- theoretical explanation of memory in terms of ‘stores’. Developed by Atkinson & Shiffrin in 1968
- proposes that memory is split into three separate stores: Sensory, Short-term and Long-term memory, Each with different durations and capacities and linked as information must pass through each store to be remembered in the long term.
- First widely accepted models of memory and although now outdated it has lead to many new discoveries.
- One way to show the existence of different stores is to link STM and LTM to specific areas of the brain.
- Research has found that the prefrontal cortex is active when working on a STM task (Beardsley, 1997) whereas the hippocampus is involved when LTM is engaged (Squire et al,1992).
Para 1 - Sensory Memory
-Uses visual, audio and tactile encoding. - deals with environmental stimuli picked up by the five senses
. We do not remember unless out attention is focused on the stimuli = STM
Sperlin (1960) - duration of about 50 – 100 milliseconds - testing participant recall of grids of digits and letter shown presented at 50 millisconds.
recall of whole thing = 42%
One Row = 75%
Shows information decays rapidly in SM
Para 3 - STM
SM --> attention --> STM
‘fragile’ state and will decay if it isn’t relatively quickly Maintenance rehearsed.
Capacity and duration - very limited. Peterson & Peterson (1959) tested duration using consonant syllables followed by a thee digit number. found that P’s remember 90% when there was only a 3 second interval and about 2% when it was 18 seconds. T
further support - Miller (1956) tested capacity STM = 7 +/- 2 chunks.
Simon (1974) found that the size of the ‘chunk’ does affect memory – we remember short chunks rather than long ones.
Both studies provide support for the MSM as they show that there must be another ‘store’ capable of holding large amounts of information.
Para 4 - LTM
largest store in terms of capacity and duration = potentially unlimited.
Glanzer & Cunits Exp produced the ‘Primary effect’and the ‘Rececy effect’ - study shows that there are separate STM & LTM stores since the primary effect occurs as words at the beginning have been rehearsed and so have moved into the LTM whereas those at the end are in the STM.
high face validity BUT Severely outdated -
newer models of memory such as the working memory model and Levels of processing approach make much more clear distinction between each store and elaborate how memory is remember.
Oversimplified view of memory. - suggests that STM is just one store whereas research indicates otherwise as in Baddely & Hitch Working memory model which shows that STM is actually split into four separate parts
same goes for LTM which can also be dived up into 3 separate parts.
The MSM also cannot explain the phenomenon of ‘Flashbulb’ memories proposed by Brown & Kulik.