Multi-Store Model Essay

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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
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(2007) explained that the reason to why amnesic patients do not exhibit primacy effect in free recall tasks might not be due to impaired LTS, but is due to unstrategic rehearsal methods. They studied an amnesic patient, S.J., whom underwent a bilateral hippocampal lesion. During the free recall task, S.J. was unable to cumulatively rehearse list items like normal subjects. He rehearsed only the latest item presented during the interval before presentation of the next item. Hence, Brown et al. (2007) suggested that amnesic patients’ lack of primacy effect is more likely due to their inability to rehearse strategically rather than their lack of a LTS.
Conclusion
In summary, both multi-store and unitary-store models provide valid arguments. However, they are also equally flawed. Personally, I support the multi-store model as it attempts to express the complexity of the nature of the human memory system, such as in Baddeley and Hitch’s (1974) working memory model. It appears to be more ecologically valid and comprehensive. Besides, it is also better supported by neuroimaging studies. With that said, more research should be carried out before ruling out any one of these

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