Models of memory and theories

Topics: Memory processes, Decay theory, Memory Pages: 5 (2062 words) Published: April 23, 2015
Zachary Carter
This essay is going to look at how the Multi Store Model of Memory works and how it compares with The Working Memory Model. It will also look at three theories of forgetting (Cue Dependent, Interference and Trace Decay) and show the evidence that supports or criticises the models and theories.

The Multi Store Model of Memory (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968) describes memory as a flowing through system in terms of information. The multi store model of memory itself has its fair share of strengths and weaknesses. One of the criticisms about it is that it is a linear model that only shows how the information flows through the processes of memory. It is also assumed that any information must pass through each stage for it to be remembered. The capacity and duration is has it’s limitations at each stage and it also indentifies ways in which information is forgotten. One of its weaknesses is that it is too simplistic to explain because it fails to consider how an individual use strategies to remember. Another weakness of the multi store model of memory is that it heavily focuses on the process itself. It considers by the amount of information that can be processed not the nature. Another criticism of the multi store model is that it suggested that the only way for a memory to stay is through a process of rote rehearsal which transfers thoughts from short term memory to long term memory. One of the strengths of the multi store model is that there have been a lot of studies which has evidence that supports the difference between the short term and the long term memory in terms of encoding, duration and capacity. It has also had a significant influence because it has created a lot of studies into memory. The Working Memory Model was developed by Baddeley and Hitch (1974). It became apparent to them that there were a number of problems with their ideas with regards about the characteristics of the short term memory. Baddeley and Hitch argued that the short term memory provided by the multi store model of memory is oversimplified. According to the multi store model, the short term memory only holds limited amounts of information for short periods of time with relatively small processing. This means that the short term memory is just a single system and that it doesn’t have any subsystems. One of the weaknesses of working memory model was highlighted by Lieberman (1980) where he suggested that the visuo-spatial sketchpad indicates that all spatial information was first visual. Nevertheless, Lieberman points out that people who are blind have excellent spatial awareness without having the benefit of visual information. In addition the potential of the central executive has never been exactly measured so there is a little knowledge of how exactly the central executive works and what it achieves. One of the strengths of the working memory model is that it gives much more detailed information about how the short term memory is process, therefore making it more effective than the multi store model of memory. It also highlights the active process of memory rather than being a passive one. It is realistically applicable to the real world.

Cue dependent theory of forgetting

The cue dependent forgetting is the inability to recollect information due to missing stimuli or cues when the memory was stored at that time. Tuvling suggests that we do not lose or forget memories. It is simply because we lack the necessary cues that are needed to retrieve those memories. This theory is divided in to two parts, the state dependent and the context dependent. The context dependent forgetting suggests that a person’s memory recall will be at its best when we try to recall the information if we are in the same place or environment when we learned it in. This study was backed up by Godden and Baddeley (1975) and Smith, Glenberg and Bjor (1978). However, that case study was criticized by Lainema and Nurmi (2006). It...
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