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AS and A Level: Cognitive Psychology

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 24
  • Peer Reviewed essays 19
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and Evaluate the Multi Store Model of Memory.

    3 star(s)

    In order to do this, we need to rehearse it, for example, when you revise for exams, you go over things again and again, in order to store the information in your long-term memory, and remember it in the future. However, in everyday life, remembering things such as a particular smell isn't something which you need to do repeatedly in order to remember it, which suggests that the model lacks mundane realism.

    • Word count: 557
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Is eyewitness testimony reliable?

    3 star(s)

    For example, during a bank robbery they might describe the thieves as wearing black clothing, balaclavas with guns. This might not be accurate as the witness might not have been paying attention to the clothing but might have felt obliged to give a detailed description when alter questioned by the police officer. The descriptions might have evolved from social prejudice, from watching scenes on the TV etc. As most crimes include some sort of violence, this can cause eyewitness unreliability.

    • Word count: 749
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and evaluate theories of hypnosis

    3 star(s)

    A British physician amputated a man's leg using nothing more than hypnosis. This can be used nowadays to help people quit smoking, lose weight and go through painful dental treatment. Hypnosis is usually carried by asking the patient to stare upwards and focus on a target, and are then made suggestions about relaxation, tiredness and sleepiness. The patient's eyes should naturally close and if not then they are told to close them after 10 minutes. The individuals will sit quietly and show little or no activity unless it is suggested. Post-hypnotic amnesia is when the individual 'awakes' and doesn't remember the session at all but when hypnotised again they will usually recall the previous session.

    • Word count: 868
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Outline the multi-store model of memory and consider its strengths and limitations

    3 star(s)

    Atkinson and Shiffrin found that when information passes through these stores it can be lost by forgetting. Their findings were that in sensory memory information is lost through decay, in short-term memory information is lost through displacement and in long-term memory information is lost as an affect of interference. Atkinson and Shiffrin also believed that rehearsal is needed for information to be transferred to long-term memory and how well it is rehearsed will determine how effective recall is. There are many strengths to consider in terms of the multi store model of memory. Previous studies such as Milner (1966 study of HM)

    • Word count: 637
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Consider what psychological research has told us about the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.

    3 star(s)

    to form a reconstructed memory resulting in an inaccurate EWT account. Reconstruction is not the only source of distortion in EWT as the language used in leading questions and post-event information may further distort reconstructive memory and so lead to memory blending and confabulation. Research that has provided us with an insight into the effects of language and leading questions on the accuracy of EWT includes that of Loftus and her colleagues. For example, L & P (1974) found that changing the wording of one critical question ("About how fast were the cars going when they (hit/smashed/collided/ bumped/contacted - the five conditions)

    • Word count: 657
  6. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and evaluate one alternative to the multistore model of memory

    3 star(s)

    It is now thought to be made up of two components (Gathercole and Baddeley 1993). One component is the phonological store, which allows acoustically coded items to be stored for a brief period. The other component is the articulatory control system, which allows subvocal repetition of the items stored in the phonological store. The visuo-spatial scratch pad stores visual and spatial information and can be thought of as an inner eye. Like the phonological loop, it has limited capacity, but the limits of the two systems are independent.

    • Word count: 912
  7. Marked by a teacher

    Outline the multi store model of memory with evidence to support it

    By paying attention these stimuli enter the short term memory store, it is encoded acoustically and sometimes visually. Short term memory has a very limited capacity of 7+- 2. This means we can remember 5-9 items at a time. If we want to increase this we can chunk them. For example instead of remember 0 1 9 2 has four separate pieces of information, we can remember it as 0192, chunking them together as one piece, expanding what we can remember.

    • Word count: 532
  8. Marked by a teacher

    Summary of Eyewitness Testimony and Improving Memory

    When we then recall information, we unconsciously 'flesh out' these bare bones using common sense and logic. Anxiety - witnessing a crime may make us anxious. Giving evidence as an eyewitness may make us anxious. High levels of anxiety have been found impair our ability to store and retrieve memories. Age - memories and the way that we use them change as we age. These three things influence child's testimony: suggestibility, language ability and memory processes. Cognitive Interview is one way to help people remember something accurately. It is based on two principles: Organisation and Context-dependency. Organisation - the way that memory is organised means that memories can be accessed in various ways.

    • Word count: 563
  9. Marked by a teacher

    Critically consider research into the role of cultural factors in the development of intelligence test performance

    Over the next four years, those who had moved had an average IQ gain of 32 points, compared with an average reduction of 21 IQ points for those who remained in the orphanage; this difference was still evident 27 years later. This study can be commended for its implications: at the time the accepted view was that IQ was constant throughout life, but the study showed that, with the right treatment, IQ can be significantly improved. Another factor in IQ development is quality of education.

    • Word count: 960
  10. Peer reviewed

    The cognitive perspective in psychology is often used to explain behaviour. Discuss the cognitive perspective in psychology. In your answer, refer to at least two topics that you have studied in psychology.

