info about memory

  • Created by: Ergeta
  • Created on: 22-04-09 10:30


Describes memory in terms of three parts: Short-term sensory store, short-term memory and long-term memory.


  • Information enters throught the senses and the store is modality specific.
  • Haber & Haber(1964)-Children with photographic/eidetic memories. More detailed recall as imagine could be visualised even after it had been removed.
  • Sperling-Iconic store:Duration=0.5secs. Capacity=12. Echoic store:Duration=2secs. Localisation.
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Short-term memory

  • Memory that we are consciously aware of.
  • Duration= approx 18secs without rehearsal.
  • Interference prevents transfer into LTM.
  • Small capacity-becomes full. Chuncking=efficient.
  • Conrad(1964)-acoustic encoding in STM but transfer from STSS to STM has different encoding.
  • Info in STM transferred into LTM through rehearsal.
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Long-term memory

  • Linton(1975) and Huang(1997)-research showed that LTM stores huge amounts of info even when stored a long time ago. Info can be recalled decades later even though deatils are lost at first.
  • Encoding-semantically
  • Linton(1975)-diary based investigation demonstrated that many items could be recalled up to seven years later using only cue cards=LTM has massive capacity.
  • Bahrick & Schmidt-Huge amounts of info can be remembered even though details are lost at first.
  • Baddeley-Semantically and acoustically similar words. Recall had errors with semantically similar words=LTM encodes using semantic code.
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MSM is supported by strong evidence which suggest there are 3 types of memory.

  • Sperling-supports existence of STSS as it shows the capacity and duration.
  • Peterson & Peterson-supported theory of STM.
  • Case studies support existence of LTM-Brain damaged patients can recall old info but not store new info.
  • All evidence carried out in controlled lab setting=control of confounding variables.
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Reductionist as it reduces complex memory structures to three unitary stores.

  • Shallice & Warington(1970)-case study of brain damaged patient KF who was unable to store visual information but not verbal.
  • MSM-STM has acoustic encoding. Evidence shows STM is more than unitary store.

Research has been carried out in an artificial lab setting.

  • Sperling used unusual memory tasks unlike how memory is used daily.
  • Research therefore lacks external validity.
  • Sample from different age groups and people with above average intelligence=findings cannot be generalised to whole population.
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