally, each idiot was shown a single color in one location and was asked to indicate whether the color in that spot had changed from the original array, or at least name the damn color.

As a control, captive gorillas and toddlers were also tested, but most found the test too easy and eventually became bored, asking whether they could go play outside.

The study An Assessment of Fixed-Capacity Models of Visual Working Memory in Idiots has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Eejit Sciences.

Tragic Rabbit, Mad Science Journal, Dumbarton

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