Multi-store model notes

  • Created by: Molly
  • Created on: 13-05-12 07:54

Discuss the Multi-store model of memory

Memory is our ability to encode, store, retain and subsequently recall information and past experiences in the human brain. Memory models try to explain theories of how memory is encoded, stored and retained. The Multi-store model gives a theory to how memory is stored suggesting either in the sensory memory, the short term memory or the long term memory.

Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968) developed the concept of the Multi-store Model to describe how our memory is organised. They believed memory had three separate stores; the sensory store, the short term store and the long term store, which all differed in the way they were encoded, their duration and capacity due to attention, rehearsal and retrieval. This idea was proposed in the 1960's, when psychological theories were dominated by the cognitive approach, stating we process memory like a machine.

The sensory memory is the first stage for information coming from our senses, alerted by an environmental stimuli. The capacity of the sensory memory is said to be vast, although duration of the memory is only 0.25 to 2.00 seconds long. The sensory memory stores images, smells, tasks and sounds, However if attention is given to the sensory information, it is able to enter the short term memory.
The short term memory is the second stage for information which holds the memory long enough for it to be used. The capacity of the short term memory is 5 to 9 (7+/-2) items at a given time and the memory duration lasts 15 to 30 seconds. Information in the short term memory can be maintenance rehearsed, which allows it to stay in the short term or elaborately rehearsed which allows it to enter the long term memory, However, if no rehearsal is done at this point, information will be forgotten.
The long term memory is the third and final stage for information and is a more permanent store which has an infinite capacity and duration of memory. Long term memories are encoded semantically which means we have a meaning and understanding of the information and they can be retrieved back into the short term memory which allows them to be used.

P - Glanzer and Cunitz supported the Multi-store model.
E - They did an experiment on recalling words which demonstrated the primacy & recency effect. The first words given were better remembered (primacy)


Anna McGurk


what does the PEC stand for? Its a brilliant essay!!!

Crystal Dallas


I’m thinking that it’s 

Point , Explain , Criticism.