Memory is the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information.
Memory processes include:
- Encoding (Acoustic, Visual and Semantic)
The mental capacity or faculty of retaining and retrieving facts, events, impressions etc. or of recalling and recognising previous experiences
Multi-Store Memory Model (MSM)
- Devised by Atkinson and Shiffrin in 1968
It is the first cognitive explanation of memory. It explains how information flows through a series of storage systems, with three permanent structures in memory: sensory register, STM + LTM. Within each stage there are different ways in which the information is coded, its capacity and its duration.
Environmental Stimuli - Sensory Register - Attention - STM - Maintenance Rehearsal - LTM
- Supported by studies of patients with amnesia bc patients either lose STM or LTM not both
- Brain scans support the idea of separate LTM and STM stores
- It's too simple - it doesn't have detail about different components of STM and LTM & doesn't focus enough on the processes
Working Memory Model
WMM is a detailed expansion of the MSM. It was formed by Baddeley and Hitch in 1974 as they believed that STM was not just one store but several different stores. This belief was due to the idea of dual task performance. Four components: Central Executive, Phonological Loop, Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad and Episodic Buffer
Retrieves information from LTM and sets it up in STM. Coordinates information processing. Monitors tasks and controls slave systems. Switches attention from PL to VSS according to task.
Passive and Active sub-areas. Uses repetition in articulartory loop. Stores and processes sound based information.
Manipulates, stores, and processes visual information. Passive and Active sub-areas.
Serves as a temporary store of integrated information from CE, PL and VSS.
Working Memory Model cont.
- Is detailed and explains why certain things happen or how certain processes work
- Supported by experimental evidence
- Applies to real-life tasks
- It is unclear exactly what the CE is bc it is very difficult to study and investigate in depth
- Some argue that evidence from brain damaged patients is not totally reliable
Capacity and Duration
Capacity is how much information can be stored.
STM has a limited capacity - only a small amount of information can be held in the store at one time. Research suggests approx. 5-9 items can be held in STM.
LTM has an unlimited capacity.
Duration is how long information can be stored for.
STM has a limited duration - the amount of time information remains within STM without being lost approx. maximum of 30 seconds.
The duration of LTM depends on an individual's lifespan. Items in LTM have a longer duration if orignally well coded and certain LTMs have a longer duration such as those based on skills rather than facts.
Types of LTM
Episodic memory is responsible for storing information about events that we have experienced in our lives. It involves conscious thought and is declarative. Example: First day of school.
Semantic memory is responsible for storing information about the world - this includes knowledge about the meaning of words as well as general knowledge. It involves conscious thought and is declarative. Example: London is the capital of England.
Procedural memory is responsible for knowing how to do things i.e. memory of motor skills. It does not involve conscious thought and is not declarative. Example: knowing how to ride a bicycle.
Explanations for forgetting: Interference
Interference occurs when two pieces of information conflict with each other, resulting in forgetting of one or both.
Any forgetting of LTMs is not because the memories are not there but because we can't access them.
Proactive Interference occurs when an older memory interferes with a new one.
Retroactive Interference occurs when a new memory interferes with an old one.
Interference is worse when the memories or learning are similar. (McGeoch and McDonald - 1931)
Explanations for forgetting: Retrieval Failure
Retrieval failure occur when we don't have the necessary cues to access a memory/memories. the memory is available but not accessible unless a suitable cue is provided.
Context-dependent forgetting is the theory that your memory recall accuracy depends on the environment you learnt the information in and the environment in which you then recall the information. Research suggests that accuracy is higher when you learn and recall the information in the same place/environment compared to when you learn and recall the information in different places/environments.
State-dependent forgetting is the theory that your memory recall accuracy depends on the internal physiological and psychological state that you learnt the information in and the internal physiological and psychological state that you recall the information in. Research suggests that accuracy is higher when you learn and recall the information in the same internal state compared to when you learn and recall the information when in a different internal state.