PSYB57-10W-W06 -- Working Memory
Explain the concept of working memory, and how it fits within a computer metaphor (pp. 240-241).
Working memory: short term mental storage and manipulation operations (eg. phone number, tip, directions)
-temporarily hold information, making those information high assessable
Computer: 2 ways to store information (Hard Disk, Random-assess Memory (RAM))
-information stored permanently in a stable and reliable form
-to use this information, you must retrieve it from the hard disk and load it into RAM
-Hard disk = LTM, RAM = working memory
-RAM has characteristics of working memory
-working memory is a temporary workspace, RAM is cleared and reset when task has been executed
-RAM is completely flexible with regard to content, any program can access any part of RAM
-More RAM = more complex programs can run on it, the more programs can run on it
Detail the history of the study of working memory, beginning with William James’s “primary memory” and
George Miller’s “chunking” theories (pp. 243-244).
William James’s “Primary memory”
Primary memory = short term memory = working memory
Secondary memory - long term memory
- information cannot be retrieved without initiating an active cognitive process.
Primary memory - short term memory
-the initial repository in which information can be stored and made available to conscious inspection, attention, and
-the capacity for short-term information storage is limited
-suggest that people can only store seven items active in short term storage
-“items” are high flexible, and subject to manipulation.
-single items can group into higher level unites of organization - “chunks”
-eg. area codes, words, phrases
Describe the Brown-Peterson task and how it was used to discover sensory memory (pp. 244-245).
Brown-Peterson task: test that short term memory was that information would be viable only for a very brief period
if it were not rehearsed
-eg. memorize ! count to 100 by 3 seconds (prevent rehearsal) ! recall
-findings: after a delay as short as 6 seconds, recall accuracy declined to about 50%
Sensory memory - even briefer than short term memory
-a perceptual representation of a stimulus persisting for a few hundred milliseconds after the sensory input
Explain the Atkinson-Shiffrin model of the relationship between short-term and long-term memory. Why was
it called the modal model? (pp. 247-248).
Atkinson - Shiffrin Model: highly influential because it laid out a comprehensive view of information processing in
memory. In a nod to statistical notion of the mode, it is referred to as Modal model of memory.
-information has to go through short-term memory, before storing in long term memory
-other findings have shown that this was incorrect, patients with an impaired parietal lobe has a
drastically impaired STM is able to store information in LTM like healthy individuals.
Explain the Baddeley-Hitch model, which involves the central executive, the phonological loop, and the
visuospatial scratchpad (pp. 248-250).