Outline and evaluate the Multi Store Model of memory.

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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) on average, so cannot hold lots of information and a duration (how long it can retain the information for) of no more than half a minute. According to the model, for information to pass to our long term memory, we must rehearse it. Once it is in the long term memory it cannot be lost, except due to damage to the brain, and can be retrieved at any time.

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The long term memory store is said to have an unlimited capacity and duration. This has been tested and proven. Bahrlick et al asked participants of various ages to put names to faces from their high school year book. It was found that even 48 years on, people were about 70% correct. This is important as, although this is a strength for the model. 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 ...

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