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Short Term Memory

Stores information for short periods of time


It i encoded mainly via acoustic encoding



Can last for less then 30 seconds

Peterson and Peterson


7 +/- 2 digits

Miller - Miller's magic number 7


Influence of LTM - if series of digits repeated it is easier to recall.

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Long Term Memory

LTM is a permanent store of information.


Encoded mainly by semantic



Can last a lifetime



Said to be unlimited byt it is impossible to measure.

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Multi-Store model

Atkinson and Shiffrin proposed it was divided into three stores. the sensory memory, short term memory (STM) and long term memory (LTM)

1) Information first enters the sensory memory where it can be registered before decay or being passed into the STM store. Information is encoded acoustically.

2) Atkinson and Shiffrin believe that if the information is not rehearsed within 30 seconds then it will be lost

3) Material that is rehersed is passed onto the LTM store where it can remain for a lifetime.

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The Working Memory Model

Badderley and Hitch suggest that the memory system is divided into separate components

The central executive - Co-ordinates the operation of the other two slave systems, the central executive has a limited capacity

The phonological loop - deals with auditory information. it is called a loop because the information goes round in a loop. They divided it into the phonological store and the articulatory process

The visuo-spactual sketchpad - holds the visual and spatial information.

Evidence in favour or the working memory model.

Studies of individuals with brain damage support the working memory model


Has been extremely influential and most cognitive psychologists prefer to use the working memory model in preference to the STM

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Stregnths/Weaknesses of the multi-store model


The multi-store model has made an important contribution to memory research. Most modern researchers would agree that there is a distinction between STM and LTM

There is much information in support of the multi-store model


It is too simplistic to explain the whole memory system. It fails to take into account the stratagies oeioke use to remember things.

The memory may not be a sequentional flow of information as Atkinson and Shriffrin suggest.

Sometimes we remember something without rehearsal such as flashbulb memories

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