The working memory model
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The Working Memory Model. Evidence to support. AQA Specification. Learning Objectives. To outline the features of the working memory model. To describe research evidence to support the existence of components in the working memory model. .

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The Working Memory Model

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The working memory model

The Working Memory Model

Evidence to support


Aqa specification

AQA Specification


Learning objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To outline the features of the working memory model.

  • To describe research evidence to support the existence of components in the working memory model.


Starter activity match the key term to the correct definition

Starter ActivityMatch the key term to the correct definition


Starter activity

Starter Activity


Group activity

Group activity

  • You will all be given a number between 1 and 6.

  • When instructed, you will all move and join the group of people who have the same number as you – this is your group for this activity.

  • In the four corners of the room I am going to put a piece of research that supports a component of the working memory model.

  • One person from each group needs to move to a different corner of the room.

  • You will need to discuss the study and identify which component of working memory the research supports.

  • You will need to complete the relevant part of your table on your worksheet.

  • Any questions?

  • You have 15 minutes to complete this activity.


Group activity1

Group activity

  • Return to your original groups.

  • Each person needs to feedback to the group.

  • Everybody needs to have a completed table by the end of this activity.

  • You have 15 minutes.

  • Be prepared to feedback to the class!


Ce bunge et al 2000

CE: Bunge et al (2000)

The researchers used Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to identify which parts of the brain were most active when participants took part in either single or dual tasks. The single task condition required participants to complete one task after another. The dual task condition required each participant to perform two tasks at the same time. The findings indicated that the same brain areas were active during both conditions, but there was significantly more activation in the dual task condition. This increased brain activity reflects increased attentional demands when participants took part in the dual task condition.


Pl baddeley et al 1975a

PL: Baddeley et al (1975a)

This research found that people cope better with short words than long words in working memory (STM). Participants were asked to recall sets of five words immediately in the correct order. It was found that participant’s ability to do this was better with short words than with long words; this is called the ‘word-length effect.’ The research suggests that the capacity of the phonological loop is determined by the time it takes to say the words rather than the number of items. This makes it hard to remember a list of long words such as ‘association’ and ‘representative’ compared to shorter words like ‘harm’ and ‘twice.’ The longer words can’t be rehearsed on the phonological loop because they do not fit.

However, the word- length effect disappears if a person is give an articulatory suppression task e.g. if you are asked to say ‘the thethe’ while reading the words. This repetitive task ties up the articulatory process removing the advantage of rehearsal and thus the word-length effect disappears. This is evidence of the articulatory process.


Vss baddeley et al 1975b

VSS: Baddeley et al (1975b)

Participants were given a visual tracking task (they had to track a moving light with a pointer). At the same time they were given one of two tasks: task 1 was an imagery task in which participants had to imagine the block capital letter ‘F’ and describe all of the angles on the letter F. Task 2 was to perform a verbal task. Participants found task 1 very difficult; they had to track the spot of light and accurately classify the angles in the letter imagery ask. However they were perfectly capable of carrying out the tracking task in conjunction with a verbal task. This suggests that the tracking and letter imagery tasks were competing for the limited resources of the visuo-spatial sketchpad whereas the tracking and verbal task were using two separate components of working memory; the visuo-spatial sketchpad and phonological loop.


Eb baddeley et al 1987

EB: Baddeley et al (1987)

Participants were shown words and then asked for immediate recall. The findings indicate that performance was much better for sentences (related words) than for unrelated words. This supports the idea of an immediate memory store for items that are neither visual nor phonological and that draw on long-term memory (the link to related words).


Baddeley and hitch 1976 dual task study recap

Baddeley and Hitch (1976)Dual task study: recap

  • Baddeley and Hitch (1974) felt that STM was not just one unitary store (as proposed by the multi-store model of memory) but that it consisted of a number of different components.

  • Procedure: Participants were given digit strings to rehearse aloud while, at the same time, carrying out a verbal reasoning task.

  • Findings: Participants in the study were able to recall six-digit strings and perform accurately on the reasoning task.

  • These findings suggest that the two tasks did not interfere with each other because they made use of different components within STM , thus performance was not affected.


Individual task fill in the gap worksheet

Individual taskFill-in-the-gap worksheet

complete understanding central executive

articulatory loop performance verbal task subvocally working memory moving spot of lightword-length effect storage and processes

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