Mental processes

Memory is studied within the Branch of psychology known as Cognitive psychology. Cognitive Psychology is a research field that strongly focuses on mental processes and the storage and the retrieval of information within the human brain. The Multi-store Model. Atkinson and Shiffrin in the year 1971 produced the concept of the multi store model. Attkinson and Shiffrins model was very simple, but it showed very clearly how the major memory stores worked. The sensory memory was basically a way of data entering into our brain, if the sensory memory did not pick anything up we simply cannot recall it, but if information is picked up (i. e. the name of someone or the colour of something) this information is then passed on to the short term memory.

Before this information is forwarded to the STM it has to be processed, or encoded. Processing can happen in many ways; some of these encoding methods are more favourable to our memory stores than others by either the use of sound or sight (Acoustically or visually) or by the use of semantics (the meaning of a word). The way the encoding works in the STM is by either the brain remembering the sound of the word or that it rhymes with another word from the LTM (Long Term Memory), or how the item looked like (visually).

Research into STM and LTM. Miller in the year 1956 investigated into the capacity of Short Term Memory (STM), and concluded his results in his article ‘ The magic number seven plus or minus two ‘. His results stated that most humans could only remember chunks of information in the capacity of 5 or 9 in the STM. Other psychologists who have also studied the STM include Wicklegren in the year 1964 who also concluded that data could be stored much more easily is it is structured into groups or chunks.

Baddley et al in the year 1975 said that one syllable words are easier to remember that longer words. Naveh-Benjamin and Ayres in the year 1986 also agreed with Baddley, in the experiments that they carried out, proving that it is easier to memorise the English language much more efficiently than the Arabic language. Free Recall Experiments. Free recall experiments are also very supportive of the Multi-store Model. Murdock in the year 1962 carried out these free recall experiments, which consisted of participants having to remember a list of words, and then to recall them.

Murdock found that the participants remembered the first few words of the list and the last few words of the list. These effects were called the primacy effect (where participants tend to remember the first words of the list, because they had stored the words in the LTM) and the Recency effect (this is where participants could recall only the last few words of the list. ) Amnesia Case Studies Amnesia studies by several well known psychologists from around the world also help to back up the idea of the multi-store model.

The case of Clive Wearing in studied by Baddley in the year 1997 was one of the major studies of Amnesia. Clive Wearing suffered retrograde amnesia and could not recall his past as a musician or his friends, which meant that his LTM was impaired. Also his STM was impaired as he could hardly recall new information- if his wife went out of the room and re-entered he would greet her very emotionally. Miller 1966 investigated the case of HM who could not recall any new Information. This is Anterograde Amnesia.

Shallice and Warrington in the year 1970 investigated KF, who had suffered a severe motorcycle accident, he had no problem remembering his past, but he could not remember the present day to day activities that he indulged in. This meant that he had impaired his STM, and without his STM he could not process new information into his LTM. Aim: To investigate gender differences in the Capacity of the STM. Hypothesis: The gender will have a certain effect on Short Term Memory. Method: Design: An Independent Measures Design was manipulated/interrogated into the experiment.

The experiment was carried out inside the psychology classroom; this is a place where we are usually taught our psychology lessons. Subjects/Participants: All of the subjects were A/s students from the Joseph Chamberlain College; they were all definitely studying psychology along with other subjects. Although it is a rather large assumption to make, all of the students have similar IQ levels, as they all have managed to get good grades to enter the College. (We will not take into consideration the fact that some of them may have just managed to get enough grades, and some passed their exams brilliantly)

Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) designed the multi-store model of memory suggesting that we have three different memory stores and that information must be rehearsed and encoded to move through each stage, the long-term memory having the largest capacity and where …

Memory has been the focus of psychology research since the beginning of psychology. Investigators have focused on the structure of memory and factors that aid or inhibit the ability to store and retrieve information. Bower’s research (1972) found that that …

The experiment contained within this coursework is a replication of the experiment conducted by Bower et al (1969). Subjects were recruited by the experimentors and asked to take part in a psychological study. They were given standardised instructions, stimuli and …

“The ability to process and retrieve information is known as memory”1. The most influential explanation of memory is Atkinson’s and Shiffrin’s models of memory. This theory suggests that there are separate memory stores, short term memory (STM) and long term …

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