Dual-Store Model of Memory

Dual-Store Model of Memory

Memory provides insight into human nature, how new ideas develop, and how information is kept over time. Different models describe how minds function. The dual-store model developed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin provides the clearest picture of the human brain. Three steps are created by the model to represent how the human memory works. In essence, a Dual-store model with three stages serves as the foundation for human memory (Nicholas, 2009). The Sensory Register serves as the first step. The stage determines which memories will be carried over to the subsequent steps. The working memory then receives the information. According to Groome (2013), the step lacks the necessary storage capacity and can only keep information for a short time.

Dual-Store Model of Memory

A vital source of enjoyment and knowledge is still music. Depending on the type of music a person prefers, people engage differently. Highlight the ideas of the dual-store model as promoted by Atkinson and Shiffrin when listening to new music. The auditory system now starts to function. At this point, the ears recognise the vibration as a rhythmic sound, and they quickly transmit the information to working memory. Nicholas (2009) asserts that the sensory register only prepares data before sending it to short-term memory. The auditory system’s functionality would determine the information developed at this point. Any deficit (disability) results in inattention, which prevents the sensory register from triggering the three steps.

After then, information processing is in charge of the working memory. According to Nicholas (2009), the short-memory mind operated in two ways, transferring information to the long-term memory upon rehearsal or completely discarding it. In this instance, the listener’s short memory allows them to recall the chorus in a few of seconds. The knowledge enters the long-term memory and remains there indefinitely if the listener practises the music. On the other side, the listener can be uninterested and forget the entire song’s lyrics as a result.

Successful rehearsal and regular listening would familiarise the listener with the lyrics, message, and beats of the given music made possible by the model’s final step (long-term memory stage). A process known as retrieval brings the knowledge back to the short-term memory (Cowan, 2008 & Nicholas 2009). In this scenario, after some time, one would be able to relate to the beats and the music’s meaning by listening to them, emulating the singer, and deducing the song’s meaning. Retrieval failures may happen between the long-term and short-term stages, according to Cowan (2008). Thus, one may remember the song’s lyrics or meaning clearly or completely forget them.

Dual-Store Model of Memory

In summary, the human brain processes information while storing it in three main stages. Working memory can only store specific information for a limited amount of time during the early stages. The final step of the model, which is still unfinished, explains why some facts and events stick with us while others fade away. Failure in retrieval leads to memory loss.


N. Cowan (2008). What distinguishes working memory from long-term, short-term, and memory span. 323–338. Progress in Brain Research, 169.

D. Groome (2013). Processed and Disorders in Cognitive Psychology: An Introduction. Psychology Press, New York.

L. Nicholas, ed (2009). The basics of psychology Juta and Company Ltd., Cape Town.


    You get full access to this sample paper