Working Memory Model

Baddeley and Hitch (1974, 2000)

Baddeley and Hitch see STM as much more than a temporary store through which information flows on its journey to LTM and from which information is lost if it is not rehearsed. The working memory model sees STM as…
  • an active processor with a number of different components which work together to allow verbal reasoning, text comprehension, mental arithmetic and other complex tasks
  • a mental workspace

where we can bring items to mind from LTM or information that has been attended to from the outside world , manipulate it and work with it temporarily.

Baddeley and Hitch believe that STM is not a unitary store but instead has one main processor that controls the other, the central executive and then two slaves systems or sub-systems, the phonological loop and the visuo-spatial sketchpad. In 2000, they added another slave system called the episodic buffer.
They believe that two tasks can be carried out simultaneously in STM provided that they are being dealt with by different parts of the memory system.

Sort and sequence cards; which statements go with which component?

Some glossary terms that you need to record: WMM glossary terms 2.doc

Evaluating the Working Memory Model by interpreting research findings.

Evaluating the Working Memory Model by considering real life applications and comparison with alternative theories.

Which studies support which components of the model? studies of WMM and components.doc

Evaluation cards to sort into strengths and weaknesses and useful in planning evaluative themes in your essay: evaluation cards.doc

Original paper Baddeley and Hitch (1976): hitch1976

Relevant study for SAQ: Robbins et al. (1996)


This would also make a great IA if adapted slightly to make it simpler, i.e. smaller board? less pieces? Simplified scoring system and just the VS suppression task plus control.

Case studies to evaluate WMM

KF supports the idea of the Visuo-Spatial sketchpad separate from Verbal STM (against MSM and for WMM)

LH who had good spatial but poor visual memory for objects and faces (Farah: farah1988case study of LH; damaged visual cache) and MV who had poor spatial (damaged inner scribe) but good visual memory  (Carlesimo)  supporting separations to the visuo-spatial sketchpad into visual cache and inner scribe.


Describe working memory model with reference to one research. (9) SAQ WMM and Robbins

Describe one model of memory with reference to one research study. (9)


Evaluate one of model of memory. (22)

Contrast two models of memory with reference to research evidence. (22)