Outline and evaluate the multi-store model of memory. Refer to evidence in your answer. (12 marks)

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Outline and evaluate the multi-store model of memory. Refer to evidence in your answer. (12 marks)

The multi-store model of memory has originally been devised by Atknison & Shiffrin in 1968, it was the first cognitive explanation of memory and before that biologists explained memory through biological means. It's divided into three stores and each one differs in terms of coding, duration and capacity.

The sensory register, is the first store which isn't under the cognitive control instead it's an automatic response to the reception of sensory information via sensory organs. The two main sensory stores are the iconic memory which is responsible for coding visual information and the echoic memory which is responsible for coding auditory information. The duration of the sensory memory is very short, less than half a second but has a high capacity because in an eye for example, there could be one million cells that would store the data received. Sperling has done some research into investigating the existence of sensory memory in 1960. He flashed a 3x4 grid of letters onto a screen for 1/20th of a second and asked participants to recall top row, bottom row or everything based on the sound that followed the slide. He found that the capacity of sensory memory was large as when participants were asked to recall a row, most letters were correct. Most people remembered 4/5 letters from whole grid but recalled on average 3 correctly from each row. Calculating the capacity of sensory memory stores often involves experiments where participants have to evaluate cues which results in random patterns and they only provide an estimate for the    Furthermore they are highly artificial in nature as one wouldn't be required to recall 12 random letters in real life so it lacks ecological validity. There is evidence that the iconic store can hold between 15-20 images but all other sensory stores haven't been studied enough to give more information about them, mainly because they are very brief so it's difficult to study them and are often on the pre-conscious level so it's harder to control it.

Short term memory stores information received from the sensory register but when it comes to capacity of the information it can only hold between 5-9 items therefore has limited capacity as investigated by Jacobs, the magic number


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