Memory - Topic Notes

All the notes you need for the AQA A spec, for memory

HideShow resource information
Preview of Memory - Topic Notes

First 638 words of the document:

Memory ­ An Overview
Key Characteristics of Memory:
Capacity ­ The amount of storage space that is available. The different types of memory have different storage capacities and this is usually measured
by the number of items that can be stored at any one time.
Duration ­ How long the information will last; it's `lifespan'. The different types of memory have different durations ranging from just seconds to a whole
Encoding ­ For information to be remembered it is converted into different formats for each of the memory stores. These formats include visual
(images), acoustic (sounds) and semantic (meanings).
Multi-store Model (MSM)
Atkinson and Shiffrin proposed an explanation in 1968 of how memory processes work based on the idea that there are three separate stores (sensory
memory, short-term memory and long-term memory).
Information arrives at the sensory memory through the senses. This store has a very limited capacity of between 5 and 9 items, it cannot hold
information for more than a second and the information is encoded in the format it is received in.
If we pay attention to the information it will pass to the short-term memory. This can only hold information for around 30 seconds and can only hold 7 +/-
2 items at a time. The information will encoded acoustically and information can be maintained for longer in the short-term memory store through
maintenance rehearsal.
If we continue to rehearse the information it will eventually move into our long-term memory where we can store unlimited amounts of information for
the rest of our lives. Information is encoded semantically (for meaning).
Glanzer and Cunitz (1966)
The aim of this study was to investigate the existence of two separate memory stores. Participants were presented with a list of words, one at a time,
which they then had to recall in any order. The frequency of recall for each word was recorded. Participants best remembered the words from the start
of the list (the primacy effect) and the end of the list (the recency effect). They called this the serial position effect which occurs because the first words
in the list are best rehearsed and transferred to LTM and the last words are still in STM when you start recalling the list.
Milner's (1967) case study of HM
HM had suffered with years of epilepsy following a childhood accident. After having brain surgery to help control his epilepsy (where a small part of his
hippocampus was removed) his memory was impaired. His STM was unaffected but he had anterograde amnesia which means he was no longer able
to produce long-term memories. People he met (including family) and everyday events after the surgery were experienced as new to him over and over
again. This was taken as evidence that the mechanism allowing STM to transfer information to the LTM was not functioning, therefore supporting the
idea that STM and LTM are separate stores.
Miller (1956)
To investigate the capacity of STM, lists of digits were presented to participants who were then required to repeat the list back in the correct order. Lists
started with three digits (5,8,2) and increased in length one digit at a time. They found that participants were able, on average, to hold between 5 and 9
(7 +/- 2) items. In conclusion, STM is seen as having 5-9 `boxes', each of which can hold one item of information (a digit or a letter).
Peterson and Peterson (1959)
They wanted to investigate the duration of STM. Participants were presented with trigrams of consonants and asked to remember them. To prevent
rehearsal, participants were asked to count aloud backwards in threes for different lengths of time (between 3 and 18 seconds) and then had to try to

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

They found that after a 3-second interval, 80% of trigrams were correctly recalled, after 9 seconds, 30% of trigrams were correctly
recalled and this dropped to 10% after an 18 second interval. They concluded that 30 seconds was the maximum duration of the STM.
Conrad (1964)
Conrad aimed to investigate encoding in STM by studying acoustic confusion errors.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

STM and LTM are located in different parts of the brain, supporting the information that is not rehearsed, which suggests that the model is not
idea of separate memory stores. accurate.
The MSM focuses on just the structure of memory. The model suggests that
the structure consists of three separate stores: SM, STM and LTM. This is a
weakness as it provides no real insight into the processes of our memory.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

There is evidence from case studies to support the WMM. KF's memory was The WMM has been criticised because it offers an incomplete theory of
affected after his brain was damaged in a motorcycle accident. KF's memory. The model outlines the processes that occur in STM but doesn't
impairment was mainly for verbal information ­ his memory for visual explain how out LTM interacts with our STM or the processes that occur in
information was largely unaffected.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Bystander testimonies from witnesses of a real-life gun fight were compared with interviews that took place four to five months later. Recall was found
to be impressive but those who reported being the most distressed were the most accurate, perhaps because they were motivated to recall the events
accurately to help the police investigation.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

The Cognitive Interview
The four stages of the Cognitive Interview Schedule (CIS) were designed by Gieselman et al (1985) to enhance both the quantity and quality of the
information produced.
Recreating the context (context reinstatement) This involves recalling the context in which the incident occurred eg, weather, lighting, smells,
emotions, sounds.
Report everything The witness is asked to report absolutely everything they can remember even if it seems irrelevant.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

In their study of divers, Godden and Baddeley demonstrated that cues in the learning environment can `jog' or `trigger' our memories. Their participants
were much better at recalling a list of words when they learned and recalled in the same place.
Sometimes we are unable to access information that has been stored in our LTM when we need it. Cues in the learning environment can `jog' or
`trigger' our memories.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all resources »