Modality specific (taste held as taste, visual
image as an icon)
Capacity is large but duration limited approx
½ a second.
Processing is largely unconscious so info is
taken from experiments.
Encoding is mainly acoustic
Capacity is limited to an average 7 items
Duration is limited to 30 seconds
Encoding is semantic
o Murdock (1962) presented participants with lists
of words that varied in length form 10 to 40 words
at intervals of 2 seconds.
o When participants were asked to recall the words
in any order they recalled items from the end of the
list first and got more of these correct (the recency
o Items from the beginning of the list are also
recalled quite well (the primacy effect).
o Poorest recall is for words from the middle of the
7 or more items
model over emphasises rehearsal in the
transfer from STM to LTM in everyday life we
rarely rehearse info yet we can recall it
Could be better explained by CRAIK AND
LOCKHART’S LEVELS OF PROCESSING THEORY
Oversimplifies functions of STM and LTM by
suggesting they are uniformed.
Lacks ecological validity
Case studies are over simplified.
Stimulated further research
CRAIK AND LOCKHART
rehearsal is not as important to learning.
Structural- Appearance- capital and lower case
Depth or level of processing determines persistence of a
memory trace in long-term memory.
Aim: investigate effects of types of processing on
the recall of words
Method- participants were presented with 60
words and asked about each one
1-word in caps (shallow)
3-fit in a sentence(semantic)
RESULTS- Better recognition with deeper levels
CONLUSION- deeper levels of processing based
on meaning of info is better than shallower
alternative- ELIAS AND PERFETTI –
PPs had greater recognition of words.
Flashbulb- amount of info we recall e.g
bumping into David Bekham
Elaborative-rather than repition
Lack ecological validity
Isn’t up to date
Central executive- directs attention to particular
Phonological loops- limited capacity and deals
with organising information.
Visuo-spatial sketch pad- things look like
Episodic buffer-linking information across
domains to form integrated units of
visual, spatial, and verbal information with time
sequencing (or chronological ordering), such as
the memory of a story or a movie scene. The
episodic buffer is also assumed to have links to
long-term memory and semantic meaning.
Understanding of central exec is limited
WMM only explains our biology and not our
LONG TERM MEMORY
Implicit - Not usually conscious
Explicit – can be inspected consciously
Memory for personal events
Memory for general knowledge
Procedural memory is a motor or
action based memory and it is
sometimes referred to as
knowing how. One example of
procedural memory would be
remembering how to swim.
does not call on our conscious
cannot be consciously
non-declarative (meaning it
is difficult to put into words)
memory is sometimes referred as
can be put into words quite easily
can be inspected consciously, e.g. you
could tell someone about your first day at St.
includes both semantic and episodic
memory and both are very closely linked
Semantic memory is long-term
memory for information about the
world or general knowledge. This
includes memory about the
meaning of words.
Examples of semantic memory
would be to know that grass is green
or that Paris is the capital of France.
Such semantic memories can be
used without reference to when and
where the information was learned.
memory is the long-term memory
for events or episodes that we have
experienced ourselves or heard about
from another source.
This is the memory for
specific life events that
have personal meaning.
Being able to remember
the events of your first day
at college would
be an example of
is very difficult to
check the accuracy of this
type of memory, but a
way it can be checked is to
use a diary or photographs.
flashbulb memory is a
detailed and vivid memory of
an event that is stored after
one occasion and lasts a
lifetime. Such events are
often life changing, such as
births or deaths or may be
associated with important
historical events such as 9/11.
There is usually fear or
excitement associated with
the event and this is what
makes it particularly vivid.
AIM: To see whether episodic memory and semantic memory are separate
memory systems located in different areas of the brain.
Tulving injected quantities of radioactive gold into his own blood stream.
then thought about semantic memories e.g. historical facts or about episodic
memories e.g. events from his summer holidays when he was a child.
Scanners were used to monitor the blood flow in his brain.
The two different memory tasks showed distinct patterns of blood flow in the brain:
Episodic memories involved increased blood flow in the front of the brain
Semantic memories involved increased blood flow in areas toward the back of the
CONCLUSION: The results supported the view that episodic memory and
semantic memory are located in different areas of the brain. However, as this
was a preliminary study involving a single participant, the findings should be
interpreted with caution.
AIM: To investigate the ability to acquire new procedural
skills in a person with amnesia.
case study of an amnesic patient (HM) was carried out.
memory problems were so serious that he appeared
to be unable to remember new information.
was trained to carry out a task which involved
tracking or following a curvy line in a rotating disc.
first, his performance at the tracking tasks was poor,
but he improved with practise.
Several days later, when he carried out the task again he
had no conscious memory of the
understand the nature of forgetting we
have to make a distinction between:
Availability-is the info still stored?
Accessibility- can it be retrieved at will?
something creates a memory or an
‘ENGRAM’ which gradually fades
This affects both STM/LTM –
STUDY- Waugh and Norman
number of slots in the STM
If new info is taken in then other info will be
is distorted in someway either by:
Something learned in the past (proactive
Something learned in the future (retroactive
STUDY- Tulving & Psotka
we take in new info a certain amount
of time is necessary for changes in the
nervous system to take place
In the consolidation process forgetting can
occur when consolidation is prevented.
Yarnell & Lynch
are important- we are likely to
remember info better if we recall it in the
same state and context that it was rehearsed
in the first place.
STUDY- Abernethy-when sat in the same
room the instructor got better marks from
unconsiously ‘repress’ (push back)
painful or disturbing memories.
This is a LTM theory of forgetting