Outline and evaluate the working memory model (12)
The working memory model (WMM) suggests that there are three main components to human memory. The central executive is the key component of working memory and is what directs attention to particular tasks, deciding which ‘resources’ (being the phonological loop and visual-spatial sketchpad) are allocated to which tasks. The central executive has a very limited capacity however, and can’t attend to too many things at once. The phonological loop (PL) too has a limited capacity and is what deals with auditory information; it is split into two further parts, the phonological store which holds the words you hear, and the articulatory process which is for the words you hear/see and are rehearsed sub-vocally. The visual-spatial sketchpad (VSSP) is the third main component and is used for planning spatial tasks (like walking from one room to another.) It is also where spatial/visual information is stored temporarily. While visual information is what things look like, spatial information is the relationship between things. Logie (1995) suggested the VSSP can be broken down further into a visual cache and an inner scribe which deals with spatial relations. Additionally, in 2000 the episodic buffer was added by Baddeley because he realised the model needed a general store for things that aren’t specific and dealt with by the PL and VSSP. The episodic buffer integrates information from the central executive, the PL and the VSSP. It too has a limited capacity. As well as being a vast improvement on the simple and flawed Multi-store model by Atkinson and Shiffrin in 1968, there is much evidence to support each of the components in the model. Firstly, Baddeley and Hitch did a ‘Dual Task’ experiment whereby they asked participants to follow a dot on the wall with a light pointer. Simultaneously they were asked to carry out two other tasks: to describe the angles on the letter ‘F’ and to carry out a simple verbal task. While...
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