AQA Memory



Definition: the mental process involving the retrieval and storage of information from the short and long term memory.

Multi-Store Model:

·         Developed by Atkinson and Shiffrin

·         A key principle is that rehearsal must be done to pass information from one store to another

·         Attention must be paid to transfer information from the sensory memory to the short term memory

·         Information must pass through all three stages to be remembered

·         There’s limitations in capacity and duration at each stage


·         Murdock-Serial position effect-gave participants a list of words to learn and were then asked to free recall them. The recenecy effect was established whereby words at the end of the list were recalled due to being stored in short term memory and the primacy effect was also established whereby words at the beginning of the list were remembered due being rehearsed and being transferred to the long term memory.

·         Glanzer and Cunitz developed Murdock’s work by adding in a time delay so that rehearsal was prevented. They found that words at the end of the list weren’t remembered as they weren’t rehearsed, however the primacy effect was unchanged.

·         Shallice and Warrington looked at the case study of KF who suffered from a motor cycle accident causing damage to his left hemisphere. His LTM was unaffected but his STM memory was drastically reduced in terms of capacity. Usually the STM can retain 5-7 units of information but this was reduced to 1-2.

·         Milner studied case study of HM who suffered from epilepsy and went for surgery to have his hippocampus removed. The surgery went successfully and his epilepsy was gone, however, his memory was severely impaired afterwards. His STM memory was fine but his LTM was unable to accept new information from the STM.


ü  Lots of evidence to support the idea of 3 distinct stores

ü  Established a paradigm for future research to be based on

-        It’s over simplified and inflexible because in real life there’s no clear distinction

-        Focuses too much on the impact of rehearsal as something may be remembered if it was funny or relevant

-        Too descriptive of the stores and ignores the importance of the processes causing this to be reductionist and not looking at the bigger picture. A more comprehensive model is needed to reflect the principles of the cognitive approach

-        All research is lab based which reduces ecological validity as the findings can’t be generalised to real life, for example, in real life people deal with more than 7 units of information at one time.



Working Memory Model:

·         Developed by Baddeley and Hitch and focuses on the STM

·         It’s key features include:

o   Central executive-control centre that deals with cognitive demands

o   Phonological Loop-Deals with auditory information and helps with language acquisition

o   Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad- deals with


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