Miller referred to each of these items as chunks. Miller further suggested that the capacity of the short term memory may be enlarged by grouping items together by associations/links they have with each other. However Cowan 2001 concluded that STM is likely to be limited to about 4 chunks. This shows that it may not have been as extensive at miller thought. The encoding in STM means the way that information is changed so that it can be stored in memory: Baddeley (1966) aim was to explore the effects of acoustic & semantic encoding in STM.
Rehearsal maintains information in the STM however it is still vulnerable to being forgotten due to limited duration (decay) or being displaced by new incoming information due to limited capacity (displacement). If rehearsed and processed deep enough (e.g. through elaborative or maintenance rehearsal) the information then passes to the long-term memory store which has unlimited capacity and unlimited duration dependent on the level of processing of the information received. While the LTM encoding is mainly semantic the STM encoding is auditory with a capacity of 7 +/- 2 items and duration of up to 18 seconds. Research evidence by Glanzer et al demonstrated support for the STM and LTM being different stores.
STM is described as working memory because it is used to emphasise the active part of memory where information we are consciously aware of is actively ‘worked on’ in many ways. Working memory enables us to consciously use information from sensory memory and LTM. I think working memory is more appropriate because when we are consciously paying attention to sensory information we are ‘working’ the short term memory. 7. Information might be forgotten if it is not rehearsed to remain in our LTM or if we are distracted by new information which pushes out the information already in our STM.
Memory is to do with how we encode, store and retrieve information. The multi-store model of memory was suggested by Atkinson and Shiffrin who said that we have 3 different memory stores: sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory and formed a linear model to demonstrate the process. A key aspect of the model is that the memory stores have different characteristics which include capacity, duration and encoding. Capacity refers to how much information that can be stored, duration is how long the memory lasts and encoding is how the memory is taken in and stored to be recalled later. We have sensory memory stores where information from the outside world is taken in unconsciously so if it is not looked at consciously it can be lost via decay as the duration is very short (possibly up to 2 seconds).
However if the information receives attention, it will pass on to short term memory. The information held in short term memory is in a fragile state. The information is rehearsed and the information stays since it is in the 7+-2 capacity for short term memory. By maintenance rehearsal, the information can be transferred to long term memory. In long term memory there is a much larger capacity and the duration is possibly lifelong.
With reference to relevant research discuss the extent to which models of memory and theories of forgetting explain human memory. This essay will analyse the effectiveness of the multi-store model of memory and the working memory model together with examination of Trace Decay and Displacement theories of forgetting, as effective methods for explaining human memory. Memory can be defined as the minds storage system for information or experience (Gross 1996). The multi-store model of memory developed by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968/1971 as cited in Gross, 1996; Cardwell, Clark and Meldrum, 2004) is a linier diagram with three stores; the sensory store, short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) stores. Entailing of information flowing in a fixed sequence from one to the next.
Multi-Store Model of Memory The multi-store model is the explanation for how memories are processed. It explains why only a few things are remembered and why some things are remembered and others aren’t. Atkinson and Schiffrin were the first to describe the multi-store model. They designed a simple diagram to show the multi-store memory: Sensory memory Environmental Stimuli Attention Short-term Memory Maintenance Rehearsal Information Retrieval Elaborate Rehearsal Long-term Memory Retrieval Sensory memory Environmental Stimuli Attention Short-term Memory Maintenance Rehearsal Information Retrieval Elaborate Rehearsal Long-term Memory Retrieval The Multi-store Model has 3 different places for memory storage. Information passes from store to store in a linear way and there are different explanations for forgetting in each store The first store is where sensory memory is processed.
To transfer the information into the short-term memory store, we must pay attention to it. The short-term memory store has a capacity of 7+/-2 items and duration of up to 90 seconds. To keep information in the short-term store, we use maintenance rehearsal, or to transfer it into the long-term store (which has an unlimited capacity and duration), we use elaborative rehearsal. If we do not rehearse the information, it will be lost from our short-term store, and if we want to bring back information from our long-term store, we use retrieval. Each store encodes information in different ways, with the short-term store visually and acoustically encoding information, and the long-term store using semantic processing (giving information meaning).
If attended to this information enters the short term memory. Information from the STM is transferred to the long-term memory only if that information is rehearsed. If rehearsal does not occur, then information is forgotten, lost from short term memory through the processes of displacement or decay. Sensory Memory • Duration: ¼ to ½ second • Capacity: all sensory experience (v. larger capacity) • Encoding: sense specific (e.g. different stores for each sense) Short Term Memory • Duration: 0-18 seconds • Capacity: 7 +/- 2 items • Encoding: mainly auditory Long Term Memory • Duration: Unlimited • Capacity: Unlimited • Encoding: Mainly Semantic (but can be visual and auditory) Evaluation of the Multi-Store Model Strengths Many memory studies provide evidence to support the distinction between STM and LTM (in terms of encoding, duration and capacity).
Each sensory modality has its own store. Short Term Memory: Limited capacity, can only store information for a few seconds. Long Term Memory: Can store vast amounts of information (unlimited capacity?) for very long periods of time. Control Processes, such as attention and maintenance rehearsal are also an important part of the model.