Alternatives to the MSM:

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Introduction:

  • Emphasises active processing, essentially a model of STM. 4 components: The Central Executive: limited storage capacity and can store information briefly. Visuo-spatial scracthpad deals with visual and spatial memory (inner eye) e.g. size, shape & colour. Also, the phonological loop - made up of 2 components: phonological store - inner ear. & the articulatory store - inner voice. Finally, the episodic bugger - essentially the general store - integrates info from the central executive and LTM.
  • Baddeley et al (1973) found that participants found it difficult to complete a visual tracking task as well as an imagery task at the same time but could carry out the visual tracking task. Suggests that the tracking & verbal task didn't use the same resource - Supports the idea of 2 seperate units of STM.
  • KF had an impaired memory for verbal information but not for visual information or meaningful sounds. Can be explained in terms of damage to the phonological loop only.
  • Case study of KF & the findings of research using the dual task method cannot be explained by the MSM. Evidence also comes from PET scans which shows that there is activity in different parts of the brain corresponding with the four different systems in the working memory model.
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Levels of Processing Model:

  • Craik & Lockhart (1972) - gave participants a list of nouns and asked 1 question out of 3 to one of the 3 different groups about each word. Questions required them to either: analyse the physical structure of the word, analyse the sound, or semantically analyse it.
  • Participants remembered most words if they had been asked question 3 and least for Q1 - Suggests that the lowest levels of processing involved analysing the physical & sensory features of that information, high levels of processing involved semantic processing. The higher the level, the more memorable the info becomes.
  • Suggests that there is more to memory than just depth of processing. Alternatives to the working memory model attempt to explain the processing of information in memory, which the MSM largely ignores.
  • Similarly, the model proposes that rehearsal plays a relatively small part in memory which is also in line with everyday accounts of memory.
  • Defining what is meant by deep processing is difficult. It's been suggested that it can mean that the info is being organised or requires elaboration or more effort.
  • However, Morris et al conducted a similar experiment but this time, they were asked to recall the words that rhymed with the words on the list, this time the words had been phonetically processes were best remembered.
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Conclusion:

  • Like the working memory model, it attempts to explain the processing of information in memory, which the MSM largely ignores. Similarly, the model proposes that rehearsal plays a relatively small part in memory which is also in line with everyday accounts of memory.
  • Defining and operationalising what is meant by "deep processing" is difficult - been suggested that deep processing can mean that the info has been organised, is distinctive or required elaboration.
  • A major problem with the model is that the definition of deep processing is circular: something is remembered if it is deeply processed, deep processing leads to a better memory.
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