Question Megan Social Sciences

What is the difference between levels of processing and the multi store model of memory?

What is the difference between levels of processing and the multistore model of memory

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Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) proposed a multi store model of memory whereby the memory process consists of three distinct components: the sensory store, short-term store and long-term store. Firstly, information enters into the sensory store via the sensory organs. The short-term store receives and temporarily stores input from the sensory store, as well as the long-term store. Information retained within the short-term store via maintenance rehearsal transfers to the long-term store where it remains indefinitely (Atkinson & Shiffrin 1968). Craik and Lockhart’s (1972) levels of processing model is a non-structured approach which states that memories occur as a consequence of the depth of processing of information. Shallow processing involves input of structural and phonetic information requiring maintenance rehearsal, which enables short-term retention. Deep processing involves elaboration rehearsal of semantic information leading to a more significant analysis of information, stronger memory traces and improved recall (Craik & Lockhart 1972). One difference between both models is that the multi-store model describes short and long-term memory as two independent stores, whereby information must pass through short-term memory in order to be stored in long-term memory. The levels of processing model makes no distinction between short and long-term memory, but describes varying levels of processing – the deeper the processing the easier it is to recall the information. A further difference between the two memory models is that according to the multi-store model, maintenance rehearsal only occurs within the short-term memory store; however, the levels of processing model maintains that two types of rehearsal occur throughout the levels of processing: maintenance rehearsal, which occurs during shallow processing, and elaboration rehearsal, which is involved in deeper processing.


Atkinson, RC & Shiffrin, RM 1968, ‘Human memory: a proposed system and its control processes’ in Spence, KW & Spence, JT, (eds), The psychology of learning and motivation, Vol 2, pp 89-195 Press: New York. Available from: [Accessed: 20 October 2016].

Craik, FIM & Lockhart, RS 1972. ‘Levels of processing: A framework for memory research’, Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behaviour, vol. 11, pp 671-684. Available from: [Accessed: 20 October 2016].