?Describe and evaluate the multi store memory model Essay

Describe and evaluate the multi store memory modelAtkinson and Shiffrin 1968 suggested that memory was comprised of three separate stores – the Sensory Memory store, the Short-term Memory store, and the Long-term Memory store. Information from all around us enters the through the sensory memory and encoded through one of the 5 senses depending on the type of information. If attention is paid to this information it will enter short term memory which has a limited capacity of about 4 chunks of information Short term memory has a capacity of 7+/- 2 bits of information according to Miller. It can last up to 18 seconds without rehearsal according to Peterson and Peterson. Baddeley found that information in Short term memory is encoded mainly acoustically.

If maintenance rehearsal takes place it will remain in Short term memory or be forgotten through decay or displacement. Elaborative rehearsal will then transfer information into long term memory) which has unlimited capacity. Baddeley found that LTM encodes mostly semantically.

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Information can be retrieved from Long term memory to be used in Short term memory when needed and can be forgotten through decay or displacement. Most of the scientific evidence which supports the multi store memory model lacks validity because it is carried out in a laboratory, which is an artificial environment. The explanation of the multi store memory is too simple for a complex process because it explains little about Short term memory and Long term memory but merely describes them as fixed structures and does not take into account; an example of this is that there are different types of long term memory e.g. procedural or episodic.

The multi store memory suggest there is long term and short term memory each operate alone but evidence suggests this is not true, a short term memory case study by Shallice and Warrington 1970 studies KF who suffered brain damage he had difficulty with verbal information in short term memory but a ‘normal’ ability to process visual information, so this case study suggest that short term memory is not a single store. The multi store memory describes long term memory as a single store, but evidence from patients with amnesia give evidence that this is wrong,( Schachter at al. 2000) have suggested four long term stores; semantic memory, Episodic memory, Procedural memory and perceptual-representation system (PRS) (Spiers et al 2001) studied memory in 147 patients and discovered that in all cases their procedural memories and perceptual- representation systems were intact but the other two systems were o intact so the conclusion from the study is that long term memory is not a single store due the four components what make the long term memory.A weakness of the multi-store memory is the process of rehearsal as this theory mentions long term memory only works if the information is rehearsed but Craik and Lockhart (1972) proposed a different model, they suggested that enduring memories are created by processing, rather than rehearsal the study by Craik and Tulving (1975) supports processing, they gave participants a list of nouns and asked a question about each word and the conclusion was that participants remembered most semantic processing and least people in shallow processing so this suggests deeper processing leads to enhanced memory.

Strength of the multi-store model is that is suggests three stores; sensory, short term memory and long term memory. The model provides an account of memory in terms of structure and process, the structure is the three stores and the processes are attention and verbal rehearsal. The multi-store memory has clear predictions of memory which makes the memory a test for psychologists to research so they are able to conduct more research on the memory and this theory has been the foundation for other physiologists to question it and conduct their own research.


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