• Created by: Bananna20
  • Created on: 24-02-16 19:29

Key Terms

Information processing - information is processed through a number of stages

Input - data entry

Encoding - data changed to another format

Storage - information is used for later usage

Output - using data after retrieval

Retrieval - information is located & taken out of stoarge

Accessibility problems - problems with retrieval of data

Availability problems - problems with storage of data

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Core theory: Multistore model

  • Information is inputted through senses
  • This is encoded - the format is changed to 2D and scaled down
  • The information eneters the sensory memory which lasts 2 seconds unless it is paid attention to
  • If the information is paid attention to it enters the short term memory which has a capacity of 7 +/- 2 and can last between 15 & 30 seconds
  • Once there is no more space in the short term memory, information is displaced
  • If the information is rehearsed, the information enters the long term memory where the capacity is unlimited
  • When the information is retreieved it enters the short term memory again
  • Decay can happen which is when information gets more faint


  • Ignores individual differences - doesn't explain why some people have better memories
  • Too simplistic - memories are complex
  • Over-emphasises role of rehearsal - smells & tastes can be remembered forever even when not rehearsed
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Alternative theory: Levels of Processing

  • Structural - refers to processing things in relation the way they look
  • Phonetic - refers to processing things in relation to how they sound
  • Semantic - refers to processing things in relation to their meaning

Shallow processing - information is encodedor physical characteristics e.g. recognisng the colour of a logo but not the name

Deep processing - coding information on its meaning

Information that is deeply processed is remembered for longer

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Core Study: Terry 2005

  • Aim: to show if space and time affect memory
  • Participants: students in one culture
  • Method: laboratory experiment & repeated measures - IV delay before recall or not, DV number of adverts recalled
  • Procedure: showed 39 students 15 adverts in a random order. 1st condition - participants immediately recalled adverts. 2nd condition - 3 minute writing task before recalling adverts
  • Results: 1st condition - primacy and recency affect. 2nd condition - primacy affect
  • Conclusion: memory is affected by serial position


  • Lacks ecological validity - lab experiment - controlled environment - doesn't reflect real life
  • Demand characteristics - participants knew they were being experimented on - acted unnaturally
  • Lacks construct validity - only tests recallm not memory
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Applications: Memory aids

  • Triggers for retrieval
  • Colour coding helps association
  • Mnemonics - help to chunk information & is easily stored
  • Mind maps - replicate memory organisation
  • Imagery - doubles chance of recall - stored as text & image - gives information a deeper meaning
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