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THE MODAL MODEL. Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968). rehearse. Sensory Information Store. Short Term Memory (STM). Long Term Memory (LTM). recode. input. retrieve. Sperling’s (1960) Partial Recall Effect. R. N. K. P. X. V. B. M. L. V. F. J.

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the modal model
THE MODAL MODEL

Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968)

rehearse

Sensory

Information

Store

Short Term

Memory (STM)

Long Term

Memory (LTM)

recode

input

retrieve

sperling s 1960 partial recall effect
Sperling’s (1960) Partial Recall Effect

R

N

K

P

X

V

B

M

L

V

F

J

Partial Recall instruction produces better performance than Total Recall instruction.

Effect lasts for up to half a second.

evidence in support of the sensory information store
Evidence in support of the Sensory Information Store

Sperling’s (1960) Partial Recall Effect

- Suggests at a sensory storage level, All information is available.

Neisser (1964) and Plomp (1967)’s Masking Effects

- Quantify the very short duration of visual and acoustic information in the sensory store.

evidence in support of a stm ltm distinction
Evidence in support of a STM/LTM distinction

Serial Position Effect

Differences in Storage Capacity

Difference in Retrieval

Neurological Evidence

serial position effect evidence for and against
Serial Position EffectEvidence for and against

Effect of Distraction (Postman and Phillips, 1965)

Suggests persistence of STM information, and therefore recency effect, relies on rehearsal

Effect of inter-item time (Glanzer and Cunitz, 1966)

Suggests transfer of information from STM to LTM depends on rehearsal

Effect of rehearsal on recall (Craik and Watkins, 1973)

Surprise test for all B-words in a controlled list suggests that amount of rehearsal does not predict likelihood of recall

evidence in support of a stm ltm distinction7
Evidence in support of a STM/LTM distinction

Differences in Storage Capacity:

STM – limited

LTM – unlimited

STM loss of information is due to displacement

LTM loss of information is due to interference

But: STM capacity is hard to quantify

STM capacity shows interference effects from LTM

- casts doubt on the independence of STM and LTM stores

evidence in support of a stm ltm distinction8
Evidence in support of a STM/LTM distinction

Differences in Retrieval:

STM – exhaustive search

LTM – guided parallel search

STM – shows set size effect (Sternberg)

LTM – shows no set size effect

BUT LTM retrieval can show a set size effect too (Anderson, 1983)

- Suggests that STM and LTM retrieval may not be so different

STM retrieval can be affected by what is being retrieved (Cavanagh, 1972)

- Suggests that STM retrieval is not just a matter of the number of things to search exhaustively.

evidence in support of a stm ltm distinction9
Evidence in support of a STM/LTM distinction

Neurological Evidence:

Patients HM and KF demonstrate a double-dissociation of STM and LTM

HM shows damaged LTM but intact STM

KF shows damaged STM but intact LTM

Modal model would predict no new learning in KF

Evidence to the contrary suggests that the modal model may be too simplistic

summary
Summary

The modal model is one of the most influential modern approaches to human memory

Memory is a multi-store system

The model is capable of guiding predictions and enquiry

The model is supported by early empirical research

A good start but ultimately too simplistic