Multi-Store Model Notes

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Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968)
Information enters the sensory store
If you pay attention to it, it is then transferred to the STM where it can remain for up
to 20 seconds.
If the information is rehearsed during this time, it can be transferred to the LTM.
Forgetting can happen by decay, displacement, retrieval failure and interference
Describe the key features of the multistore model of memory (6 marks)
The multistore model was created by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968). It states that there are
three parts to memory: sensory memory, shortterm memory and longterm memory.
Sensory memory receives information from all five senses, but only stores this information
for a very brief period of time. If attention is paid to the information, it is transferred to the
shortterm memory, which according to Miller (1977) can store about seven items.
However, the shortterm memory can only store information for about 18 seconds, so for
information to be stored longer it needs to be transferred to the longterm memory. For this
to happen the information has to be rehearsed. When information is recalled out of the
longterm memory into the shortterm memory it is called retrieval this explains how we are
able to recall information from a long time ago.
Clive Wearing
Was a highly educated and talented musician and broadcaster
After contracting a viral infection he was left with extensive brain damage
Clive now suffers from particularly profound amnesia
He can still talk, read, write and play music, but cannot form new memories
This tells us that there must be separate memory stores as the model suggests
Brain Scans
(Beardlsey 1997)
Prefrontal cortex is more active when completing a task that uses the STM
(Squire et al 1992)
The hippocampus is active when the long term memory is engaged
Glanzer and Cunitz `Serial Position Effect'
Shows the impact that rehearsal can have on the transfer of information between the short
term memory and long term memory
Primacy effect (we remember the words at the start of a list) occurs as you have
transferred these words on to LTM as you have been able to rehearse these

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Recency effect (we remember the words at the end of the list) occurs because these
words are already in the STM when you start recalling
Words in the middle have been displaced by the new words which is why you struggle to
recall them
This supports this model because it provides evidence for the importance of rehearsal for
information to be passed between stores
Problems with the multistore model
Memory is much more complex
Case study:
KF suffered brain damage and could…read more


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