The multi-store memory model was proposed by Atkinson & Shiffrin in 1968. It suggests that memory is a flow of information through a system. There are three distinct stages of the system; sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory, information passes through each stage of the system in a linear fashion.
Information is registered through the sensory system where they can be passed into the short term memory. The short term memory stores approximately 7 +/-2 items in an acoustic code for approximately 15-30 seconds. It is therefore easy to forget things at this stage, as information will be lost within 30 seconds unless it is repeated or rehearsed. Memories from this store are lost because new information comes along and pushes the old information out. However if the information is sufficiently well rehearsed it will be able to pass into the long term memory. The long term memory stores unlimited amount of information for a lifetime through semantic encoding. However, it may be forgotten because memory traces can decay, ‘new’ information which causes confusion and interferes with the old information or particular cues within the environment are not available causing retrieval failure.
Many investigations/ experiments/ case studies have been undertaken to test the Multi-store memory model. This essay will give both the strengths and weaknesses of the MSMM.
Peterson and Peterson investigated the duration of the Short Term Memory in 1959. This demonstrated that rehearsing is vital to retain information in the Short Term Memory. A lab experiment was conducted in which 24 participants had to recall trigrams (meaningless three-consonant syllables, e.g. TGH). To prevent the participants rehearsing the trigrams they were asked to count backwards in threes from a specified random number until they saw a red light appear. Participants were asked to recall trigrams after intervals of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 or 18 seconds. After 9 seconds, 70% had forgotten the...