Memory: Theories, Studies, Case Studies and Key Terms

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  • Created by: joe
  • Created on: 31-03-13 13:03

Key Terms

Memory: the mental process of registering, storing and retrieving information

Capacity: the amount of information the can be stored in memory at any particular time

Duration: the length of time that information can be kept in memory

Encoding: changing sensory in formation into a for or code to be processed by the memory system

STM: a limited capacity system for storing information for short periods of time

LTM: an unlimited capacity system for storing information for long periods of time

Multi-store model of memory: an explanation of memory as a flow of information through a series of stages in a fixed memory sequence. The best known model is by Atkinson and Shiffrin.

Working memory: a model of memory formulated by Baddeley and Hitch to replace the concept of short-term memory. It proposes a multi-component, flexible system concerned with active processing and storage of short term memory.

Clive Wearing

After a herpes simplex virus attacked his hippocampus he could no longer remember more than around 30 seconds worth of information. The only person he remembers is his wife and not his kids. He can however remember how to read and write, and can still sight-read music and play quite complex piano pieces.

Capacity of STM: Baddeley et al (1975)

Aim: to see whether people could remember more short words than long words in a serial recall test, and so to demonstrate that pronunciation time, rather than number of items to be recalled, determines the capacity of the STM.


  • the reading speed of the ppt's was measured
  • ppt's were then presented with five sets of words on the screen
  • the words were either taken from a set of one-syllable words or a set of polysyllabic words
  • ppt's were then asked to write down the five words in order immediately after presentation. They recalled several lists of both short and long words 


  • ppt's were able to recall considerably more short words than long words
  • they were able to recall as many words as




Everything that is needed and really clear 

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