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Key Terms
· Sensory Memory (SM) [Sperling 1960]
· Information collected from your senses, eyes, ears etc. Has a large capacity but the memory is
only retained for a brief period by the sensory register. Holds accurate images momentarily.
· Short Term Memory (STM)
· Memory for immediate events. Lasts shortly unless rehearsed e.g. verbal rehearsals.
Eventually short term memories will be transferred to the LTM. Has limited duration and
capacity (7+/-2 items). Known as the "working memory" ­ used to comprehend languages.
Memories rapidly decay unless it is maintained through rehearsal.
· Long Term Memory (LTM)
· Memory for past events. Duration = anywhere from 2 hours -> 100 years. Store has potentially
unlimited duration & capacity
· Capacity [Miller 1956]
· Measurement of how much can be stores in your memory. Measured in terms of bits of
information e.g. number of digits. STM capacity= limited (7 +/- 2), LTM capacity= potentially
· Duration [Peterson and Peterson 1959]
· Measure of how ling a memory can last before becoming unavailable. STM = limited duration
(15-30 secs). LTM = unlimited duration (may last forever)
· Encoding [Baddley 1966]
· The way info is changed so that it can be stored as a memory. Info enters the brain via the
senses and is stored in various forms e.g. pictures [visual code] & sounds [acoustic code]
(STM). In the LTM, info is represented by its meaning [semantic code]…read more

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The Model…read more

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How does it work?
· Atkinson and Shiffrin argue that there are 3 main stores ­
· Sensory Store= 5 stores- 1 store for each sense. Research
mainly focused on visual and auditory stores.
· If data is paid attention to in the SM, then it is transferred
to the STM.
· According to the model, STM = crucial for getting info into
& retrieving info from the LTM.
· If info isn't passed from SM -> STM or STM -> LTM
through rehearsal, then it is forgotten. The more
something is rehearsed, the stronger the memory trace.…read more

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Evaluation of the model
Strengths (+) Weaknesses (-)
Strong evidence to support STM doesn't function as a unitary
store. E.g. KF [Shalice and
claims for duration (Peterson & Warrington]
Peterson), capacity (Miller) &
Oversimplified, research has since
encoding (Baddeley) shown that there are more than 3
Includes details of structure and memory stores (e.g. bahrick et al,
process found a VLTM)
LTM is not a unitary store
Encouraged psychologists to
conduct research to test the Validity- the research studies have
tended to concern only semantic
model memory and therefore the results
-> increase in our understanding of and the MSM may only be relevant
memory to this kind of memory rather than
explaining memory for events in
the past.…read more

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Evidence for the SM = Sperling 1960
What? Results?
· Studied the SM · In CA- pps typically recalled
· Firstly came up with Condition 4 or 5 letters / 12 (42%) but
A ­ flash up 12 letters to pps for said they were aware of
50 milliseconds.
· They were then asked to recall
all they could remember (whole · Pps in CB ­ recall on average
report recall) ¾ items (75%) = better than
· Condition B = pps asked to when they were asked to
recall 1 line of 3 according to recall all (CA)
the tone they heard (partial
report technique) · The iconic (visual) memory
saw 9 or 10 /12 items but it
· Independent Variable = CB -
fades very quickly (within
the introduction of the tone & the time it takes to recall the
just having to recall 1 line items)
rather than all the leters
· Dependent Variable = number
of words recalled. · Classed as evidence for SM as
we have trouble
remembering things within…read more

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