Coding, Capacity and Duration of Memory

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  • Created on: 24-04-21 10:16

The Sensory Memory

It is an automatic processing system. Sensory stimuli elicit a response in the SM; it is the first store of memory.


Sensory information enter the SM to one of 5 different systems (depending on the type of info). If the information is attended to in the SM it will enter the STM; however, if it is not attended to, it will quickly decay and be forgotten.                                                                                                 The echoic store processes auditory information                                                                             The iconic store processes visual information                                                                                   The haptic store processes tactile information                                                                                 The gustatory store processes taste information                                                                              The olfactory store processes smell informations


The capacity of each sensory store is very large, with the information contained being in an unprocessed format. 


It seems as though all sensory memory stores have limited duration, but the actual duration varies between stores. Crowder found evidence that information will stay in the iconic store for a few milliseconds, but will be held in the echoic store for up to 3 seconds. 

The Short-Term Memory

The STM holds information from the SM. It is an active (changing) memory system, as it contains information that is currently being thought about. 


Study: Baddeley

Procedure: Participants were given one of four word lists. Acoustically similar words (eg. cat, cab) or dissimilar (eg. pit, few). Semantically similar words (eg. big, large) or dissimilar (good, hot). They had to rearrange the words into the correct order as they were in the wrong order. Findings & Conclusion: Immediate recall was the worst with acoustically similar words, as they confused


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