Alan Baddeley – Wikipedia

British psychologist

Alan David Baddeley, is a British psychologist. He is known for his research on memory and for developing the three-component model of working memory. He is a professor of psychology at the University of York.


Baddeley was born in Leeds, Yorkshire on 23 March 1934.[1] He lived there with his parents, Donald and Nellie Baddeley, until leaving for university.[2] He decided to study psychology and was originally interested in psychoanalysis. Later he changed his focus to evidence-based psychology.[3] In 1956, Baddeley went to the United States of America to continue his studies. After spending a year in America, he returned home. He then went to Cambridge, where he met and married Hilary Ann White. Baddeley and his wife have three sons.[2]

Baddeley has taught and conducted research at University of Sussex, University of Stirling, MRC Applied Psychology Unit, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, and University of Bristol. He is currently a professor of psychology at the University of York.[4]


Baddeley attended the University College London from 1953 to 1956. He then obtained an MA from Princeton University’s Department of Psychology in 1957. He earned a PhD from University of Cambridge in 1962.[5] He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by University of Essex in 1999,[6]Plymouth University in 2000,[7] and University of Bristol in 2019.[8]

Career and research[edit]

In 1974, working with Graham Hitch, Baddeley developed an influential model of working memory called Baddeley’s model of working memory,[9] which argues for the existence of multiple short-term memory stores and a separate interacting system for manipulating the content of these stores. There are three components of this model: the phonological loop, the central executive, and the visuospatial sketch pad.[9] In 2000, Baddeley suggested adding a fourth component to his memory model called the episodic buffer.[10] The model accounts for much of the empirical data on short-term retention and manipulation of information.

His landmark study in 1975 on the capacity of short-term memory[11] showed that people remembered more short words than long words in a recall test. This was called the word length effect and it demonstrated that pronunciation time rather than number of items determines the capacity of verbal short-term memory. This study also found that when participants repeated an irrelevant sound while reading the words, the world length effect does not happen.[11]

Working with Barbara Wilson, Baddeley also did several important studies on amnesia and memory.[12][13] They studied patients with temporal lobe damage that caused memory problems. Results of such studies provide evidence that short-term and long-term memory are not one system. The amnesia patients had normal short-term memory but impaired long-term memory.[14]

Baddeley has also done research studies using divers and various underwater conditions. He studied the effects of depth and pressure on dexterity,[15] the impact of temperature on response time,[16] and context-dependent memory on land and underwater.[17]

Baddeley was the director of the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, a branch of the UK Medical Research Council, based in Cambridge, from 1974 – 1997.[18] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993[19] and in 1996, was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[20] In 2001, Baddeley received the American Psychological Association (APA) Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions.[21] Baddeley was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Psychological Society in 2012.[22] He also received the Major Advancement in Psychological Science Prize from the International Union of Psychological Science in 2016.[23]

Other notable works[edit]

Baddeley has also part authored a number of neuropsychological tests including the Doors and People,[24] Children’s Test of Nonword Repetition (CN REP),[25] the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (RBMT),[26] Autobiographical Memory Interview (AMI),[27] Visual Patterns Test (VPT)[28] and the Speed and Capacity of Language Processing Test (SCOLP).[29]

Baddeley was involved in the design of United Kingdom postcodes,[30] and was one of the founders of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology.[31]


