Describe and Discuss the Multistore Model of Memory The multi-store model of memory was the idea of Atkinson and Shiffrin. Atkinson and Shiffrin suggested that memory was compromised of three separate stores – the Sensory Memory store, the Short-term Memory (STM) store, and the Long-term Memory (LTM) store. They presented a diagram to show this. The multi-store model of memory is a theoretical explanation of how memory processes work. It was the first extensively accepted model of how memory works, it is however not the definitive explanation of memory.
Information is said to pass through each stage in a fixed sequence. There are limitations of capacity and duration at each separate stage. Information can easily be lost from either of the stages. The first stage of the model is the sensory memory. The name derives from the fact that the information received is sensual, i. e. visual or auditory. In the sensory memory there is a limited ability to store information from the environment in a moderately unprocessed way for less than a second.
Information received will either decay or be passed forward to the short term store. In the Short-term store, memory is sorted. Its capacity is 18-30 seconds, and is 7 items on average. Things that need to be remembered for longer than this time pass into the rehearsal loop. In here, memory is rehearsed over and over in the mind, which enables it to be passed into long-term memory store. The Long-term memory store has an infinite capacity and is the main store of memory.
It is encoded semantically, which means emotions and feelings of meaning are attached to memories. The multistore model shows this as the third section along the fixed sequence. After passing into the Long-term memory store, memories can be recalled. The psychological community accepted this model in the majority, however the main problem with this model is that it is too simple. Short-term memory and Long-term memory are not stored in one place as this memory sugest, but rather spread out in different parts of the brain.
For example, Badderly’s working memory model shows us there are many different sections of Short-term memory, but does not take into account the Sensory memory or Long-term memory aspects of memory. Overall, the multistore memory model is a simplified way of introducing memory to new psychologists. Using models such as Badderly’s to introduce memory would be too complex. So the multistore model is used. It makes it easy for us to learn about memory from no prior knowledge, and sums up in an easy way how memory works. Peter Griffith 20:42 – 28/11/10