Information about the memory test, the method of memory testing and how the questions relate to real world scenarios.
This is a website that enables you to test your short term memory and then grade it with a simple percentage score. It is designed to be easy to use and quick to understand. Note that we use the phrase 'short term' as a general language term rather than scientific. In scientific terms the test is actually testing your longer term memory but most people don't see it like that. Our discussion of memory types explores this in more detail.
Because people remember things in different ways. Some people have a better recall from images than they do from a statement. Other people remember numbers better than words. We aimed to create a test that could challenge different types of memory in a way that was easy to use and understand. It's worth mentioning that the actual mechanism to store the 'data' is not necessarily that obvious. Just because we show an image of a house number on a door, it doesn't mean that someone will actually store the image. It's more likely that they will store a reference of the house number and, if you like, a description of what they saw rather than mental image of the actual image itself. For example, if you see an image of a black cat in the test, you are likely to mentally mention to yourself 'black cat'. You have interpreted the image and stored the content rather than the actual image itself. If we then ask, for example, what was in the background behind the cat, it might be difficult to recall.
In other words, the memory test tends to test not just whether you can remember things but how you remember things.
Part of the logic behind the test is that the memory test tries to replicate everyday situations. If you have taken the test, then you might want to read about this on our memory test situations pages where we look at the how each question relates to real world / real life events. We would suggest that you take the test first though before reading these pages.
Firstly, it's what TabDesk do ! We create lots of small, simple to use websites. Most of them are games or quizzes but a few times a year we do try and make something that, while easy to quick to use, does actually do something real. The memory test is one of those. If you don't write things down and you do actually take the test as it's designed, then, for many people, it's actually suprisingly difficult and often quite challenging. It's not a surprise that the average memory percentage is around 50-60% - it's not easy.
We aren't scientists and our knowledge of memory is hardly groundbreaking. However, it's an incredible subject and one in which you can easily get lost.
It's clear that the longer you look at a picture or a statement, the better you are likely to memorize it. However, life doesn't work like that ! Someone will only tell you something once and in that moment, you have to remember what they said. That's what we tried to recreate real life situations by using the length of time required to memorize something as a memory performance indicator. We also measure the time it takes to recall something although statistically this tends to factor differently in memory usage.
It's worth mentioning that while the time it takes to commit to memory and recall does affect the score, getting things right or wrong is the most important element. If you are quick, and wrong, then your score will be much lower than if you are a little slower but correct.
Yes, we know. It's quite possible to write things down during the memory stage. It will clearly result in getting a higher score. However, it's not going to be much good for you and it means that it's not really a memory test. It's also naughty.
We decided when we made the quiz not to do some kind of long term memory score storage thing. In reality, to actually measure any meaningful change in your memory performance over time would require you to test years apart and then test multiple times. While we would be very happy for our users to come back each year and take the test, we know that this isn't likely. So we didn't do it.
We tend to work on each site on the network each year and in the past we've worked on all the sites on the network in order. The next stage is to add an age related percentage as well so you can see how you compare to other people in your age bracket. We have also considered adding additional testing elements such as the testing of echoic memory (sound). However, there are no current plans.
We paid for the rights to use them. We are nice people and we don't go around stealing images. You can't copy them !