The Multi Store Model Essay Psychology

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The Multi Story Model

The Multi Story Model is a theoretical explanation of how the human memory works. The model was first proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin in 1968. The theory suggests that the memory works in a sequence of three stages; the Sensory Memory, Short Term Memory, and Long Term Memory. Each stage must be completed to move onto the next one in a fixed sequence.

The first stage of the memory is called the Sensory Memory (SM) but is also known as the present memory. The Sensory part of its name comes from the way it automatically stores incoming information from the senses (sight, sound, taste, smell or touch). In the SM the memory capacity is quite large, but it has a very brief duration and becomes either discarded or passed on to the Short Term Memory.

If attention is paid in the Sensory Memory it may be passed on to the Short Term Memory (STM). Here the capacity is very limited and is well described by Miller (1956) who said ‘The magical number 7, plus or minus 2’. The encoding that takes place here is mainly visual and acoustic. If the information is not rehearsed it becomes discarded or forgotten.

The Long Term Memory (LTM) is the last stage of the memory where information rehearsed in the STM is stored. Supposedly the LTM has unlimited capacity and duration where it may remain for a life time. Coding for LTM is mainly semantic but visual and acoustic coding can also be used.

Evidence for the Multi Story Model is highly sufficient. Studies of amnesiacs such as Clive Wearing who’s hippocampus was attacked by a virus and therefore doesn’t have a working Short Term Memory. This evidence supports MSM as they show the separate Short Term Memory and Long Term Memory. Another piece of