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Alternatives to the multi store model of memory.

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Introduction

´╗┐The working memory model The working memory model is the term used to refer to the part of memory used when working on a complex task which requires you to store information as you go along for e.g. when calculating a complex sum. Memory is active rather than passive and exists in the short term memory. Here are four main components to the WM, these are the central executive (CE) the phonological loop (PL),the visuo-spatial sketchpad (VSSP) and the episodic buffer (EB). The central executive: the CE directs all attention to particular tasks an therefore drives the whole system. It is seen as the boss of the working memory and it drives the two slave systems. This also deals with cognitive tasks such as mental arithmetic and problem solving, however it has limited storage capacity. Other things it I responsible for are temptations and habits. The phonological loop: the PL deals with the auditory information such as spoken or written material and preserves the order of information. It is divided into two stores these are the phonological store and the articulatory control process (ACP). The phonological; store is also known as the inner ear, it is often referred to as this as it holds speech based information such as words we hear for 1-2 seconds. ...read more.

Middle

Another piece of evidence supporting the WMM is the study done by Shallice and Warrington, they studied KF whose brain was injured in a motor cycle accident. This case study showed that STM works independently to the LTM as he had no problem with long term learning but some aspects of his STM were impaired. His brain damage seemed to be restricted to the phonological loop. This supports WMM as it is in the STM and consists of separate stores. Only his phonological loop was damaged leaving other stores intact. This adds validity as it has more credibility. The WMM also accounts for a number of research findings not explained by the MSM,such as the dual task performance. Also the WMM doesn't over emphasise the role of rehearsal like the MSM. This supports the WMM. Another possible supportive point for WMM is that it offers a better account of STM than the MSM. This is because it moves from describing STM as the unitary store to one with a number of components so provides a more detailed description of the STM. The WM makes sense so could be said to be higher in face validity when considering skills like verbal reasoning,comprehension , reading,problem solving and visual and spatial processing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another point is that the levels of processing model led to deeper memory research. It showed that encoding was not a simple process. This widened the focus from seeing long term memory as a simple storage unit to seeing it as a complex processing system. This explanation of memory is useful in everyday life because it highlights the way in which elaboration can aid memory. This supports the LOP's. Eysenck claimed that the LOP theory describes rather than explains. It was also argued that deep processing leads to better LTM than shallow processing. But they failed to provide a detailed reason as to why deep processing is so effective. This goes against the LOP's. Another contradicting point to the LOP's is that the ideas of depth and elaboration are measure. It could be said that there is no way to measure the depth of processing. This can lead to the argument that it is predicted that deeply processed information will be remembered better but the measure of depth of processing is how well the information is remembered. It could be said that the WMM and the LOP model are better at describing information processing than the MSM. They both try to emphasise on the idea that memory is dynamic rather than static. ...read more.

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