AQA Psychology - Memory

PSYA1. Notes on key studies for both the Multi-store model and the Working memory model and strengths and weaknesses for each. Good luck!

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  • Created on: 08-12-10 17:47
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Psychology January 2011
MultiStore Model
Devised by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968):
Information flows through 3 separate stores in a fixed order of sensory memory, short
term memory and long term memory.
STM and LTM are separate stores
Glanzer and Cunitz (1966):
Participants were given a list of words.
Con 1: Ps recalled words immediately after they were presented
Con 2: Ps had a distracter task (count backwards in 3s for 30 seconds before recall)
The distracter task disrupted the recency effect and words from the end of the list were
more likely forgotten, however the primacy effect was not affected. This is because the
words at the end of the list are still in STM and those at the beginning of the list
have passed into LTM. This is shown on a serial position curve.
Jacobs (1887):
The digit span technique is where Ps have to repeat back strings of digits in order of
presentation. The number of digits in the string increases until P can no longer recall
Factors affecting capacity: reading aloud, influence of LTM in digit span tasks,
Duration in STM
Peterson and Peterson (1959):
Present Ps with trigrams (3 letters that form an unpronounceable word) and in between
each trigram Ps have to count backwards in 3s from a specified number to prevent
rehearsal. Length of prevention time increased each time and recall got worse and
worse (80% correct after 3 seconds, >10% correct after 18 seconds). Information
disappears through trace decay quite quickly if rehearsal is prevented. This
study is low in ecological validity as trigrams are very artificial things to remember.
Previous trigrams may cause proactive interference and impact later recall.
Factors affecting duration: rehearsal, intention to recall, amount of information

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Duration in LTM
Bahrick et al (1975):
Ps listed exclassmates through freerecall, photo recognition or name recognition
tasks. 15 years after leaving school, 90% recognised faces and 60% could freely recall.
48 years after leaving, 75% recognised faces and 30% could freely recall. This
suggests that the potential duration of LTM is almost unlimited however it also
shows that memories are improved with a trigger.…read more

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Working Memory Model
Devised by Baddeley and Hitch:
This is more active and complex than the MultiStore Model. It is made up of 3
interconnected components.
Phonological Loop
Baddeley, Thompson & Buchanan (1975):
They looked at the word length effect.…read more

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Verbal rehearsal is just one of many ways to transfer information
5. Repeated measures design was used for evidence ­ no individual differences
1. Could be over simplified ­ not much detail about how LTM works or how it
combines with STM.
2. Central executive is not very well understood ­ Cowan says it needs to include an
explanation of LTM activation.
3. Visuospatial sketchpad not as well explained as other slave systems.
4.…read more


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