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  • Created on: 13-05-11 09:41




Memory -

'A store for mental representations of events, images, ideas and information after the original stimuli are no longer present.'

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Three processes involved in memory...

ENCODING - this is the transfer of information from a sensory form into a form which can be processed. Encoding can be either:

-Visual (seeing things)*

-Acoustic (sound)*

-Semantic (meaning, most effective!)*

*Each is necessary for the other to occur...*

STORAGE - the process of retaining or holding information in our memory, untill it is required.

RETRIEVAL - the process of locating information that has been stored, and extracting it from the memory, so that we are then aware of this information.

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GLAZER AND CUNITZ... key study. serial positioning curve.


The study investigated peoples memory of 20 words in a list...

The study found people recalled more words at the beginning of the list (primary effect) and at the end of the list (recency effect) than the words in the middle.

Glazer and Cunitz called the curve that the results made the 'SERIAL POSITIONING CURVE.'

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Atkinson and Schiffrin 1968

Sensory Store -----STM ----- LTM.

when we give info attention it moves from the sensory store to the STM...

by going over this info we remember it (rehursal)...

if we rehurse it for long enough it goes to our LTM, but if it doesn't get rehursal then we don't remember it, and it decays.

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Characteristics of stores (multi-store model of me

SENSORY STORE: visual and acoustic encoding.

limitless capacity.

duration - visual 1 sec, acoustic 4 secs.

STM: Conrad - acoustic encoding,

 Miller - capacity is 7+/-2,

Peterson and Peterson - duration is 30secs or less.

LTM: Baddeley - semantic encoding.

Merkle - capacity is 1000gb.

Bahrick et al - duration of semantic coding is a life time/forever.

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QUESTION... Outline the multistore model of memory (6marks)

Model answer:

The multistore model of memory was proposed by Atkison and Shiffrin. It involves three seperate stores, the sensory store, short term memory and long term memory. The model is essentially flowing information, although the flow depends on the process of attention and rehursal. The sensory store is constantly bombarded with sensory information which will remain for up to one second if it is iconic or four seconds if it is acoustic, before being lost forever. If this information is attended to then it will pass into STM, a temporary store with a capacity of 7+/-2 chunks of information. Here information is encoded acoustically. Without rehursal, information will only stay in STM for up to 30 seconds (peterson and peterson). However, according to the MSM if information is rehursed over and over again it will eventually pass to the LTM where information can potentially stay forever (Bahrick et al). The capacity of our LTM according to Merkle is around 1000gb.

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Reserach to support Atkinson and Shiffrin's MSM. :)


1 grid of numbers. 2. 2nd time played high/med/low pitch sound to indicate which line to write down. 1=participants recorded 4-5 numbers. 2=participants could usually recall whole line. ----> capacity of sensory store must be large, as seemed to store all info in 2, but in 1 was lost before could be written down.

Miller -

investigated capactiy of STM. Used meta-analysis of lots of lab experiments investigating capactiy of STM, then worked out participants average recall. Participants tended to recall 5-6 chunks of info accurately. ---> supports 7+/-2.

....more on next slide....

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...continued. MSM.

Bahrick et al -

investigated duration of LTM. 400 ex high school participants, various ages. Asked to recall classmates names, then shown a pic of classmates to identify them. After 34 years able to remember 90% of classmates names. Some could recall as long as 57years. Could remember all names when prompted with pic.    ---> duration of LTM does not appear limited.

Peterson and Peterson -

investigated the duration of STM. Lab study. (low ecological vailidity) Trigrams showwn (e.g BMV) and asked to recall it after 3,9,12 or 18 seconds. In between presentation and recall were given a distractor task. Aftter 3 secs 80%recalled, after 18secs less than 2%recalled! ---->the duration of STM is no longer than 20 secs.

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:) MSM was first and most influential model of memory

:) distinction between stores is supported by research suggesting they differ in terms of encoding, capacity, duration.

:) model can explain the serial positioning curve effect.

:( MSM is simplistic. - it is now known there are a number of stores within LTM.

:( STM is not one simple store. we know this because it is possible for people to do two things at once. (which should not be possible in a simple store with limited capacity)

:( cannot explain why we forget things we rehurse things over and over and remember things that we haven't rehursed.

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Differences between MSM and WMM:

MSM = sensory store, LTM and STM. Says STM is a passive store where info simply rests breifly before being put into LTM or is lost.

WMM = only focuses on STM. You have to do something with the info to remember it, active process rather than passive like the MSM says.

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WORKING MEMORY MODEL (WMM) - Baddeley and Hitch 1974.


CENTRAL EXECUTIVE (in control, directs attention to the most important info)

2 slave systems:

PHONOLOGICAL LOOP ( can hold the amount of info you say in 2secs. Auditory store, processing and rehursing sound based info to prevent decay) 2 parts - phonological store - holds the words you hear, and the articulatory loop which is the verbal rehursal system.

VISUO-SPATIAL SKETCHPAD (deals with information by visually storing it)

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Key study - Gathercole and Braddeley.  (WMM)

 AIM - To investigate duel task performance and the existance of the visuo-spatial sketchpad.

PROCEDURE - Participants were given a visual tracking task. (tracking the movement of light) At the same time they were asked to either 1) Describle all angles of the letter F. 2) To perfrom a verbal task. 

FINDINGS - Participants found task 1 difficult. Where as they were able to track light AND do the verbal task 2.

CONCLUSIONS - Using the same components (slave systems) is difficult, where as using 2 different components is easier.

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:) Evidence from Baddeley and Hitch, Gathercole and Braddeley...

:) Evidence that STM is made up of several components from MRI scans.

:) Evidence from AMNESICS that STM is made up of several components.

:) Explains how we are able to complete two tasks at once (Baddeley and Hitch)

:( Concept of central executive is very vague.

:( Berz - model fails to take into account musical memory, because we can listen to instrumental music without impairing our performance on other acoustic tasks.

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Strategies for memory improvement.(MNEMONIC TECHNIQUES)

Verbal. Focusing on words.                                                                             Acronym: words or sentences formed from the initial letters of other words.

Acrostic: a poem or sentence which the first letter in ach line or word forms the word to be remembered.

Rhymes: group of words with an identity and rhyme. e.g tune of twinkle to remember alphabet.

Chunking: dividing long strands of information into memorable chunks.

Visual. Using imagrey.                                                                                    Method of loci: place objects in a room of your house and visualise it.

Pictures of words: triggers recall of words.

Mind maps: makes words distinctive.

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Understanding and organisation.      

Categorising words: putting words into categories, making the category the trigger.

Creating stories: this gives the words meaning.

Non-Memory Strategies.

Context reinstatement: mentally/physcially recreating the environment in which you learnt the original material.

State of mind: keeping your emotional state the same when you recall it as when you learn it.

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