Memory Notes

Notes on the entire Memory topic for AS Psychology (AQA)

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  • Created on: 03-05-14 14:17
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Psychology Notes
(Pages 2-35)
Models of Memory
The Multi-Store Model:
The multi-store model is an explanation for how our memories, and how we recall them, works.
Created by Atkinson and Shiffrin, this model suggests that the information that we take in flows
from one storage system to another. The storages described are:
- The sensory memory
- The short-term memory
- The long-term memory
Also, the model explains that the 3 storage's have unique characteristics in terms of capacity,
encoding and duration of information.
- Capacity: How much info can be stored
- Encoding: The form in which the info is stored
- Duration: How long the info can be stored
The process in which information enters our memories to begin with, is outlined below through the
diagram used to help explain the way info goes from storage to storage.

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The sensory memory is the first storage which has the shortest duration and smallest capacity.
Information enters into here via our five senses (touch, taste, smell, see and hear) which then
allows the SM to quickly make a note of it. Impressions from our senses are lost rapidly from the SM
unless; attention is given to pass it on to the Short-term memory.…read more

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However, as a lab study, the experiment lacks ecological validity
Research for Capacity in STM = Miller (1956)
After reviewing the results from his study, Miller found that the capacity of the STM was between 5
and 9 items (7+/-2 units). But, also found that `chunking' info was a basic unit of STM and it would
help effectively increase the capacity.…read more

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Evaluation of the Multi Store Model
+ The MSM proved to be very influential and inspired a variety of experiments into the different
areas of it. This then led to a greater understanding of how memory works.
- Many disagreed by saying that the MSM had gotten over simplified.
- Many have argued that the MSM focuses too much of stores and structure and not enough on the
actual processes which take place in our memory.…read more

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The Working Memory Model:
The working memory model is another type of memory model suggested by Baddeley and Hitch
as they questioned the single STM store. They argued that the STM was more complex and was
more of an `active' store, rather than a passive one. As a replacement to the single STM, Baddeley
and Hitch came up with an alternative structure, including 4 components all working together on
various types of processing.…read more

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There are `slave' systems in the WMM which deal with different sensory information. The
phonological loop is similar to the rehearsal which takes place in the MSM. It has a limited
capacity determined by the amount of words spoken out loud in around 2 seconds. As this is a
primarily acoustic store, confusion can occur when there are similar sounding words (e.g. rhyming
words). The loop was divided into 2 by Baddeley, the phonological store and the articulatory
process.…read more

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The other component in the WMM is the Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad which is also known as the
inner eye. This component handles all non-phonological information as it deals with visual and spatial
elements in people's physical surroundings. The VSS is the component which allows people to
navigate and interact in their environments as they're getting the information from `mental pictures'
stored away in the Visual Cache and Inner Scribe.…read more

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Memory of Everyday Life
Eyewitness Testimony
When there is a need for recall in legal settings (such as courts), judges and juries usually depend on
eye witnesses to retrieve information from their memories. In 1932, Bartlett stated that memories
were not accurate in remember things for how they were. And also, that our memories
reconstructed events in our minds using schemas.
Schemas are described as ready-made expectations on anything, based on our previous
experiences, mood and knowledge.…read more

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Research for the effect of Anxiety factors on EWT's = Loftus (1987)
Loftus found that if a person was carrying a gun, then the witness was less likely to focus of their
face. Due to raised anxiety levels, the witness's recall for the facial details declined as their
attention was diverted to the gun.
The last factor thought to affect accuracy of recall in age as it was suggested that the accuracy of
EWT will diminish with the increase of age.…read more

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Research for the Cognitive Interview = Fisher (1989)
Fisher assess police officers when they attempted to gather information off witnesses. It was found
that methods from the ECI were more superior in gathering info than the standard CI.…read more


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