William James ' Influential Theory Of Primary And Secondary Memory

1483 Words Nov 13th, 2016 6 Pages
As one of the most insightful philosophers and psychologists of our time, William James’ influential theory of primary and secondary memory in 1890 kick-started the long standing dispute between theories of unitary and separate memory stores. Advocates of multi-store models focus heavily on distinctions between long term memory (LTM) and short term memory (STM), such as differences in their capacity of storage and duration of which information can be withheld within each store. Other theorists propose unitary-store models which favour similarities between the two. Evidence for both models are discussed and evaluated below.
Multi-store models
Atkinson and Shriffin’s modal model (1968) was a notable pioneer of this theory. It consisted of sensory registers, a short-term store (STS) and a long-term store (LTS). However, it was considered to be oversimplified and was replaced by Baddeley and Hitch’s (1974) more detailed ‘Working Memory’ theory which accounted for complexity of STM. It consists of a modality-free central executive (attention distributor), a phonological loop (processes and stores information temporarily in a speech-based form), a visuo-spatial sketchpad (visual and spatial form of the former), and an episodic buffer (stores integrated information briefly). Key assumptions which accentuate the multi-store factor are: if two tasks use the same component, they will not excel in parallel; if two tasks use separate components, they should perform equally well as they…

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