Multi-Store Model

Waugh and Norman's Multi-Store Model of Memory Explained

In attempt to provide an understanding of the nature of the human memory, Waugh and Norman (1965) proposed a multistore model of memory, and adopted the terms primary and secondary memory, originally used by William James in the year 1890.

In their model, each verbal stimulus to which a subject attended was perceived in primary memory.

The primary memory had a very limited capacity. As new stimuli were regarded, and as the capacity of the primary memory was reached, stimuli previously perceived in the primary memory were displaced and forgotten.

However, when information was rehearsed, it was either retained in short-term storage in the primary memory, or it was transferred to long-term storage in the second memory.

Waugh and Norman's multistore model of memory
Figure: Waugh and Norman's Multi-Store Model of Memory

The more often an item in primary memory was rehearsed, the more likely it was to be transferred to secondary memory. Waugh and Norman’s model may be conceptualized in the manner illustrated in the Figure, above.