Sei sulla pagina 1di 2

Muhammad Fida Outline and Evaluate the Working Memory Model Baddeley and Hitch 1974, 2000, devised

the idea of a working memory model, as an improvement on the existing Multi-store memory model as he found the standard too simplistic. The working memory model re-formulates the structure of short term memory and argues that its purpose is not just to store information and pass it to the long term memory; but instead it is the source of our conscious thinking processes. It is a system that allows us to manipulate information, not just store it before passing it on. Rather than being a unitary store, it is made up of a number of subsidiary systems; The Central Executive, the Phonological Loop, and the Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad (inner-eye). The Central Executive, a supervisory component, has a limited capacity, but can process information from any sensory modality, and controls the whole Working Memory system. The Phonological Loop, or inner-voice, is a temporary store for speech-base information, and is sub-divided into an articulatory loop, and a phonological store. The Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad holds visual and spatial information. It, too, is sub-divided into an active and passive sub-system. Logie (1995) suggests that the visual cache, in the passive visual store, holds information about visual form and colour, and that the inner scribe, in the active system, processes information about spatial and movement information. Evidence to support the Working Memory Model, in particular the Phonological Loop, can be found in Baddeley, Thomson and Buchanans Word Length Effect study, in 1975. Participants were shown a visual presentation of a word list where one word was presented at a time for very brief exposures. The participants were then asked to write the words down in the correct serial order. In the first condition, the words were monosyllabic, whilst in the second condition, the words were polysyllabic. Participants did both conditions several times so that an average could be calculated. They found that performance was superior in the monosyllabic condition. This shows that the capacity of the phonological loop is determined by the length of time it takes to say the words to yourself rather than the number of items. The capacity of the phonological loop is approximately 1.5 seconds. There is evidence that recall digit span is reduced in Arabic because it takes longer to say the digits to. This repeated measures design experiment, was reliable as it was conducted in carefully controlled laboratory conditions, and the results were repeated, so an average could be calculated, meaning there was less chance of anomalies affecting the end results. However, this study lacks mundane realism, as this study is not an accurate representation of an everyday task, and it is possible that the effect was caused by the shorter words being more memorable than the longer words, rather than the length of the words. This study is important as it supports the idea of a phonological loop, contained within the working memory model. Another study to support the working memory model, specifically, the articulatory loop, a sub-system of the phonological loop, is the articulatory suppression tasks. Articulatory suppression is when a participant is given a task that would usually make use of the articulatory loop, yet the participant is simultaneously asked to repeat aloud a meaningless chant, to confuse the articulatory loop. Participants were asked to recall either a list of monosyllabic or polysyllabic words, as before, but this time they were asked to say, la, la, la, la, over and over out loud whilst doing both tasks. This time there was no difference

Muhammad Fida in the number of words remembered in the two conditions. Baddeley argues that this is because the articulatory loop is filled with speaking tasks and the memory task has now got to be carried out by the Central Executive which has a larger capacity than the phonological loop. This study therefore provides evidence for the existence of an articulatory loop, and so henceforth, a phonological loop. Evidence for the central executive can be found in the studies by Baddeley 1996. There has been less research in this area, although Baddeley investigated the selective attention and switching retrieval aspects of the central executive. This study, again, uses the dual task experiment. Baddeley asked participants to create random strings of digits by pressing numbered keys on a keyboard. Participants had to avoid any possible pattern emerging. Whilst doing the above task participants also had to either recite the alphabet or alternate between letters and numbers. Participants performed least well in condition three, where they had to attend to two difficult tasks simultaneously. Baddeley concluded that both of the difficult tasks were competing for the same central executive resources. The central executive appears to be located in the pre-frontal cortex. However, there is a lot of studies and evidence to suggest the working memory model cannot explain many things, such as musical memory, and so we must also look at those studies against the working memory model to properly evaluate it. There is an argument that, although the working memory is more detailed and account for the processing of material better than the multi-store memory model, the working memory model puts too much emphasis on aspects, such as the central executive, and the sub-systems, which need more research into them, since we have not seen them on brain scans, and so are not even sure that they exist. As I mentioned earlier, it also does not take account of musical memory. How are we able to listen to instrumental music without impairing performance on other tasks? And how can the working memory model explain this? There also needs to be more research into the sub-systems, and slave systems, as it is unclear how many there are. To conclude, although the working memory mode is more detailed than the multi-store model, there are many specifics, which fail to have been researched enough. The working memory model does, however put less emphasis on rehearsal. Though, a real limit of the multi-store model is its emphasis on the fact that information can only be transferred to long term memory through rehearsal. This is clearly untrue because those with a very small digit span and small articulatory loop cab remember things long term. The working memory model, has more to say than the multi store model about the way memory operates and the working memory model can explain disorders like dyslexia which the multi store model cannot do. The phonological loop does not work in some children with dyslexia making it hard for them to develop reading skills and to understand complex text or learn new spoken vocabulary.