Alan Baddeley

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Alan Baddeley
Alan Baddeley.jpg
Alan Baddeley
Alan David Baddeley

(1934-03-23) 23 March 1934 (age 86)
EducationUniversity College London
Princeton University
University of Cambridge (PhD)
Known forNeuropsychological tests, Baddeley's model of working memory
AwardsFRS (1993)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of York
ThesisMeasures and measurements in stochastic geometry (1981)

Alan David Baddeley, CBE, FRS, FMedSci (born 23 March 1934) is a British psychologist. He is professor of psychology at the University of York. He is known for his work on working memory, in particular for his multiple components model.


Baddeley was born in Leeds, Yorkshire on 23 March 1934.[1][2] He graduated from University College London in 1956 and obtained an MA from Princeton University's Department of Psychology in 1957. He was awarded with a PhD from University of Cambridge in 1962.[3] He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of Essex in 1999.[4] In 2000 Baddeley was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by Plymouth University.[citation needed]

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,[5] which argues for the existence of multiple short-term memory stores and a separate interacting system for manipulating the content of these stores. The model accounts for much of the empirical data on short-term retention and manipulation of information.
His landmark study in 1975 on 'Capacity of Short Term Memory'[6] 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.

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. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993[7] and in 1996, was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[2]

Other notable works[edit]

Baddeley has also part authored a number of neuropsychological tests including the Doors and People, Children's Test of Nonword Repetition (CN REP), the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (RBMT), Autographical Memory Interview (AMI), Visual Patterns Test (VPT) and the Speed and Capacity of Language Processing Test (SCOLP).

Baddeley was involved in the design of United Kingdom postcodes,[8] and was one of the founders of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology.


  1. ^[ISBN missing]
  2. ^ a b "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  3. ^ Baddeley, Alan David (1981). Measures and measurements in stochastic geometry (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 556713452.
  4. ^ University of Essex, "Honorary Graduates" Archived 19 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine retrieved March 2013
  5. ^ Baddeley, A.D., Hitch, G.J.L (1974). Working Memory, In G.A. Bower (Ed.),
  6. ^ Baddeley, A.D., Thompson, N., and Buchanan, M., 1975. "Word Length and the Structure of Memory", in Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, I, 575-589.
  7. ^ "Fellows". Royal Society. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Interview with Alan Baddeley". GoCognitive. Retrieved 4 August 2014.

External links[edit]