Multi-Store Model

All the information about the Multi-Store Model of memory for AQA spec A Psychology.

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Fiona Headley
The Multi-Store
Table of Contents
The Multi-Store Model
Table of Contents
Sensory Memory
Capacity of STM
Duration of STM
Duration of LTM
Encoding of STM
Encoding of LTM
Strengths and Weaknesses of the MSM
Module 1, Memory

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Fiona Headley
Module 1, Memory…read more

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A model is a theory based on information processing systems such as flow charts.
The multi-store model (MSM) is made up of the sensory store, the short term memory
(STM) and the long term memory (LTM).
The sensory store is a set of modality specific stores.
The STM is a fragile, temporary store.
The LTM is a robust, permanent store.
Information is transferred from the STM to the LTM through rehearsal.…read more

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Fiona Headley
Sensory Memory
Duration of the sensory memory is less than 2 seconds.
Information in the sensory memory is relatively unprocessed.
Information is passively registered, meaning we do not control what enters our sensory
Most of the information that enters our sensory memory is lost, but some is transferred
to our STM if we pay attention to it.
There are separate stores for different senses within the sensory memory.
Iconic store is for visual information.
Echoic store is for auditory information.…read more

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Baddeley, 1988:
Stated the iconic store of sensory memory allows us to see a continuous image and stops
our memories becoming overloaded.
Sperling, 1960:
Participants presented with charts of 3 rows of letters for 50 ms at a time, and then
immediately asked to recall as many letters as possible.
Participants were able to recall between 4 and 5 letters, however were aware of there
being more.…read more

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The STM and the LTM are different in terms of capacity, duration, encoding and
forgetting (see table below).
Store Capacity Duration Encoding Forgetting
STM 5-9 items Approx 18 secs Acoustic Displacement
LTM Unlimited Life Semantic Interference
Displacement is when items are pushed out of the STM by incoming items due to the
constraints of its capacity.
Interference is the confusion of information with other similar types of information in the
LTM.…read more

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Free Recall Task:
Participants are presented with a list of words and asked to recall as many as they can
from the list in any order.
This results in the serial position curve graph due to the primacy-recency effect.
The primacy effect occurs because words at the beginning of the list are rehearsed and
transferred to the LTM.
The recency effect occurs because words at the end of the list are still in the STM.…read more

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Neuropsychological evidence:
Clive Wearing
Milner's study of HM, 1966, an epilepsy sufferer who had surgery to relieve him of
epilepsy however the surgery also made his LTM defective.
Warrington's study of KF, 1970, a motorbike rider whose STM was impaired after a
motorbike accident so that he only had a recency effect of one item.
Studies of patients with Alzheimer's disease show they have low levels of the
acetylcholine neurotransmitter.…read more

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Capacity of STM
Jacob's experiment, 1887:
Digit span technique used to measure the capacity of the STM by presenting participants
with strings of digits and asking them to repeat them in the order of presentation (serial
recall). The number of digits was increased gradually until the participant could no longer
correctly recall the digits presented.
This showed the average number of items that can be held in the STM to be 7.…read more

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Factors affecting the capacity of the STM:
Influence of the LTM; Cowan, 2000, suggested that Miller's experiment was influenced
by the effects of the LTM, and the actual capacity of the STM was closer to 4 items.
Bower and Winzenz, 1969 also found that the more the digit spans were repeated, the
easier they became to recall.
Reading aloud; Baddeley, 1999, suggested tis is because the digits also enter the echoic
store, strengthening the memory trace.…read more


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