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AQA Psychology Memory Cheat Sheet

Multi-­Store Model

Developed by Atkinson & Shiffrin as a cognitive explan­ation of memory.The model explains memory through biological means; explaining how inform­ation flows through a series of storage systems with three permanent structures in memory. Each stage differs in terms of coding, capacity and duration.

Sensory Register (SR)

The SR is not under cognitive control, but is an automatic response to the reception of sensory inform­ation by the sense organs and is the first storage system within the multi-­store model. All inform­ation contained within LTM will have originally passed through the SR, though in an unproc­essed form.
Echoic Store - Auditory Inform­ation
Iconic Store - Visual Inform­ation
Haptic Store -Tactile Inform­ation
Gustatory Store - Taste Inform­ation
Olfactory Store - Smell Inform­ation

The Sensory Register

Inform­ation is stored in a raw, unproc­essed form, with separate sensory stores for different sensory input.
Capacity of each store is very large, with the inform­ation cotained being in an unproc­essed, highly detailed and ever changing format.
All sensory memory stores have limited duration, though the actual duration of each store is not constant, with different types of inform­ation within each store decaying at different rates. Different sensory stores have different capacities and there is some evidence that duration decreases with age.
Research by Crowder (1993)
Research by Sperli­ng(­1960)
Research by Treisman (1964)
Found SR only retains inform­ation in the iconic store for a few millis­econds, but for two to three seconds within the echoic store which supports the idea of sensory inform­ation being coded into different sensory stores.
Flashed a 3 x 4 grid of letters onto a screen for 1/20th of a second, and asked partic­ipants to recall one row. He sounded different sounds to indicate which row must be recalled. Recall of letter in th indicated row was high, which suggests all the inform­ation was originally there, indicating large capacity of the SR.
Presented identical auditory messages to both ears of partic­ipants, with a slight delay between presen­tat­ions. Partic­ipants noticed the messages were identical if the delay was 2 seconds or less, suggeting the echoic store has a limited duration of 2 seconds.

Short Term Memory

STM tempor­arily stores inform­ation received from the SR. It is an active (changing) memory system, as it contains inform­ation currently being thought about. STM differs from LTM especially in terms of coding, capacity and duration and how inform­ation is forgotten.

Short Term Memory

Inform­ation arrives from the SR in its original raw form, such as in sound or vision, and it is then encoded in a form the STM can more easily deal with. For example one word can be coded in three ways: Semant­ically (by meaning), Visually and Acoust­ically
STM has limited capacity, as only a small amount of inform­ation is held in the store. Research indicates an average of 7 +/- 2, though it can be increased by chunking - where the size of the units of inform­ation in storage is increased by giving them a collective meaning i.e BBC/SO­S/A­BC/FBI into 4 chunks will increase capacity
The amount of time inform­ation remains within the STM without being lost is limited to a maximum of about 30 seconds. This can be extended by rehearsal of the inform­ation, which if done for long enough with result in the inform­ation being transf­erred to the LTM.
Research by Baddeley (1966)
Research by Jacobs (1887)
Research by Peterson & Peterson
Partic­ipants were presented with 1 of 4 lists repeated 4 times. The lists were either acoust­ically similar words, acoust­ically dissimilar words, semant­ically similar or semant­ically dissim­ilar. They were the asked to arrange the words in the correct order. Acoust­ically similar words were recalled the worst at 10%. Recall of other lists was between 60 to 80%. This suggests there can be acoustic confusion which suggests STM is coded on an acoustic basis.
Partic­ipants were presented with increa­singly long lists of numbers or letter followed by recall. When partic­ipants fail on 50% of the tasks, they were judged to have reached capacity. Jacobs found capacity for numbers was 9 items and letters was 7. This shows that capacity is limited, and that numbers are easier to recall perhaps because there are only 9.
Read nonsense triagrams to partic­ipants, then got them to count backwards in 3's for varying periods of time to prevent rehearsal. They found 90% correct recall after 3 seconds, but only 5% after 18 seconds which suggests STM duration is around 20 to 30 seconds.

Long Term Memory

LTM involves storing inform­ation over lengthy periods of time, indeed for a whole lifetime, with inform­ation to be stored for longer than 30 seconds counting as LTM. All inform­ation in the LTM will have originally passed through the SR and STM, though may have undergone different forms of processing during the process. Research indicates that there are several different types of LTM, and the LTMs are not of equal strength. Strong LTMs can be retrieved easily, but weaker LTMs may require more prompting. LTMs are not passive (uncha­nging) - over time they may change or merge with other LTMs. This is why memories aren't necess­arily constant or accurate. There are several explan­ations for forgetting from the LTM. The process of shaping and storing LTMs is spread through multiple brain areas.

Long Term Memory

Coding of inform­ation will be stronger (and thus the memory more retrie­vable) the deeper the level of processing of a stimulus that occurs while it is being experi­enced. With Verbal Material, coding in LTM is mainly semantic though coding occurs in other forms too including visual and acoustic
The Potential Capacity of the LTM is unlimited. Inform­ation may be lost due to decay and interf­erence, but such losses don't occur due to limitation of capacity.
Depends on an indivi­duals lifespan, as memories can last for a lifetime. Items in LTM have a longer duration if originally well coded and certain LTMs have a longer duration, like those based on skills rather than facts. Materials in STM that isn't rehearsed is quickly forgotten, but inform­ation in the LTM does not have to be contin­ually rehearsed to be retained.
Research by Frost (1972)
Research by Anokhin (1973)
Research by Bahrick et al (1975)
Gave partic­ipants 16 drawings in 4 catego­rie­s,i.e. animals, differing in visual orient­ation, like angle of viewing perspe­ctive. The order of recall suggested partic­ipants used visual and semantic coding, giving supporting evidence for both forms of coding.
Estimated the number of possible neuronal connec­tions in the human brain is 1 followed by 10.5 million kilometres of zeros. He concluded 'no human yet exists who can use all the potential of their brain', suggesting the capacity of LTM is limitless
Showed 400 partic­ipants aged between 17 and 74 a set of photos and a list of names, some of which were ex-school friends and asked them to identify which ones were ex-school friends. Those who'd left high school in the last 15 years identified 90% of the faces and names, while those who'd left 48 years previously identified 80% of names and 70% of pictures, suggesting memory for faces is long lasting


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