This is a key theory for Unit 1 and you need to know it in detail. This includes all the parts of the model, the research supporting it and strengths and weaknesses. Baddeley's addition of the Episodic Buffer is not in the Specification, but should be learned by students aiming for the top band. Make sure you can apply the model, explaining how it accounts for ordinary remembering and forgetting.
Baddeley & Hitch (1974)
Processes of Working Memory AO1
Improvements to Working Memory (2000)
Research into Working Memory
Applying Working Memory AO2
Evaluating Working Memory AO3
Working Memory FAQ
BADDELEY & HITCH (1974)
PROCESSES OF WORKING MEMORY AO1
Describing Theories can be done by following the 4 CONs, which stand for Context, Concepts, Conclusions and Construction. Theories also needs to be Applied (AO2) and Evaluated (AO3), which will be dealt with later
RESEARCH INTO WORKING MEMORY
The Cocktail Party Effect
The “Cocktail Party Effect” is the confusion you experience when you are trying to listen to two conversations at once. It’s an example of the Dual Task Paradigm. Working Memory explains why we experience this. The Loop and the VSSP are supposed to work together but if you have two sources of information that must be processed by the same slave system (two sets of sounds or two sets of images) then the slave system gets overloaded.
This doesn’t happen when you are processing two different sources of information – which is why you can play on your Xbox and listen to your mother at the same time (despite her telling you that you can’t).
Dementia & Alzheimer’s
Dementia sufferers have particular trouble with dual tasks. Baddeley & Erses adapted tasks for Alzheimer’s sufferers and found they still struggled with this, Baddeley suggests this is a fault with the Central Executive which may explain a lot of dementia symptoms.
The dual load can be reduced by creating a quiet environment for dementia sufferers without background noise (turn off the TV/radio etc).
The Episodic Buffer was introduced to the model to explain why brain-damaged patients can still recall stories or lists without the use of LTM. It may explain why Cognitive Stimulation works for dementia patients. Cognitive Stimulation uses prompts and activities to reawaken early memories and get patients to talk about their lives. Pulling memories together into a story is the job of the Episodic Buffer which can “pick up the slack” from the other two slave systems.
You can use all of this in your Cognitive Key Question.
There’s a lot of research in support of Working Memory, particularly into the dual task paradigm. These show that some dual tasks are more difficult than others (for example, ones where there are two sources of information with the same encoding) and Working Memory explains why this should be.
The idea of the “inner ear” and the “inner eye” are quite easy to understand and match up with what it feels like when we remember things – this is called face validity. The model has also been backed up by brain scanning which shows acoustic and visual encoding going on in different parts of the brain.
New data has emerged which the original (1974) model couldn’t explain – such as the brain-damaged patients who could repeat complex stories. However, the addition of the Episodic Buffer (2000) does improve the model. More research needs to be done on the Episodic Buffer because, unless the other two slave systems, it isn’t completely clear what it does.
The model is based on lab experiments involving dual tasks. These are quite artificial. In real life, even at cocktail parties, you use your other senses (such as paying attention to body language or lip-reading when someone speaks). If the experiments into Working Memory lack ecological validity, then the model won’t explain how memory works in real life situations.
Working Memory is similar to the Multi Store Model (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968). In fact, you might say Working Memory is a development of the MSM, with Working Memory replacing the STM Store. It’s still a linear model of memory, with the idea of information coming from the senses to the Sensory Store, being processed in Working Memory then encoded into LTM, from which is can be retrieved by the Central Executive.
Working Memory is regarded as the most successful memory model at the moment because it is supported by evidence about the structure of the brain and the Working Memory model gets updated in the light of new discoveries in neuroscience. It is a model that is still developing (such as the addition of the Episodic Buffer in 2000) whereas the MSM is “fixed” and has not developed much since the ‘70s.
Reconstructive Memoryis a different approach to memory involving schemas. However, in Working Memory it is the Central Executive that creates and retrieves schemas to help the slave systems do their jobs. This is another example of Working Memory incorporating and improving on other theories.
Working Memory tells us how to improve our memory in some situations. If you have to encode something in one particular way (like listening to a radio broadcast) then remove competing information (by muting the TV). However, it suggests you can concentrate on two differently coded sources at once – so you can do revision by copying a mind map while listening to a podcast.
The model may have application to helping people with dementia. Using the Episodic Buffer seems to help people who cannot encoded memories in LTM or have trouble retrieving LTM. This means using Cognitive Stimulation: playing an old song and asking the patient to tell the story of how they first heard it.
Start with an evaluation point and back it up with evidence.
Evaluation + evidence = "logical chain of reasoning"
Issues & Debates (like psychology over time) make great conclusions
WORKING MEMORY FAQ
Essay on Baddeley and Hitch’s Working Memory Model
1140 Words5 Pages
This essay addresses the working memory model which was proposed by Baddeley and Hitch (1974 in Smith & Kosslyn, 2007) as a response to Atkinson and Shiffrins (1968 in Smith, 2007) multi-store model. According to Baddely and Hitch the multi-store model failed to explain most of the complexities of the human memory and viewed it as being too simplistic. They argued that the short term memory store must have more components rather it being a single inflexible store as suggested previously by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968). The working memory model is therefore an enhancement of the multi store model. According to Baddeley and Hitch working memory is a limited- capacity system that stores and processes information.
According to Baddeley and…show more content…
This is interpreted as because the capacity of the phonological loop is limited in time (in Smith, 2007).
Further evidence for the existence of the phonological loop comes from Conrads and Hulls (1975 in Passer, 2009) experiment in which they examined the effect of phonological similarity. They found that serial recall in a list of similar sounding words tended to yield poorer results with participants finding it difficult to remember compared to words that sounded different. It has also been found that recall in semantically similar words tended to have little or no effect, supporting the idea that verbal information is transferred in a phonological manner in working memory. In addition, Vallar and Papagno (1995 in Smith, 2007) found that the phonological store in brain damaged patients were dysfunctional.
Moreover, Hardyk and Petrinovich (1970 in Parkin, 1993) found the articulatory loop to be crucial when being presented with complex information. In their study they measured participants throat muscle and forearm muscle activity although some may argue that this was not a good technique to carry out. Their findings led to them conclude that when participants were presented with complex material their articulatory loop would come in to function (in Parkin, 1993).
In addition, memory span tasks support the existence of the articulatory loop showing that task ability heavily depends on a