Mulit-Store Model of Memory vs. Working Memory Model

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Compare and contrast the multi-store model of memory with the working memory model.

This essay will firstly briefly describe the theories and important facts about the original multi-store model of memory (MSM) and the working memory model (WMM).

This essay will then evaluate the key studies within these two models and explain the strengths and weaknesses of the main theories.

The final part of this essay will be to examine the similarities and differences between the two models.

The first issue that needs to be addressed however is what exactly is memory? “ Without memory we would be servants of the moment, with nothing but our innate reflexes to help us deal with the world. There would be no language, no art, no science, no culture. Civilization itself is the distillation of human memory” (Blakemore 1988). The simple interpretation of Blakemore’s theory on what memory is that a person’s memory is at least one of the most important things in their life and without it civilization itself could not exist.

One of the first psychologists to research memory was James in 1890. James was the first person to make the distinction between primary and secondary memory, which corresponds with short-term, and long-term memory, without this distinction then the MSM could not have been created.

The MSM was created by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968), this model was proposed to explain how the human memory works. The MSM is based on four key areas the sensory memory, the short-term memory, the long-term memory and rehearsal.

In the sensory memory is the information that is given to a person by their senses, i.e. what a person feels, hears, tastes, smells or sees is stored within this memory. Any information stored within this memory on...

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...the WMM only focuses on the short-term memory or working memory, where as the MSM focuses on all parts of memory.

While the MSM does focus on all parts of memory however unlike the WMM it portrays the short-term memory as a single unit and not as a combination of versatile and independent components.

In the WMM memory is considered an active process and not just a passive store of information, unlike the MSM.

In the MSM the main use for the short-term memory was rehearsal was the only way in which information could be transferred to the long-term memory but in the WMM there are several ways in which this process can occur.

Works Cited
Atkinson, R.C. & Shiffrin, R.M. (1968). Human memory: A proposed system and its control process.

Blakemore, C. (1988). The mind machine. London: BBC Publications

James, W. (1890). Principals of psychology. New York: Holt

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