Human Memory Model

The following human memory model chart is derived and adapted from from Baddeley’s model of working memory, and the Atkinson–Shiffrin memory model:


Jump to episodic and semantic memory examples.

Working Memory Definition

Working memory is the capacity to hold small amounts of information in an active, easily accessible state, usually for less than 30 seconds at a time. Examples include keeping a new phone number in working memory long enough to dial the number, and keeping a new, important meeting date & time in your active memory long enough to write it down.

Working memory is important for learning new information and new skills. Several research studies indicate that in many people diagnosed with ADHD (both children and adults), there is evidence of a compromised or restricted working memory capacity. Fortunately, research has also shown that working memory capacity can be strengthened and increased with sustained effort.