• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and evaluate a modern theory of memory.

Extracts from this document...


Lisa Stuart - 02016028 Describe and evaluate a modern theory of memory. Memory is so basic to human functioning that we take it for granted. Consider the last time you performed the seemingly simple task of remembering a friend's phone number. Did you bring to mind a visual image (a picture of the number), an auditory 'image' (pronouncing a series of numbers out loud in your mind) or simply a pattern of motor movements as you punched the numbers on a phone? How did you bring to mind this particular number, given that you likely have a dozen other numbers stored in your memory? Once the number was in your mind how did you know it was the right one? And were you aware as you reached for the phone that you were remembering at that very moment how to use a phone, what phones do, how to lift an object smoothly to your face, how to push buttons and who your friend is? ...read more.


Baddeley and Hitch did find that performing STM and reasoning tasks simultaneously slowed down subjects' ability to think; in one study, holding a memory load from four to eight digits increased the time participants took to solve a reasoning task. However, a memory load of three items had no effect at all on reasoning speed, despite the fact that it should have consumed at least three of the 'slots' in STM. Further, performing the two tasks simultaneously had no impact on the number of errors subjects made on the thinking task, suggesting that carrying out processes such as reasoning and rehearsal does not compete with storing digits for 'workspace' in a short-term store. These and other data led Baddeley and his colleagues to propose that storage capacity and processing capacity are two separate aspects of working memory. Processes such as rehearsal, reasoning, and making decisions about how to balance two tasks simultaneously are the work of the central executive system that has its own capacity; independent of the information it is storing or holding momentarily in mind. ...read more.


Images in the visuospatial sketchpad can be mentally rotated, moved around, or used to locate objects in space that have momentarily dropped out of sight. The verbal store is the familiar short-term store studied tasks such as digit span. Verbal working memory is relatively shallow: Words are sorted in order, based primarily on their sound (phonology), not their meaning. Researchers learned about this 'shallowness' of verbal memory by studying the kinds of words that interfere with each other in free-recall tasks. A list of similar-sounding words is more difficult to recall than a list of words that do not sound alike. Similarity of meaning does not similarly interfere with verbal working memory, but it does interfere with LTM. This suggests that verbal working memory and LTM have somewhat different ways of storing information. Several lines of evidence suggest that visual and verbal storage are indeed distinct components of working memory. For example, researchers have reported cases of brain-damaged individuals who have normal verbal working memory but impaired visual working memory; others can store visual information but have difficulty with verbal storage. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Define short-term memory and describe the main factors that influence the number of items ...

    4 star(s)

    to the one thousandth decimal place. Aitkin's theory was to arrange the digits in rows of fifty, each containing ten groups of five digits. He then recited them again and again using a particular rhythm and they became easier for him to memorise (Aitkin 1937 [3]).


    The results clearly showed that group 1 without the music distraction recalled the words form the list better than group 2 with the music distraction. Conducting this experiment showed that the music as an added distraction affected the rehearsal process for the words.

  1. Investigating the short-term memory

    Group 1 was just for the word recall only, and group 2 is for the word recall, but with an added distraction in form of music. A location for this investigation was decided on, and an empty classroom seemed like the appropriate location.

  2. Explain and evaluate the three models of memory.

    Craik and Watkins (1973) suggested that there were two types of rehearsal; they proposed the idea of maintenance rehearsal (for example repeating a word out aloud) and elaborative rehearsal in which information that is to be transferred is processed in terms of meaning.

  1. Investigation into acoustic and visual encoding in short-term memory

    The six female participants were welcomed and seated down in rows. 3) The images of the acoustically similar words were projected onto a screen for 12 seconds. 4) Participants were asked to write down the name of the image in the same order as they had appeared on the screen.

  2. Investigation into the relationship between an individuals precieved ugliness, harmfullness and an individuals fear ...

    The graphs highlight the correlations but there are also some anomalies. Such as polar bear which is seen to be an anomaly on both fear and ugliness graph and ugly and harm graph, because of its low rating of ugliness.

  1. Describe and evaluate models of memory.

    Conrad found that errors of recall were linked to letters which had similar sounds, he referred to these errors as acoustic confusion, but this did suggest his theory that information is encoded according to sound. Schulman (1970) disagreed with Conrad; he thought that short term memory also encoded information but visually and according to semantics which is meaning.

  2. Memory's Impact

    6) Once the slides of all 20 words were complete participants were given a maths answer sheet by the investigator and then shown the rest of the PowerPoint presentation that consisted of three simple maths questions. 7) The participants were given five minutes to complete the maths questions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work