Psychology - Cognitive Psychology

Theories based on information processing systems are called MODELS

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  • Created by: Lou
  • Created on: 11-12-11 14:12

The Atkinson and Shiffrin Model - 1968

Multi Store Model

  • They suggested that memory is a process
  • That the information we learn passes through a number of stores during the journey from short term memory to long term memory.



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Sensory Memory. Sperling - 1960

Evidence for Sensory Memory

Sperling flashed 12 letters onto a screen for a second and on average people could remember 4/5 of these. When Sperling associated a certain sound with a certain row people could recall 3 from the appropriate row. 

This suggests that the participants actually saw 9-10 of the potential 12 but image faded from sensory memory before the recall could take place

Positive - in laboratory so highly controlled

Negative - artificial

No ethical issues 

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Three Separate Sensory Stores

Atkinson and Shiffrin proposed three separate sensory stores. 

  • Iconic store for visual input
  • Echoic store for auditory input 
  • Haptic store for tactile input 

(tactile -what you feel)

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Iconic Store


  • Items remain in the sensory memory for very short amounts of time (2 seconds)
  • The information in the sensory memory is in an unprocessed form
  • Information is passively registered in our sensory memory 
  • There are sensory stores for different senses
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Short term and Long term memory

Short term memory

Capacity - very limited (approximately 7 items)

Duration - very limited

Encoding - mainly acoustic

Forgetting - mainly displacement

Long term memory 

Capacity - unlimited

Duration - unlimited (up to a life time) 

Encoding - mainly semantic (meaning)

Forgetting - mainly interference

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