The structure of memory Essay

The structure of memory Essay

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Introduction
Prior research into the structure of memory have suggested that memory is comprised up from three separate stores each performing a specific and relatively inflexible function (in Passer, Smith, Holt, Bremner, Sutherland, & Vliek, 2009). That is the multi-store model, developed by Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968 in Passer et al., 2009) who claim a sensory memory store, short-term memory store (STM) and a long-term memory store (LTM) (in Passer et al., 2009). Although to some, the multi store model provided an adequate explanation of memory processes, it was regarded as being too simplistic since short-term and long- term memories were far more complicated than originally thought (in Craik & Lockhart, 1972). In essence, the multi-store model stresses the importance of rehearsal to long term memory. While rehearsal is crucial as a means of transferring information from the STM to the LTM, this is not necessarily always the case (in Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968 in Passer et al., 2009). To this, sceptics challenged the idea of information being transferred from the STM to the LTM by active rehearsal since subsequent research has indicated that information had the potential to be stored in the LTM without it being actively rehearsed (in Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968). In response to the difficulties and weaknesses presented in the multi-store model, an alternative model attempting to explain memory processes in a more precise manner was developed by Craik & Lockhart (1972 in Craik & Lockhart, 1972). Their theory of levels of processing proposes that different methods of encoding information into the memory will subsequently have an effect on recollection of information (in Craik & Lockhart, 1972). According to the levels of process...


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...rformance. For example, Craik & Lockhart (1972) found that individuals who processed information at a semantic level produced better recalls followed by acoustic processing and then visual processing being the least effective in terms of remembering. The results fundamentally imply that engaging in semantic processing tends to yield higher levels of memory performance compared to acoustic and visual processing thus reflecting the findings of Craik & Lockhart’s (1972) and that memory was enhanced more by depth of processing rather than how long information was rehearsed for as previously pointed out by the multi-store model. It also showed a greater amount of recall for deeply processed words than for shallowly processed words. In addition, the study also revealed that the effect appeared to be stronger for the ‘True’ responses that for the ‘False’ responses.




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