  1. ^[ISBN missing]
  2. ^ a b Baddeley, Alan (13 September 2018). Working Memories: Postmen, Divers and the Cognitive Revolution. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-23852-2.
  3. ^ “Interview with Alan Baddeley | The Psychologist”. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  4. ^ “Baddeley, Alan – Psychology, The University of York”. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  5. ^ Baddeley, Alan David (1981). Measures and measurements in stochastic geometry (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 556713452.
  6. ^ University of Essex, “Honorary Graduates” Archived 19 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine retrieved March 2013
  7. ^ “University of Plymouth honorary doctorates”. University of Plymouth honorary doctorates. 2000. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  8. ^ Bristol, University of. “Alan Baddley is unknown | Graduation | University of Bristol”. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  9. ^ a b Baddeley, Alan D.; Hitch, Graham (1 January 1974), Bower, Gordon H. (ed.), Working Memory, Psychology of Learning and Motivation, vol. 8, Academic Press, pp. 47–89, doi:10.1016/S0079-7421(08)60452-1, ISBN 9780125433082, retrieved 3 July 2020
  10. ^ Baddeley, Alan (1 November 2000). “The episodic buffer: a new component of working memory?”. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 4 (11): 417–423. doi:10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01538-2. ISSN 1364-6613. PMID 11058819. S2CID 14333234.
  11. ^ a b Baddeley, Alan D.; Thomson, Neil; Buchanan, Mary (1 December 1975). “Word length and the structure of short-term memory”. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior. 14 (6): 575–589. doi:10.1016/S0022-5371(75)80045-4. ISSN 0022-5371.
  12. ^ Baddeley, Alan; Wilson, Barbara (1 April 1988). “Frontal amnesia and the dysexecutive syndrome”. Brain and Cognition. 7 (2): 212–230. doi:10.1016/0278-2626(88)90031-0. ISSN 0278-2626. PMID 3377900. S2CID 26954876.
  13. ^ Baddeley, Alan; Wilson, Barbara A. (1 January 2002). “Prose recall and amnesia: implications for the structure of working memory”. Neuropsychologia. 40 (10): 1737–1743. doi:10.1016/S0028-3932(01)00146-4. ISSN 0028-3932. PMID 11992661. S2CID 22404837.
  14. ^ Baddeley, Alan (8 September 2017). Exploring Working Memory: Selected works of Alan Baddeley. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-61852-6.
  15. ^ Baddeley, A. D. (1966). “Influence of depth on the manual dexterity of free divers: A comparison between open sea and pressure chamber testing”. Journal of Applied Psychology. 50 (1): 81–85. doi:10.1037/h0022822. ISSN 1939-1854. PMID 5905114.
  16. ^ Baddeley, A. D. (1966). “Time-Estimation at Reduced Body-Temperature”. The American Journal of Psychology. 79 (3): 475–479. doi:10.2307/1420890. ISSN 0002-9556. JSTOR 1420890. PMID 5968486.
  17. ^ Godden, D. R.; Baddeley, A. D. (1975). “Context-Dependent Memory in Two Natural Environments: On Land and Underwater”. British Journal of Psychology. 66 (3): 325–331. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1975.tb01468.x. ISSN 2044-8295.
  18. ^ “Historic overview”. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  19. ^ “Fellows”. Royal Society. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  20. ^ “Alan David Baddeley”. American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  21. ^ “APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions”. American Psychological Association. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  22. ^ “Lifetime Achievement | BPS”. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  23. ^ York, Department of Psychology University of; Heslington; York; Yo10 5dd. “Professor Alan Baddeley to receive prestigious international award”. University of York. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  24. ^ MacPherson, Sarah E.; Turner, Martha S.; Bozzali, Marco; Cipolotti, Lisa; Shallice, Tim (March 2016). “The Doors and People Test: The Effect of Frontal Lobe Lesions on Recall and Recognition Memory Performance”. Neuropsychology. 30 (3): 332–337. doi:10.1037/neu0000240. ISSN 0894-4105. PMC 4768598. PMID 26752123.
  25. ^ Gathercole, Susan E.; Willis, Catherine S.; Baddeley, Alan D.; Emslie, Hazel (1 June 1994). “The children’s test of nonword repetition: A test of phonological working memory”. Memory. 2 (2): 103–127. doi:10.1080/09658219408258940. ISSN 0965-8211. PMID 7584287.
  26. ^ Wall, Claudia de; Wilson, Barbara A.; Baddeley, Alan D. (1 June 1994). “The Extended Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test: A Measure of Everyday Memory Performance in Normal Adults”. Memory. 2 (2): 149–166. doi:10.1080/09658219408258942. ISSN 0965-8211. PMID 7584289.
  27. ^ Kopelman, M. D.; Wilson, B. A.; Baddeley, A. D. (1 October 1989). “The autobiographical memory interview: A new assessment of autobiographical and personal semantic memory in amnesic patients”. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 11 (5): 724–744. doi:10.1080/01688638908400928. ISSN 0168-8634. PMID 2808661.
  28. ^ Visual patterns test : a test of short-term visual recall. Della Sala, Sergio., Thames Valley Test Company. Bury St Edmunds: Thames Valley Test Company. 1997. ISBN 1-874261-16-4. OCLC 42405532.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  29. ^ Saxton, Judith A.; Ratcliff, Graham; Dodge, Hiroko; Pandav, Rajesh; Baddeley, Alan; Ganguli, Mary (1 December 2001). “Speed and Capacity of Language Processing Test: Normative Data From an Older American Community-Dwelling Sample”. Applied Neuropsychology. 8 (4): 193–203. doi:10.1207/S15324826AN0804_1. ISSN 0908-4282. PMID 11989722. S2CID 46291957.
  30. ^ “Interview with Alan Baddeley”. GoCognitive. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  31. ^ “ESCOP – Founding ESCoP”. ESCOP. Retrieved 3 July 2020.

External links[edit]