Describe and Evaluate the Multi-Store Memory Model

Describe and evaluate the multi-store memory model (12 marks)

This essay will describe the various aspects of the multi-memory store model and then evaluate its pros and cons.

Atkinson and Shiffrin first promoted the idea of a multi-store memory model in 1968. Their model was the first and most influential model to explain how memory works. At the time, there was a major technological revolution and the first computers were invented. They drew their inspiration from this technological advancement. They described the memory as a flow of systematic information that is processed in the brain. The model has various elements to: capacity, duration and encoding.

Atkinson and Shiffrin explained that the brain processes information once a stimulus is activated and then so it enters the sensory memory. The section of the model holds information for a fraction of a second once the stimulus is no longer available. The sensory memory is split into three elements; the first being the iconic store for visual input, the second echoic for auditory input and third haptic for tactile input.

A key aspect of the multi-store memory is the difference between the short-term memory (STM) and the long-term memory (LTM). Both of which be distinguished in terms of duration, capacity, coding and forgetting. A basic distinction would be that STM is limited in terms of capacity – seven, add or subtract two. The duration in STM is very limited and unlimited in LTM.

Evidence supporting the idea of STM and LTM comes from various researchers but a famous study conducted by Glanzer and Cunitz (1966) identifies a clear distinction between the two types of memory. They gave participants a list of words and presented them one at a time and tested them through free recall. They had two conditions in which the experiment was carried out. The first being that participants were asked to recall the words immediately after they had been presented. And the second being that they were given a...