Models of Memory (MSM and WMM)

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  • Models of Memory
    • Multi Store Model
      • Key terms
        • Capacity = Amount of information stored
        • Duration = Length of time the information is stored
        • Coding = The type or format of the information stored
      • Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) proposed the earliest model, suggesting memory is made up of 3 components: sensory register, short term memory and long term memory
        • 1) Sensory register = takes information from the environment through the 5 senses. Duration is milliseconds, information which has been paid attention to is passed on to STM. ICONIC = VISUAL ECHOIC = AUDITORY
        • 2) STM = Limited to the capacity of 7+-2 pieces of information, stored for up to 18 seconds. Coded in acoustic format.
          • Peterson and Peterson (1959) study into STM duration. Participants recalled trigrams at different intervals of counting backwards in 3/4s. Longer interval = less accurate recall
            • Results: 3 seconds, 80% accurate. 18 seconds, 10% accurate. Concluded STM duration around 18 seconds.
        • 3) LTM = Information is transferred after being rehearsed. The duration is a lifetime and the capacity is unlimited. Information is coded semantically and can be retrieved at any given time.
      • Evaluation
        • Case study: Clive Wearing. Had brain damage, suffered from severe amnesia and was unable to transfer to LTM. Demonstrates that MSM is sequential, if links between stores are broken then we cannot form new memories.
        • Case study: KF. A motorcycle accident left him unable to recall acoustic information but he could still recall visual. Suggests memory is split into 3 unitary stores, but KF shows that STM must also be split into other components for visual and acousitc information.
    • Working Memory Model
      • Proposed by Baddeley and Hitch as a way of explaining findings that the MSM couldn't. WMM is a multi-component short term memory system.
      • Central executive is in control of the two slave systems: phonological loop and visuo-spatial sketchpad.
        • Phonological loop: consists of the phonological store (stores acoustic information) and the articulatory control system (allows for sub vocal repetition)
        • Visuo-spatial sketchpad: consists of the inner scribe (the spatial relationship between objects) and the visual cache (stores visual information e.g shape)
        • Episodic buffer: the component that binds and integrates the information from the other components. Sends info to LTM
      • Evaluation
        • Supporting research by Baddeley and Hitch: found participants experienced better performance on the tasks that used different components.
        • Lack of knowledge: the central executive is the most important component, but there is little research into how it works and what it does. Meaning that the vagueness of the CE means it cannot be used to explain any experimental results.
  • Key terms
    • Capacity = Amount of information stored
    • Duration = Length of time the information is stored
    • Coding = The type or format of the information stored


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