- Concerned with problem solving and decision making.
- It is flexible as it processes information from any mode.
- It controls attention but has very limited storage and capacity.
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- Processes and temporarily stores visual and spatial information.
- Logie (1995) suggests it has 2 parts, one for visuo-cache (store) and one inner scribe for spatial relations.
- It manipulates mental images but has limited capacity which is separate from other memory processes.
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- Processes and stores a limited number of speech-based sounds for brief periods.
- Contains the phonological store - holds the words you hear.
- Contains the articulatory control process - subvocal repetition of words.
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- Integrates and manipulates material in working memory.
- Maintains sense of time sequencing.
- Limited capacity but binds or chunks information.
- Integrates information from long term memory to meet requirements of working memory.
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Evaluation - Dual task performance
- When processing information from two tasks using the same area of memory, participants perform poorly.
- Robbins et al. studies the role of the CE in remembering chess positions.
- Using a repeated design, participants generated random letter sequences (CE used) or completed an articulatory suppression task (PL used) whilst memorising chess positions.
- The articulatory suppression group performed better.
- Thus, when two tasks require the use of one system (CE for memorising and letter generation) performance is impaired demonstrating that there are separate systems in STM.
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Evaluation - Word-length effect
- The PL explains the fact that people cope better with short words than longer ones.
- The PL holds the amount of information you can say in 2 seconds (Baddeley et al. 1975).
- Therefore, this makes it harder to remember long words - they can't be rehearsed as they don't fit.
- However, the effect disappears when participants are given an articulatory suppression task. This task ties up the articulatory process and mean you can't rehearse shorter words quicker than longer ones so the effect disappears. This provides evidence for the articulatory process.
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Evidence for Episodic Buffer
- Baddeley et al. (1987)
- Participants were shown words and asked to immediately recall them.
- Recall was much better for sentences (related words) than unrelated words.
- This supports the idea of a general memory store which draws on the long term memory.
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Evaluation - KF case study
- In the 1970s, KF was involved in a motorcycle accident which resulted in brain damage.
- His STM was damaged (he had a digit span of 1) but his LTM was normal.
- He remembered words better if presented visually as opposed to auditorally.
- This supports the idea of separate processing systems within working memory.
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Evaluation - Problems with the Central Executive
- Richardson (1984) argued it is vague, not described well, and its function isn't clear.
- It fails to explain anything significant and is probably more complex than Baddeley and Hitch give it credit for.
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Evaluation - Comparison to Multi-Store Model
- The Working Memory Model provides evidence for different stores to STM memory, unlike the Multi-Store Model.
- However, the Working Memory Model does not incorporate LTM and is just focussed on working memory meaning it is not clear how working memory interacts with LTM.
- On the other hand, the Multi-Store Model incorporates LTM, demonstrating the relationship between STM and LTM.
- Neither the Working Memory Model or the Multi-Store Model provide evidence for multiple stores to the LTM, despite different types of memory existing such as procedural and episodic.
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