Includes Memory, Multi-Store Model, Working Model, Cognitve Interviews and Memory Improvements

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Short Term & Long Term differ in three ways:

  • Duration
  • Capacity
  • Encoding  

Techniques to help recall:  Chunking, Verbal rehersal, Association

Lloyd & Margaret Peterson:

-Students given three unrelated letters followed by a three digit number

- Asked to count down from a number in 3s or 4s for around 3-18seconds

-Intervals: 90% remembered after 3s, 2% after 18seconds

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Studies of Memory

Jacobs 1887:

  • number recall 9.3 compared to letters 7.3

Miller 1956:

  • capacity of STM- immediate memory is 7 but more if information chunked together

Cowan 2001:

  • STM is limited. Only 4 chunks could be recalled
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Baddeley 1966

Studied the way the brain stored information in both STM and LTM

  • Found that LTM relied more on acoustically similiar whereas STM relies on semantically similiar or different.

Frost 1972:

  • Also found that LTM is related to visual codes

Wickens 1976:

  • found that some STM relies on semantic code
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Multi- Store Model: Sensory Store

Sensory Store:

  • Information collected by senses
  • information retained for brief period



Sperling 1960- participants saw a grid for 50milliseconds. 42% could only recall 5 items. Information decays rapidly. 

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Multi- Store Model: Short Term Memory

Short Term Memory:

  • Lasts for very short time and can decay if unrehersed
  • Limited capacity and duration



Petersons worked on techniques for measuring STM

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Multi- Store Model: Long Term Memory

Long Term Memory:

  • events that have happened in past
  • lasts anywhere from 2mins to 100years
  • Store has potentially unlimited capacity and duration


In America a psychologist used a yearbook to see how many names and faces people could remember, testing LTM

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Working Model of Memory: Central Executive

Central Executive:

  • directs attention to particular tasks
  • determines how resources are allocated to tasks
  • limited capacity- can't attend to too much at once
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Working Model of Memory: Phonological Loop

Phonological Loop:

  • Limited capacity
  • auditory information

Baddeley divided this into two groups:

The phonological store- holds words you hear

The Articulatory Process- for words heard or seen

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Working Model of Memory: Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad

Visuo-spatial Sketchpad:

  • Used when planning a spatial task
  • visual/spatial stored here temporarily
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Working Model of Memory: Episodic Buffer

Episodic Buffer:

  • General Store
  • Limited capacity
  • integrates information from phonological loop, visuo-spatial sketchpad, central executive and long term memory
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Working Model of Memory: Strengths

  • High amounts of evidence to support models
  • The Model helps to prove that memory is not just one activity
  • Emphasis on process rather than the MSM is more about structure
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Working Model of Memory: Weaknesses

  • The central executive is the same as 'attention'- too vague and doesn't explain much
  • key evidence comes from case studies from individuals who have suffered brain damage

- cannot make before or after comparison

- cannot show behaviour is caused by damage

- injury is traumatic and may change behaviour

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Eye Witness Testimony: Loftus and Palmer 1974

Interested in the ACCURACY of memory after witnessing an event

  • leading questions can distort eyewitness immediate recall
  • 45 students shown 7 films of accidents
  • Given questionnaires to describe accident and answer specific question
  • One critical question: How fast were the cars going when they 'blank' each other?
  • verbs like hit, smashed, collided e.t.c were used
  • mean speed group was calculated for each- 'smashed' highest at 40.8mph
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The Cognitve Interview

A police technique used to help memory recall by increasing the accessibility of stored information.

Fisher and Geiselmen 1992

  • Report Everything
  • Mental Reinstatement
  • Changing Order
  • Changing Perspective
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The Cognitve Interview: Research

Kohnken et al 1999- Meta-analysis of 53 studies had an increase of 34% of correct information using CI

Milne & Bull 2002- examined effectiveness for different componants

  • undergraduates and children used
  • recall similar across all componants but when report everything and mental reinstatement used together recall higher 
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The Cognitve Interview: Evaluation

Kebbell & Wagstaff 1996- police don't use all techniques

Memon et al 1994-

  • Greater demands on interviewer
  • quantity and quality of training CI interviewers becomes a critial issue
  • detectives only have brief training (4 hours)
  • meaning recall isn't that significally higher than standard interview
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The Cognitive Interview

Individual Differences- Mello and Fisher 1996

  • compared older (72) to younger (22) people's memory
  • used a filmed crime and interviewed using either SI or CI
  • CI produced more information than SI
  • CI greater advantage for older people

Real-World Applications- Stein and Memon 2006

  • tested CI in Brazil
  • used cleaning staff (women) for sample
  • watched film of abduction, CI increased the correct amount of information given
  • CI gave Brazil a new approach to interviewing to reduce miscarriages of justice
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