Discuss what psychological research has told us about memory (16 marks)
Psychologists have studies to provide information about different sectors of memory.
Many psychologists agree that there are three different types of memory and this includes sensory registers, short-term memory and finally, long-term memory. According to Atkinson and Sheffrin’s multi-store model of memory, information from the senses (sight, taste, etc.) must be encoded to enable transfer from the initial sensory register to short-term memory (STM), and in turn onto Long-Term Memory (LTM). All these three types differ with capacity and coding, for example, the sensory register has a limited capacity and a very limited duration. Sensory register stores information from our senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell), this information usually is forgotten and disappears. On the other hand, short-term memory also has a limited capacity and duration in which information lasts fifteen to thirty seconds which means information does not last so long. Information is usually traced (coding) by acoustic for instance, you may repeat yourself when reading out a number or sentence out loud and this tends to turn into long-term memory.
Long-term memory commonly has unlimited capacity and is usually permanent (i.e. the information can be stored in the brain forever or a very long time). Coding is usually semantic (the meaning of the information). There are different types including episodic memory, semantic memory and procedural memory. In conclusion to all of the types of memory, it shows that the brain can comprehend and take in information depending on the locations, times and situations.
Psychologists have studied memory which has helped them understand how the brain functions when taking information in. Peterson and Peterson (1959) had an investigation to see the duration of short-term memory by using nonsense trigrams. In the ‘interference task’, after three seconds, participants would recall about 80% of trigrams correctly which is a high figure compared to when after it hit eighteen seconds, only about 10% were recalled correctly. They both learnt that when rehearsal is prevented, very little can stay in the short-term memory for longer than eighteen seconds. These results that Peterson and Peterson had are likely to be reliable as it was studied as a laboratory experiment where the variables can be strict with them and can be highly controlled. However, nonsense trigrams are artificial, so this study lacks ecological validity. This experiment lacks ecological validity because this would not happen in real life and meaningful or ‘real-life’ memories may last longer in short-term memory.
Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) created the multi-store model which includes three stores - a sensory register, a short-term store and a long-term store, and information has to move through these stores to become a memory. For example, the sensory register can gather information but can become a short-term store if rehearsed more, which then helps the information into becoming a long-term store. Information from our environment (e.g. visual or auditory) initially goes into the sensory register which does not keep the information in for long at all. The sensory register only keeps information for a couple seconds and disappears
instantly. Individuals do not usually notice this happening and do not take in what they see or hear in the natural environment or in places. However, if an individual pays attention to it, or thinks about it the information will pass into short-term memory and this will last fifteen to thirty seconds. If information is rehearsed then it can be transferred to long-term memory. If the information is transferred into long-term memory then it has the possibility to keep the information forever. Individuals can forget the information if it isn’t rehearsed enough but most of the time the information will be stored in the brain for a long time (for years). For example, when you are taught something in school, students would need to revise after their class to ensure they can remember the information that was being taught so then for their upcoming exams or tests, they would be prepared; the information would be stored into the short-term memory but if the student revises the content, then it would transfer into the long-term memory.
Baddeley and Hitch (1974) developed the working memory model (a multi-store model of the short-term memory). The central executive is a key component and can be described as attention but can also maintain tasks, make decisions and retrieve memory and also has three other subsystems; the phonological loop holds speech and verbal based information; the visuospatial sketchpad, which deals with the temporary storage of visual and spatial information; and episodic buffer, which integrates short-and long-term memory. Baddeley developed the episodic buffer in 2000, this is because he believed that the working memory model needed another memory store. The episodic buffer usually sends information to the long-term memory.
P.s. this is an assignment from oxbridge home learning. i need to get the best possible grade that i can achieve as after four assignments they predict my grades and ofc im going to university... so could anyone please advise me on what i should change and be critical if need be. ive been basically teaching myself so it is very very difficult.