Models of Memory

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  • Created on: 15-05-13 10:09
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Memory ­ a mental capacity to store and later retrieve information from previous
experiences or information that has been memorized or learnt.
Duration ­
a measure of how long memory lasts before it is no longer available for recall.
Studies into duration by:
Peterson and Peterson (1959) STM
Bahrick et al (1975) LTM
Peterson & Peterson
To test the duration of the short-term memory
Experimenter spoke a constant nonsense syllable followed by three digits
Immediately after asked to count back from the number in 3's or 4's, this was to
stop rehearsal, then repeat the syllable
Two practise trails followed by eight trails, in each trails the counting time changed 3,
6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 seconds.
Found 90% remembered after 3 seconds, 2% after 18 seconds
When rehearsal is prevented the STM only lasts about 20 seconds at most.
Invalid only one type of memory is being tested
Results lack ecological validity but high control of extraneous variables
Bahrick et al
To test the duration of long-term memory
Sample of 392 graduates from American high school
They asked graduates to remember former classmates using many techniques such
as recognition of picture, matching names and recalling names with no picture cue
Performed well until about 34 years, better on recognition tasks, dip on all memory
tests after 47 years
Memories in the LTM are recalled more accurately when prompted and last vast
periods of times
Lacks ecological validity but high control
Hard to decide whether affects are due to the duration of LTM or the effects of
Capacity ­
A measure of how much can be held in memory, its measured in terms of information
such as digits or numbers.

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The STM is said to have a capacity of 7 + or ­ 2 (Millers Magic Number)
The LTM has a limitless capacity.
Encoding ­
The way in which information is stored in memory, it is thought that information in STM
is mainly acoustic and LTM in semantically.…read more

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Found that words from the beginning and end of the list were recalled more
Words from the beginning would have made it to the LTM, called primary effect
Words from the end of the like still been in STM called recency effect
Case study Clive Wearing
Suffered from amnesia but could still remember pervious memories from the LTM,
suggesting damage only in the STM
Could include the case study of HM
Evaluations of the MSM:
Much research and case studies that support the idea…read more

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The case study of KF
Proof that the LTM and STM are separate, no problem remembering LT memories some
aspects of the immediate recall was impaired. He remembered more when tasks were
displayed visually rather than acoustic suggesting impairment to the phonological loop.…read more


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