Working Memory Model (Baddeley and Hitch 1974)

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Working Memory Model (Baddeley and Hitch 1974)


  • Supported by many  of different studys, including Baddeley and Hitch 1974, (carried out a study using an interference task. The participants had to carry out a reasoning task at the same time as saying out load a list of six digits) The participants didn't make many errors, the only difference was that the reasoning task was done more slowly. Short term memory therefore must me made up with more than one system and isn't just used for simple storage..
  • Shallice and Warringtons case study of KF 1970's found that though he was in a motorcycle accident and damage was inflicted onto his occipital lobe and his STM (digit span of 1) he was unable to recall words if presented verbally but he could recall visual information. This suggests his articulatory phonological loop was impaired however his visua spatial sketchpad was unaffected.


  • The explanation of the Central Executive is very simplistic, the model doesn't explain what the Central Executive is or does fully.


The Working Memory Model (Baddeley and Hitch 1974) elaborated on Shiffrin and Atkinsons Multi store memory model, describing memory as a flow of information, They argued that Short term memory isn't a unitary store but rather separated into different stores. 
The Central Executive: Is in charge of the other slave systems.
The Visuo Spatial Sketch pad: deals with both Visual and Spatial information. (inner eye and inner scribe)
The Phonological loop: (this separates into two sub stores) (inner ear and inner voice)
The Phonological store: A speech based storage system.
The Articulatory system: works on rehearsal within the store.
Eventually the Episodic buffer was introduced (2000): this integrates information into the Long Term Memory.
Baddeley and Hitchs Working Memory Model is supported by various study's (as shown above) and is a much more detailed and accurate description of short term memory than that supplied by Shiffrin and Atkinson. However, it's description of the central executive is extremly simplistic and it's reliability can be questioned as the model doesn't fully explain what it is and does.


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