The visuo-spatial sketchpad encodes visual and spatial information and also it analyses and manipulates information. Visual information refers to what things look like, spatial information refers to the layout of things, like one object being on top of another for example. The phonological loop rehearses information and consists of two parts; the phonological store and the articulatory control process. The capacity of the phonological loop was demonstrated by the following experiment (Baddeley et al. , 1975).
Participants were given lists of short words and long words to recall.
They recalled more of the short words than the long words. The researchers found that the phonological loop can hold the number of items that can be said in about 2 seconds therefore since short words can be said in a shorter time than long words, more short words were recalled, This is known as the word-length effect. The central executive controls all of working memory and it decides which particular store is needed and coordinates the retrieval of information from LTM.
There is evidence for working memory, for example the dual task hypothesis (Baddeley 1986). This study challenges the traditional view of STM and is evidence for multistore STM. He presented the participants with two tasks at one time (one digital and one reasoning). This made no difference and showed STM wasn’t full and that there must be separate stores. Other evidence for the existence of working memory is that K. Fs visual store was unaffected, suggesting separate stores and the fact that the phonological loop only rehearses things is another criticism of Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968).
Short-term memory and long term memory have been seen as separate stores for over 100 years now, and although at the time Atkinson & Shiffrin’s multistore model of memory was seen as a major breakthrough in cognitive psychology, everyone now agrees with Baddeley. 0ther criticisms of the multistore model are that it is now seen as passive and simplistic whereas Baddeley’s working memory model is more complex. Shallice & Warrington (1974) looked at K.
F whose visual/acoustic encoding was having problems, but his semantic encoding was untouched. Eysenck (1995) criticised ‘rehearsal’. He said that they were saying only things that are rehearsed could go into LTM. He said this isn’t the case. We are taking in stimuli from everywhere into the STM, not necessarily rehearsed, unless see life as one big rehearsal. He said very rarely in everyday life do we rehearse everything. Baddeley and Hitch also ignored the influence of LTM on STM (Van de Goot 1966).
Also the multistore model is seen as limited in explanatory power when compared with other models such as the working memory model. Over the years the views on the models of memory and the actual models of memory themselves have gradually and sometimes greatly changed. Who knows what the future holds for the study and analysis of memory? Another model could be introduced or one could be ruled out completely, we will just have to wait and see.