Outline and evaluate the multi-store model of memory (12 marks)

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Outline and evaluate the multi-store model of memory (12 marks)

Atkinson and Shiffrin’s multi-store model suggests that long-term memory and

short-term memory are like hypothetical stores of information. They believe

that memory has three stages; sensory memory, short-term and long-term

memory.  Information first enters sensory memory where it undergoes encoding

and then transfers to short-term memory.  Once there it’s rehearsed or verbally

repeated in order to undergo further encoding before being transferred to

long-term memory, otherwise it will decay.

A big aspect of the model was rehearsal; information can’t reach long-term

memory unless it’s rehearsed.  The more it’s rehearsed, the longer the memory

will be as the trace becomes stronger.


The model has been criticised as lacking ecological validity because the

evidence for the model comes mainly from laboratory based experiments using

meaningless verbal data.

It’s also criticised as being simplistic; the model assumes that both short and

long term memory consist of individual stores made up of one component each,

but research into the


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