Describe and Evaluate 2 Models Of Memory

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Describe and Evaluate 2 Models Of Memory

In this essay 2 models of memory will be described and compared. They are the Atkinson and Sniffrin model of memory, the Multistore model, and Crain and Lockhart model, the Levels of Processing Model. Models of memory are primitive diagrams of human memory to help understand the flow of information and how it is stored. In order to evaluate those 2 models appropriately it is important to understand how old they are.

The Multistore Model of Memory by Atkinson and Shiffrin is a very primitive model although it does try to explain how the memory works quite well. It recognises 3 memory stores – the Sensory Memory Store, the short-term memory store and the long-term memory store. The environment makes available a variety of sources of information. The information comes in through the sensory system – through one of the five human senses. For a brief time it gets stored in the sensory memory store; 2 seconds for auditory and 0.5 second for visual information. It is an exact copy of the stimulus, although it lasts for a very short time. The experiment done by Sperling in 1960, where he showed a quick image to the participants and asked them to write the answers down, supports the theory of existence of the Sensory memory store, as participants could only remember 36% of the image on average. According to the model, if attention is paid to an external stimulus, an internal thought, or both, then it is stored in the short-term memory. It is mostly stored in auditory form, however other types of encoding are also possible. Short-term memory is also called working memory and relates to what we are thinking about at any given moment in time. It is the memory from which an answer to a question comes out – the output. The presence of the short-term memory store and the auditory encoding is supported by the experiment conducted by Conrad in 1964, where he showed participants sequences of letter at random in a rapid succession, and relied on errors made to create his conclusion. He found out that the majority of errors involved a substitution of a letter by another letter of a similar sound. However, it is very easy to lose the information due to decay or displacement. Displacement means that new information pushes out the old information as the capacity of the STM is very limited; researched by Miller in 1956 it is supposed to be 7 items plus or minus 2. For example, you are processing the words you read on the screen in your STM. However, if I ask, "What is your telephone number?" your brain immediately calls that from long-term memory and replaces what was previously there. Decay is similar as the information disapperas as time passes by as the duration of STM is limited. Chunking can increase the capacity of short-term memory. For example, the letters "b d e" constitute three units of information while the word "bed" represents one unit even though it is composed of the same number of letters. Chunking is a major technique for getting and keeping information in short-term memory; it is also a type of elaboration that will help get information into long-term memory. Subvocal repetition maintains storage in STM and aids transfer to LTM.

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Repetition or rote rehearsal is a technique we all use to try to learn something. This transfers information into out long-term memory store. The duration and capacity of LTM are supposed to be unlimited. According to the model, the way of losing information from LTM is forgetting due to decay or interference. This happens when similar memories interfere with each other or when new information interferes with the retrieval of previously learnt information.

The Model has got its own strenghts and weaknesses. First of all, it is supported by a lot of evidence. For example Murdock in 1963 found that ...

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Summary This is quite a complex subject to cover without getting bogged down in technical terms. However, the writer has managed to discuss and critique the two models well. Various studies and experiments have been quoted to back the different models. An even higher score could be expected if the writer went into a little more detail with regards the experiments. Also, the conclusion could be improved upon. Personal opinions should not be given and the conclusions should be evidence based. Overall the essay is detailed and it is in the writer's own words. RATING 4*