Memory, Unit 1 Psychology AS Level notes (AQA)

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
THE MULTI STORE MODEL OF MEMORY (MSM)
ATKINSON & SHIFFRIN (1968)
Their model proposes that memory consists of three interconnected, unitary stores which are linear
and cannot be bypassed. They're known as the:
Sensory information store (SIS)
Short term memory (STM)
Long term memory (LTM)
These memory stores differ in the following ways:
Encoding ­ in order for information to be remembered, it has to be converted (encoded)
into a different form for each store (the way information is changed so it can be stored in
memory)
Capacity ­ measure of how much information can be held in the memory stores
Duration ­ refers to how long information lasts in each type of memory
Information can come into the memory system through any of the senses and is briefly held in the SIS
as a sensory image. The store can hold several items simultaneously but only for a few seconds. They
have to be attended to order to pass on to the STM.
The STM can hold information on 7 (+/- 2) items for up to 30 secs after which it is displaced by new,
incoming information. Rehearsal of information in the STM prolongs its duration and enables it to be
passed on to the LTM.
The LTM has a potentially unlimited amount of storage capacity and lifespan. Information can be lost
from here by factors such as decay and failure to locate the memory.
RESEARCH EVIDENCE FOR A SEPERATE STM AND LTM

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
Murdock (1962) presented participants with a list of words, one at a time. The participants then
recalled the list in any order (free recall). He counted the frequency with which each word was
recalled and concluded that:
Words at the beginning (primary effect) and the end (recency effect) of the list were
recalled more often than those in the middle.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
Information in the SIS that is paid attention to is passed on to the STM. To achieve this it has to be
recorded from its original form into possibly a word sound (acoustic), meaning (semantic) or image
(visual encoding).
ACOUSTIC CONFUSION IN STM
Conrad (1964) studied acoustic confusion errors by briefly showing participants a series of random
sequences of six letters in rapid succession on a screen and asking them to write down the letters in
the right order.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
Strengths:
Use of experimentation involving tightly controlled procedures enables researchers to find
causal links between variables
Weakness:
Lack of ecological validity due to the restrictions of what participants are allowed to do.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
items in the STM (and eventually leads to transfer into the LTM), prevention of such rehearsal for
different lengths of time should enable us to find out when the STM trace disappears.
Peterson and Peterson (1959)
FACTORS AFFECTING STM DURATION
Rehearsal ­ by repeating items to yourself, the memory trace stays alive for longer in the STM.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
Capacity 5-9 items 7 +/- 2 items Unknown exactly but
very large
Duration 0.5 ­ 4 seconds Up to 30 seconds Unlimited
without rehearsal
Information Loss Sensory trace decay Decay or Location or retrieval
displacement failure, decay,
distortion
EVALUATION OF THE MSM
Strengths:
Support from lab based research ­ Glanzer and Cunitz, Baddeley, Miller etc.
Support from clinical evidence ­ evidence of the existence of 2 memory stores was
suggested by Milner's study on HM.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
o Declarative memory stores things that we know. This incorporates both episodic and
semantic memory and can usually be put into words
o Procedural memory involves knowing how to do things such as drive a car but without
necessarily being able to explain how we can do it e.g.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
BADDELEY AND HITCH (1974)
They agreed with Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968) that we have an STM and LTM but saw the STM as
being much more complex than a single, temporary store for rehearsal and recoding of information
before the transfer to the LTM.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
THE PHONOLOGICAL LOOP
This can be thought of as a maintenance rehearsal mechanism for retaining (mainly) acoustic, verbal
information. It has a limited capacity and consists of:
The phonological store (the inner ear) which briefly holds acoustically coded information
(speech)
The articulatory control process (the inner voice) which allows for subvocal rehearsal of items
in the phonological store e.g.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY ­ UNIT 1 ­ MEMORY
had 3 minutes in each trial to choose the next move. Compared to controls, the articulatory
suppression had little effect but the visual and attention tasks greatly impaired the quality of
the moves chosen.…read more

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