Working Memory Model

A brief overview of the studies used in evaluation of the Working Memory Model.

Criticism is apprechiated.

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Strengths & Weaknesses - Working Memory Model


  • BADDELEY & HITCH (1976): wanted to see how we could multi-task, by using the components of the WMM. Participants were placed in one of two conditions; where the first group would perform a task of answering 'True & False' statements along with saying the word 'the' over and over again, where the second were tasked to do the statements along with saying random digits, out loud. HE FOUND THAT: participnats in the second condition struggled to complete both tasks simutaneously and resulted in muddling up numbers and/or wrong answers from the questionnaire. THIS MEANS THAT: the central executive was overloaded with having to decide two things at the same time, and faltered. The STM can multi-task as long as the tasks occupy two different stores within the WMM, and are within it's limited capacity.
  • SHALLICE & WARRINGTON (1970): wanted to see if the WMM could help explain brain damage, in the case of KF; he was in a motorcycle accident that left him with a seemingly normally working LTM, however had problems with his STM., such as forgetting sounds/words. THIS MEANS THAT: in support of the WMM, one storecan be damaged while leaving other stores functioning normally. Only his phonological store was damaged, and leaving a working visuo-spatial scratchpad and articulatory control system.


  • ELINGER & DAMASIO (1985): had a case study of a man who could not use his 'decision making' skills, but had a high IQ and good reasoning skills. For example, decisions on where to eat took him hours, not seconds.THIS MEANS THAT: his central executive was not functioning properly, however stll managed to do other tasks required of the STM. The WMM relies on the central executive to be working in order to control it's two slave systems, and without it his STM should've been completely unfunctional. This goes against the WMM's theory of ST memory.


Working Memory Model (WMM) can be critizied, and backed up as above. Use these studies to give evidence to potential questions on theories of Memory. Strengths & Weaknesses are EVALUATION POINTS in an exam-style question, so if it asked to EVALUATE the WMM, you can use these to answer the question. This has come up as a 12 mark question in the Jan 2011 AQA paper, so I advise to go on their website and look at the markscheme/examiner's reprt for further help in this question. I hope this has been helpful.


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