A01: Outline the Features of the Working Memory Model

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The working memory model was proposed by Baddeley & Hitch (1974) as an alternative to the multi-store model of memory. It has been developed to directly challenge the concept of a single unitary store for short-term memories. The working memory model is based upon the findings of the dual-task study and suggests that there are four separate components to our working memory (STM). The most important component is the central executive; it is involved in problem solving/decision-making. It also controls attention and plays a major role in planning and synthesizing information, not only from the subsidiary systems but also from LTM. It is flexible and can process information from any modality, although it does have a limited storage capacity and so can attend to a limited number if things at one time. Another part of the working memory model is the phonological loop, it stores a limited number of speech-based sounds for brief periods. It is thought to consist of two components - the phonological store (inner ear) that allows acoustically coded items to be stored for a brief period and the articulatory control process (the inner voice) that allows sub-vocal repetition of the items stored in the phonological store. Another important component is the visuo-spatial scratch pad; it stores visual and spatial information and can be thought of as an inner eye. It is responsible for setting up and manipulating mental images. Like the phonological loop, it has limited capacity but the limits of the two systems are independent. In other words, it is possible, for example, to rehearse a set of digits in the phonological loop while simultaneously making decisions about the spatial layout of a set of letters in the visual spatial scratchpad. Finally in 2000 Baddeley proposed an additional component, the episodic buffer. It is responsible for integrating &

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