Describe and evaluate the working memory model. Refer to evidence in your answer (10 marks)
There are many different theories and ideas on how our memory works both in short term and long term; often these theories are visualised by models. The working memory model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch in 1974 is one of these models Baddeley and Hitch put this model forward as they felt that the multi-store model severely understated the complexity of short term memory therefore put forward the working memory model which has much more emphasis on our short term memory. Working memory is mainly short term memory. Instead of all information going into a single store after following a linear path like the multi-store model there are different systems and stores for different types of information. Working memory consists of a central executive who controls and coordinates the operation of the subsystems: the phonological loop, the visuo-spatial sketch pad and the episodic buffer.
The Central Executive is the store which controls the subsystems or ‘slave’ systems; central executive coordinates these systems and shifts between the tasks they are performing. It is due to the central executive that we can multi-task, as it coordinates the slave systems to work together so that you could hold a conversation whilst driving or play a game and listen to music. However the central executive can choose which task to give more attention to, if you became lost whilst driving the central executive would choose to stop the conversation allowing the focus to shift back to the task of driving. Baddeley and Hitch said the central executive has a ‘limited capacity’ but the capacity is not measurable so there is no way to know what the true capacity of the central executive is.
One slave system is named the phonological loop, as it deals with sound and auditory information. This store is split into two parts; a short-term ‘phonological store’ with memory traces that decay rapidly and an...