Psychology Memory

Including :
Characteristics of Memory.
The multi-store model and the working memory model.

HideShow resource information

Charactersitics of Memory.

This Means Capacity, Duration and Encoding.
Capacity: is how much The memory can hold in terms of ITEMS.

The short Term Memory is considered to hold 5 to 9 items ( meaningful pieces of information) , This amount can be incresed by CHUNKING! - (Jacobs).
Long Term memory is impossible to quantify and likely there is no upper limit.

Duration: is how long you can store the information learned.

Short Term Memory can last for about 20 seconds, (rehearsing can extend this time limit) - (Brown-Peterson).
Long Term Memory can last for up to a lifetime (people are better at recognition than actuall recall) - (Bahrick).

Encoding: How the information is stored in the memory (Baddeley).
ACOUSTIC is sounding similar ( Beg, Peg, Meg, Leg). STM mostly uses this.
SEMANTIC is Meaning the same ( Big, massive, Huge, Large). LTM mostly uses this.

1 of 7

Multi-Store Model (Serial Position Curve).

Evidence In Support: A key feature of the MSM is that STM and LTM are viewed as two separate systems... supported by ...

The Serial Postion Curve!
Words like Floor, America,carpet and laugh were read out for participants to recall.

The x-axis is for the word eg. first word to the last.
The y-axis is for the probability it would be recalled.

The first section and last section of words were recalled most frequently, this is because the long term memory encodes the words at the start of the list. The store cannot be overloaded so the middle section of words suffer from being forgotten and the last section of words are recalled from the short term memory haveing just been encoded.

2 of 7

Multi-Store Model (Atkinson and Shriffin) 1968

The MSM is an explanation of how memory processes work, based on the idea that there are three separate stores. Sensory Memory, Short Term Memory and Long Term Memory.

SM : is equivelent to any of your senses (eye sight or ear) and only last a split second then fades.(Visual, Acoustic and sense(modality) specific - holding information in the sense it recieves it).
It is attention on this stimulus that transfers it to Short Term Memory.

STM : information in here lasts up to 20 seconds before fading ... UNLESS... its rehearsed and therefore the information is maintained. Then if the information is Rehearsed further, (more rehearsal, the better it's remembered) it then transfers into the ...Long Term Memory.

LTM : is potentially unlimited in capactiy and duration. It has primarily semantic encoding and lasting memory is creted by rehearsal.

3 of 7

Strengths and Limitations of MSM.

It provides an account of memory in terms of structures (3 stores) and processes (Attention and rehearsal).

Research Evidence In Support.
Serial Postion Curve.
Brain Damaged Patients.
Coding is different (Baddeley study).

-Model is simplistic as memory is way more interactive!
-Too much focus on the amount of information, not quality.
-STM is seen as a unitary store and there is likely to be more than just one store for all of it. See Working Memory Model.
-Different Types of rehearsal, Maintainance Rehearsal where it retains in the STM and Elaborate Rehearsal where it then transfers to LTM.

4 of 7

The Working Memory Model.

It's All About The STM.
It explains that there are several functions of the STM!

Central Executive.
the Systems communicate through this. It Acts as attention and has limited capacity. It also allocates rescources to slave systems.
Phonological Loop.
deals with Auditory information! It has two stores that preserve order.
Phonological Store holds words we are about to speak.
Articulatory Process acts as a rehearsal loop (inner voice).
Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad.
deals with visual and spatial information eg. describing the windows in your house.
Episodic Buffer.
temporary storage system, recieving input from many sources. It then stores temporarily and intergrates it in order to construct a mental episode of what is being experienced right now.

5 of 7

Evaluating the Working Memory Model.(Strength's)


(Baddeley 75)
basically participants couldn't do two tasks in the same slave system (holding a pointer and imagining the angles in a block letter 'F'. However they could do a visual and verba task at one time. Suggesting two DIFFERENT slave systems can be used at once, but the SAME system cannot due to overload.

Word Length Effect
give people lonbg and short words to learn, the will remeber more short words because ...
Using the Articulatory process ( in the Phonological loop), shorter words are quicker to pronouciation time, therefore more easily rehearsed.

Articulatory Supression
uses the Phonological Loop, so to remember words , you have to do it another way. People remember no difference and the Word Length Effect Disappears.

It explains everday observations of how memory works and has practical applications!

6 of 7

Evaluating the Working Memory Model.(Limitations)


The role of the central executive is not specified! - We're told it allocates attention... but not how! It may be that there are a number of Central Executives?

Also ...

It doesn't explain how it interacts with Long Term Memory. It clearly draws information from LTM but doesn't explain the process.

7 of 7


Laura Dunkling


They are brilliant! They give emphasis on the key points! Thankyou for these :)

Robyn Welford


No problem :) and yeahh i like to be thorough :D

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Memory resources »