Outline and Evaluate the Multi Store Model of Memory.

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Outline and Evaluate the Multi Store Model of Memory.

The multi store model of memory was first introduced by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) It is a structural model that suggests that memory consists of 3 different stores of memory. Firstly Sensory memory. This lasts for a fraction of a second and we use it to focus on specific stimuli, such as focusing on a specific person’s voice in a loud environment. It has 3 main parts, the iconic (visual), echoic (sound) and haptic (feeling/touch). This information moves to your short term memory. The short term memory has little capacity (7 plus or minus 2 items) and a short duration, so if information is not rehearsed, it can be forgotten. The STM is encoded mainly acoustically (sound). When information from the STM is rehearsed it is moved to the Long Term Memory. This had an unlimited capacity and its duration is up to a lifetime. The LTM is semantically encoded (meaning). Interference may occur for words similar in meaning, and sound or spelling, for example for 2 brothers named Jack and Joe others may get the names mixed up because they have similar meaning and both begin with J and so are stored similarly in the LTM.

Research evidence for the existence of sensory memory can be found in the studies of psycholigists Baddeley and Sperling. Baddely (1968) investigated the iconic store. He had the hypothesis that the iconic store is present so we can view things smoothly in one motion, rather than a jumpy one which would make things difficult to see and/or understand. The best example for this is when we watch an animated film, in reality, it is just hundreds of pictures, but we dont see it this way, we are able to easily view the cartoon as a steady flow, rather than loads of images put together. For the echoic store, the fact that we put together and understand sentences easily, rather than finding meaning in each individual word.

For these type of studies, problems arise because everybodies minds are different with different memory capabilities, personalities etc so results are nearly impossible to generalise to all people.

Research evidence for the existence of a distinction between STM & LTM can be found in Glanzer & Cunitz (1966). This was an experiment in which participants were asked to recall

a series of words and recall them in any order (free recall). In another condition the participants had a distractor task, where they would count back in 3 's from 100. They found in the original condition there was a primacy effect (first on the list) and recency effect (last on the list) as expected. In the 2nd condition, they found that the recency effect had gone due to the distractor task.

Other evidence for the distinction between STM & LTM comes from patients with brain damage. For instance Clive Wearing, who suffers from Anterograde Amnesia which is a condition that doesn't allow new memories to transfer into LTM. The differences in capacity, duration, encoding and forgetting can sometimes be shown experimentally. However, forgetting in LTM is difficult to demonstrate because it is said the only way of forgetting things from the LTM is by decay or brain damage.

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Research evidence for the capacity of STM comes from Jacobs (1887) He introduced the Digit Span Technique. This is where participants have to recall a series of digits in the correct order (serial recall), he then increases the number of digits in the sequence until the participant can no longer recall any digits. He found people generally were able to recall an average of 7, plus or minus 2 digits. However it has been recognized that  you can remember 7 plus or minus 2 items, which may include several digits or letters in one chunk. It is easier to recall ...

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Summary: Outline of the Multi Store Model describing its features, as well as details of some research that both supports and refutes the model. Some attempt to evaluate its contribution to understanding of how memory is stored and transferred to LTM. Improvement of this essay can be gained by planning and structuring the argument, starting with an introduction, then introducing the outline of the model, evidence for and against the model by considering relevant research, and finishing with a conclusion on its contribution to the area. One or two typos - otherwise sound on grammar and style.