psychology - memory

  • Created by: Hamaz
  • Created on: 25-04-19 13:05

Structures of memory

  • 2 most important stores = brief temporary story (STM) & a permanent store (LTM)
  • STM has a limited capacity - it can only take in + process a small number of items
  • LTM = memories that have been well understood and practised. Has an unlimited amount of information
  • Types of LTM:
  • Episodic memory = memory for life events
  • Semantic memory = memory for facts
  • Procedural memory = memory for skills
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Processes in memory

  • Memory = an active process 
  • 3 key process: Encoding, storage & retrieval
  • Encoding = taking new information into memory (input process)
  • Storage  = process of maintaining information in temporary/permanent memory over time.
  • Retrieval = accessing the stored information when you need it. (Output process)
  • Ways information can be retrieved:
  • Recognition = the information is repeated and the person compares it to what is in their memory
  • Cued recall = the person gets a cue - a prompt/reminder of some kind.
  • Free recall = the person retrieves the infomation directly from memory
  • Memories are formed by repetition - it povides more chances for information to be encoded.
  • To build a new memory. the best way is to link the new item to what is understood already. 
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Multi store model of memory

  • The multi store model of memory (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968) proposed that these 2 stores are connected together via a process called rehearsal.
  • Sensory memory = a brief store, allowing sensations such as sounds and images to be retained for a moment
  • The multi store model states that this new sensory information can only be transferred from sensory to short - term memory if we pay attention to it.
  • The serial position curve (Murdock - 1962) - supports the msm 
  • Results found that words at the start of the list were better remembered than those in the middle = primacy effect
  • Words at the end were better remembered too = recency effect 
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Evaluating MSM

  • Strengths:
  • People suffering from brain damage display evidence that STM and LTM are separate stores when they lose one but not the other
  • Studies do seem to support it, for example Terry's Study seems to suggest the two stores are separate.
  • Weakness:
  • The theory ignores individual differences, not everybody's memory is the same. For example, some may have a larger STM capacity than others. The theory does not explain this.
  • The theory places too much emphasis on rehearsal for LTM, but some is remembered without rehearsal for example childhood memories
  • The theory is an over simplistic view of the complex memory system, some people argue that the STM has sub-systems to deal with sound and visual information separately.
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