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Outline and evaluate an alternative to the Multi-store Model of Memory

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Introduction

Outline and evaluate an alternative to the Multi-store Model of Memory There are many different explanations as to how we remember things. One of the most basic is Atkinson and Shiffrin's multi store model of memory. This indicates that you see things, then they go into your short-term memory, and then if they are processed they will go into your long term memory. One of the most important things that influences whether something goes into your long-term memory is rehearsal. If you rehearse things, for example, say things over and over again or keep it in your mind for a longer period of time, then it is more likely that it will go into your long-term memory. Craik and Lockhart put forward the levels-of-processing theory, which is an alternative to Atkinson and Shiffrin's Multi-store Model of Memory, because they felt that rehearsal wasn't enough to get data from STM into LTM. ...read more.

Middle

if you can't remember something, don't just rehearse it, memorise the meaning of it. Also, before this theory was put forward, the view was that memory can be explained in terms of structure and rehearsal, so this theory had a major impact. However, there are some criticisms to this theory. For example, it doesn't explain why deeper processing leads to better memory. It's also hard to establish whether a particular task involves shallow or deep processing. Craik and Tulving conducted a study that they used to support the level-of-processing theory. In this experiment, they used semantic processing as a form of deep processing, and the physical analysis of a stimulus to represent shallower processing. They found that words that were semantically processed and therefore deeply processed were remembered better than the words that were shallowly processed. However, the shallow processing task lacked mundane realism and it is not clear that we ever really process information this way. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, as with Craik and Tulving's study, this lacks mundane realism and ecological validity and therefore cannot be generalised to real life situations. In 1977, Morris, Bransford, and Franks found that stored information is remembered only if it is relevant to the memory test. Their participants were tested with a rhyming recognition test in which they were given some words and were then asked which words rhymed with the words previously presented. None of the words on the list were presented in the last test. Participants remembered words that had been processed in terms of their sound (shallow processing) instead of those that had been processed in terms of their meaning (deep processing). This goes against the levels-of-processing theory because that states that deep processing is always better than shallow processing. The reason that shallow processing was better in this case was shallow processing was much more relevant and related to rhyming because it's to do with sound, rather than meaning. However, this experiment lacks mundane realism, as people wouldn't be doing this in real life. ...read more.

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