Psychology Memory Outline

Outline of memory that I used in my exam last year and got an A overall! Hope this helps :) Do extra revsion as well. Good luck!

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23rd February 2010 Psychology
The MSM was proposed by Atkinson ad Shriffin in 1968. It is a structural model that identifies three
stores and explains how information is transferred between them. Information first enters through the
sensory memory via the environment it is then transferred to the shortterm memory where
it is held for a short period of time. After continued rehearsal it is transferred into the longterm
memory store.
Sensory memory Information enters this store from the environment where it is held for a very
brief period of time. The stimulus is stored here where it is either decayed or passed on to
the STM store. There are three different parts of the sensory memory:
Iconic: The things that can be seen
Echoic: The things we hear
Haptic: The things that can be touched or felt
The iconic store was researched by Baddeley who said that the visual/iconic store was important
because it provides us with smooth consistent image rather than one that appears jumbled.
Research study
Sperling (1960)
The participants were shown a chart with three throws of letters for 50 milliseconds. After the
display was presented they were asked to recall as many letters as they could. They were able to
recall an average of 4 letters out of a possible 12. This suggests that the information in their
iconic memory decays quickly after the presentation. This proves that the sensory memory store
holds information for a very brief period of time (very limited duration).
Methodological issues
Laboratory experiment so it is reliable as there is a high level of control.
Lacks validity because the stimuli were artificial.
Ethical issues
Researcher must gain informed consent and debrief participants.
Shortterm memory This storage system has a very limited capacity, as in it cannot hold
very large amounts of information. Eg, if you are listening to a message on the answering machine
you probably wouldn't be able to remember the whole 11 digits because the later ones are replacing
the earlier ones (displacement) Information in the STM is maintained by rehearsal, where the
information has to be repeated so that it can be reinserted in the STM loop.
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February 2010 Psychology
Research study : Capacity
Miller (1956)
The digit span technique by Jacob (1887) coincides with Miller's study in 1956. Miller suggested
that the span of the STM is limited by the chunks of information that we can remember rather
than the individual letters. Miller found that the amount of chunks that could be remembered
was 7 2.
Since STM is a temporary store it has limited duration whereby it only holds information for a brief
period of time.…read more

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February 2010 Psychology
Research study : Encoding
Conrad (1964)
Conrad showed his participants a range of different words on a screen one group of acoustically
similar word and one of acoustically different words. After the presentation they were asked to
immediately recall the letters they had seen. Conrad found that participants made more
mistakes when recalling acoustically similar words and concluded that visual material is
converted into an acoustic code in the STM.
Longterm memory This is a permanent storage system that has unlimited capacity.…read more

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February 2010 Psychology
Presents a passive view of memory.
Baddeley and Hitch (1974) suggested that short term memory has three separate components. They
used the dual task method to test if their hypothesis was correct. During this dual task method, the
participants were asked to carry out a primary task whilst also engaging in a secondary task.…read more

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February 2010 Psychology
Research study
Baddeley, Grant, Wight and Thomson (1973)
Participants had to follow a spot of light whilst carrying out a visual imagery task with a block
capital letter. This proved difficult for the participants, because both tasks were competing for the
same resources. It would have been much easier if one of the tasks were visual and the other
The WMM has proven to be very influential in cognitive psychology.…read more

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February 2010 Psychology
The main techniques used in cognitive interview are:
Context reinstatement (CR) Individual visualises the entire event, recalling what happened,
the scenery and thoughts and feeling.
Report everything (RE) Reporting every detail even if it seems irrelevant.
Recall from changed perspective Imagining how the event would look from another persons
Recall in reverse order Event s are recalled in different orders which could create new cues.…read more


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