Working Memory

Working memory, the three stores involved, evidence to support and against it, and the evaluation of the model

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Working Memory Model

Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968

3 types of memory stores

1. Sensory - holds info briefly

2. STS - limited capacity

3. LTS - unlimited capacity for a long period of time

info - sensory - STS - LTS - rehearsal to keep in memory

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Sensory Store

Sperling, 1960

Visual array 3 rows of 4 letters for 50 mins. 

Pts could only report 4-5 letters but claimed to of seen more

Assumed that visal info had faded before it could be reported

Proved that info in iconic memory decays 0.5 secs


Miller, 1956 7 +/- 2

Chunking Cowan 2000 only able to chunk 4 chunks

Recency effect - Glanzer & Cunitz 1996 - count backwards for 10 secs to get rid

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Eval of Model


Over Simplified

STS & LTS not just single stores - more complex than that

rehearsal not always used in every day life

too much emphasis on structure and not on processes

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