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Multi Store Model Essay

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Discuss the multi-store model of memory (12 Marks) The multi-store model of memory was suggested by Atkinson and Shiffrin, in order to explain how memory works. Memory is a system which is vital to our survival. For psychologists, memory covers processes called; encoding, storage and retrieval. Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) suggested that memory is made up of a series of stores. The stores differ in their encoding, storage and retrieval characteristics. Atkinson’s and Shiffrin’s multi-store model of memory contained three key parts to the memory which were the sensory information system, the short-term memory and the long-term memory. The sensory information system (SIS) was believed to be the storage for memory held as a sensation, e.g. a visual image. Sperling (1960) believed in the SIS and to demonstrate its existence he conducted an experiment. He showed participants three rows of four mixed numbers and consonants for a very brief time, then played them a tone (high, medium or low) to prompt them to recall the top, middle or bottom line. Participants could do this easily if they recalled immediately but the image faded rapidly, lasting for no longer than one-quarter of a second. In this way, Sperling was also able to show that the SIS holds 5-9 items. It also showed that the information was quickly lost as the sensory image fades. The next stage of Atkinson’s and Shiffrin’s model was the short-term memory (STM). Information selected for further processing passes from the SIS into the STM. IT is believed that the STM holds information in the form of images, sounds or meanings. Information in STM is kept ‘alive’ by rehearsing it. Information in the STM lasts up to 30 seconds and is lost through interference or decay. The final stage of…...

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