The working memory model


  • The fourt componants and what they do
  • The baddeley study to support
  • The hunt study to support
  • Supporting research
  • Evaluation
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The working memory model
The four different components:
Central executive
Visual-spatial sketchpad
Episodic Buffer
Phonological loop
Central executive
Controls the three slave systems as seen in the diagram above
Used for problem solving and decision making
Acts as an attention system, deciding which information the sense organs should attend to
Information can be briefly held in a slave system while new information is processed
Most important part of the system as it controls all the other systems
Very flexible as it can process information from any of the senses: modality free
Supporting research: Hunt 1980
Aim To investigate evidence for limited capacity
Method This was a repeated measures design. PPS performance a psychomotor tasks ­
gliding a lever between two posts with only the use of thumb and index finger ­
and at the same time completed an intelligence test consisting of spatial patterns.
Results Hunt interpreted the deterioration in performance as evidence that both tasks
were making use of the same central processor and both were competing for the
same limited capacity available.
Conclusion Performance would be better if two sub-systems were used instead of the same
Evaluation The experiment requires PP to perform two concurrent tasks that are not likely to
take place together in the real world and therefore it can be said to lack
ecological validity. Furthermore, it is implied that the two tasks are using the one
central component, but could it be that the visual-spatial scratch pad is in use?

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Episodic buffer
The three components of the working memory have recently been revised and a fourth
component, the episodic buffer has been added. It was considered necessary to add this fourth
component because a number of problems were beginning to emerge with the original model:
The three component model had difficulty explaining the interaction between there working
memory and the long term memory.…read more

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In addition, the phonological loop is proving to be a
good predictor of the ability of children to learn a second language.
Visual spatial sketchpad
Deals with visual and spatial information
Represents information in the form if its visual features
Evidence that the visual spatial sketchpad and phonological loop
are separate:
Baddeley at al showed that when two tasks of the same subsystem were performed performance
was poorer than when two tasks of different subsystems were performed.…read more


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