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Describe and Evaluate the Multi-Store Model of Memory

  • Date Submitted: 11/14/2010 03:14 PM
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Describe and evaluate the multi-store model of memory  

The multi-store model of memory was proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin in 1968.They said the memory is made up of the sensory Memory Store, the short-term memory store and the long-term memory store. A diagram of the model can be seen below:

If we pay attention


Lost via decay and


Long term







Short term


It is lost via decay

Info is lost via decay and displacement


From the model we can see the environment makes available a variety of sources of information. The information comes in through the sensory system through one of the five human senses. For a brief time it gets stored in the sensory memory store; 2 seconds for auditory and 0.5 second for visual information. The information lasts for a very short time, the experiment done by Sperling in 1960, where he showed a quick image to the participants and asked them to write the answers down, supports the theory of existence of the Sensory memory store, as participants could only remember 36% of the image on average. According to the model, if attention is paid to an external stimulus, an internal thought, or both, then it is stored in the short-term memory. It is mostly stored in auditory form. This information is lost through decay as we don’t need to process and store all the information that we encounter in the world. So we simply don’t rehearse all the information, and this information just fades away not to be stored in our long term memories.

Once the information from the sensory memory enters the short term memory

It needs to be rehearsed for it to go into the long term memory. Otherwise the information is lost via decay and displacement   this means that new information pushes out the old information as the capacity of the STM is very limited; researched by Miller in 1956 it...


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