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Critically evaluate the traditional view(s) of memory as cited by Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968), in the light of the evidence provided by two other models of memory. What is memory?

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Introduction

Andrew Swale Critically evaluate the traditional view(s) of memory as cited by Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968), in the light of the evidence provided by two other models of memory. What is memory? Memory is the most extensively studied field in the discipline of cognitive psychology. Recognising your first year teacher in a line at the airport. Getting a phone number from information and then dialling it. Seeing that you're in danger of checkmate in three moves. Riding a bike. Understanding the meaning of 'riding a bike'. What do all these things have in common? Memory. Virtually everything we do involves memory in one form or another. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that the structures and processes involved in memory have been the focus of a great deal of theoretical and experimental research in psychology, neuroscience and other related disciplines. Memory is essential to all our lives and is involved in processing vast amounts of information. It not only involves taking this information in but also storing it and retrieving it. There are different models of memory, and out of these there are 3 main ones. The first and earliest one was suggested by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) ...read more.

Middle

Atkinson & Shiffrin suggested that the longer information was held in STM the more likely it was to be transferred to LTM, and there is some experimental evidence to show this, when Rundus (1971) asked participants to rehearse a list of items out loud and found that the more frequently an item was rehearsed the more likely it was to be recalled. But then in the early seventies, Craik & Lockhart (1972) proposed an alternative to the multistore model. They suggested that the strength of a memory trace can be determined by the level of processing for that trace. This theory can be best described by comparing the levels of processing in a pyramid: - The bottom levels represent preliminary, shallow processing and are concerned with physical and sensory features, like lines, angles, brightness, pitch etc. The top levels of the pyramid represent deep processing and are concerned with the extraction of meaning. The information may undergo elaboration at any level e.g. the rehearsal of a phone number involves elaboration of a string of numbers at a very shallow level of processing, so although the information undergoes elaboration, it is not processed deeply and therefore will not be remembered for more than a few minutes. ...read more.

Conclusion

0ther criticisms of the multistore model are that it is now seen as passive and simplistic whereas Baddeley's working memory model is more complex. Shallice & Warrington (1974) looked at K.F whose visual/acoustic encoding was having problems, but his semantic encoding was untouched. Eysenck (1995) criticised 'rehearsal'. He said that they were saying only things that are rehearsed could go into LTM. He said this isn't the case. We are taking in stimuli from everywhere into the STM, not necessarily rehearsed, unless see life as one big rehearsal. He said very rarely in everyday life do we rehearse everything. Baddeley and Hitch also ignored the influence of LTM on STM (Van de Goot 1966). Also the multistore model is seen as limited in explanatory power when compared with other models such as the working memory model. Over the years the views on the models of memory and the actual models of memory themselves have gradually and sometimes greatly changed. Who knows what the future holds for the study and analysis of memory? Another model could be introduced or one could be ruled out completely, we will just have to wait and see. ...read more.

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