The Working Memory Model - AQA A Psychology

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 21-12-12 11:14

The Working Memory Model - AQA A Psychology


  • Influential - most psychologists now call short-term memory working memory; stimulated research and has accounted for new findings
  • Practical applications - important in understanding of dyslexia and in development of reading; woking memory capacity used as measure of aptitude for jobs
  • Explains findings better than MSM - explains how we do more than one task simultaneously in STM e.g. reading aloud while visually tracking an object; explains how we can remember without route rehearsal
  • Supported by huge body of research - dual-task technique (Baddeley + Hitch) pps had to do a reasoning task and read aloud, could do both well, STM has different compartments, supports WMM; KF had poor results for verbal tasks, but did well on visual tasks, STM divided to handle verbal + visual info independently.
  • Accounts for individual differences in memory ability - research showed that people differ in their WM span, can score high on visual WM tasks but low on verbal WM tasks or vice versa.


  • Role of the CE - most important role but least well researched, Baddeley agrees it's difficult to investigate, we don't know how it supervises and coordinates the slave systems
  • Validity - critics say we make assumptions from the model that might be untrue; we assume that two tasks that can be done simultaneously are processed in different parts of the STM, but if they can't they fight for the same part.
  • Doesn't account for all sensory modalities - doesn't make it clear how we deal with info from touch or smell senses, or how non-verbal sound is processed e.g. music.


Model offers a refinement of the MSM describing working memory in terms of specialized auditory and visual units, however the least well researched system is placed in the most important role, which makes it seem less valid.


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