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Outline and evaluate the Multi Store Model of memory.

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Introduction

´╗┐Outline and evaluate the Multi Store Model of memory. (12 marks) Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) proposed the multi store model of memory in an attempt to explain the workings of our memory system. They proposed that memory consists of three stores, and information flows from one store to another. At each store there are constraints or limitations in terms of capacity, duration and encoding. According to the model, information in the environment first registers in the sensory store, where probably we wouldn?t even notice it. If attention is paid to it, the information flows along to the short term memory store, the short term store has a limited capacity of 7 give or take 2 items (Miller) ...read more.

Middle

It brings a criticism for the model as it does not distinguish between the different types of information we have to remember, explicit and implicit. Explicit involves information you have been asked to remember, for example for a test. Implicit involves information you learn naturally such as, in this case, names of people in your high school classes, which we do not have to rehearse so as for it to pass into our long term memory. A lot of memory research supporting the multi store model involves explicit information recall, so lacking in mundane realism as in real life we do not have to rehearse all information for it to be stored in our long term memory. ...read more.

Conclusion

The implication being that they are low in ecological validity and we can?t generalise the findings to real life. It is not a real life situation that we have to remember in any order a list of random words given to us. So the studies lack mundane realism and don?t represent memory in real life. A further criticism put forward by many psychologists is that it is over simplified. It fails to reflect the complexity of human memory. Short and long term memories are more complicated than this model suggests. Other explanations are needed to account for specific types of memory which the model cannot account for, for example: flashbulb memory, whereby a traumatic event occurs and victims or bystanders memories are often found to be accurate, detailed and long lasting, such as the witnesses of 9/11. The multi store model cannot explain this phenomenon. ...read more.

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