    5 star(s)

    However, the cognitive approach is often criticised for being too mechanistic and reductionist. This is because it reduces complex human processes and behaviour to those of a computer and ignores the fact that humans are biological organisms and are not machines. One topic that the cognitive approach applies to is anxiety disorders, and more specifically, phobias. Cognitive psychologists believe that fearful emotional responses in the form of phobias are the result of maladaptive thought processes, and that individuals have distorted interpretations of events such as automatic negative thoughts and over generalisation.

    • Word count: 594
  11. Peer reviewed

    Two attributional biases with evidence

    5 star(s)

    The Fundamental Attribution Error is the general tendency observers have to decide that an actor's behaviour has an internal cause. We have the general belief that a person's behaviour and actions are due to their own personality traits. It is likely that this is because of an expectation that our behaviour and personality match or fit each other. A real life example is "He dropped the jug because he is clumsy" Nisbett et al (1973) wanted to see if people tend to attribute the cause of a person's behaviour as due to an internal cause rather than external cause.

    • Word count: 676
  12. Peer reviewed

    Loftus and Palmer APFCC

    5 star(s)

    cause them to distort the way they constructed and stored the information in memory. The study shows that we reconstruct our memory based on schemas already stored. Eye witness testimony is important to the judicial system, as witness accounts can often influence the outcome of a jury. It is well reported that people are often inaccurate at remembering faces, weapons and numerical data such as speed and time. It is therefore evident that there are a number of variables that can affect eye witness testimony, such as the way in which a question is worded after a particular event.

    • Word count: 869
  13. Peer reviewed

    What effect does the order in which a testimony is presented have on persuading a jury?

    4 star(s)

    And because, in this system, the prosecution is heard first and the defence last, it can be assumed that the number of guilty verdicts heard under this system is greater than the number of innocent verdicts because the jury pay more attention to the case when the prosecution is heard. In the study conducted, Pennington used a mock jury with a group of participants who heard the prosecution first and the defence last, and another group who heard the defence first and the prosecution last.

    • Word count: 569
  14. Peer reviewed

    Outline & Evaluate the Cognitive Interview

    4 star(s)

    Fisher and Geiselman found that reporting everything and mental reinstatement check for consistency of the eyewitness report, and changing the order and perspective helps to create a different route to recall, increasing the amount of information. The cognitive interview has strong supporting research; Kohnken et al for example, reviewed research into eyewitness testimony and found that the cognitive interview increased the amount of correct information recalled by 48%, compared to the standard interview.

    • Word count: 461
  15. Peer reviewed

    A study by Loftus and Palmer (1974) into the accuracy of Eye Witness Testimony aimed to find out if changing the wording of a question could distort ones ability to recall from memory an event.

    4 star(s)

    Similarly, when called back a week later and asked if any broken glass was seen, they found that although there wasn't any present, 32% in the 'smashed' condition said they had seen broken glass. Loftus and Palmer therefore concluded that by using the word 'smash' it gives suggestions of strong impact and thus shows that leading questions have an impact on the accuracy of eyewitness' ability to re-call situations. The strengths from this study include providing useful insight for the police so they know that when interviewing witnesses they should be aware of the way they phrase their questions to ensure the memory of the witness isn't distorted in any way.

    • Word count: 864
  16. Free essay

    Trace Decay Theory

    4 star(s)

    Ebbinghaus concluded that over time, the trace faded and the list of syllables was lost. However, there are some criticisms of this experiment, one being that he was the only participant so it is hard to make a generalisation from such a small sample. A further criticism of his experiment was using himself as a participant which could lead to experimenter bias. He knew what his aims and results were, so there was a possibility of demand characteristics. Overall, the criticisms of the trace decay theory are that we cannot physically see the trace so it is impossible to prove,

    • Word count: 904
  17. Peer reviewed

    Outline and evaluate research relating to the linguistic relativity hypothesis

    4 star(s)

    Brown & Lenneberg studied Zuni speakers in New Mexico, whose language had no separate word to describe yellow and orange, and found that they had difficulty in a task that required them to distinguish the two. This appears to support the hypothesis, but there has been research to indicate the contrary. Challenging research comes from Rosch, who studied speakers of Dani (a language of New Guinea). Dani has no words for separate colours, instead only distinguishing brightness, and yet its speakers were successful in tasks that required them to distinguish between a wide array of colours.

    • Word count: 825
  18. Peer reviewed

    The Biological model

    4 star(s)

    It has been found that an excess of the neurotransmitter dopamine has been linked to SZ. Finally infection is a common cause for physical illness; Barr et al found a significant link between mothers who had influenza whilst pregnant and their child developing SZ. As there are physiological causes of abnormality therefore the treatments are physiological these are Drugs, ECT, which involves a small electric shock being sent to the brain causing a small seizure/convulsion and psychosurgery.

    • Word count: 515
  19. Peer reviewed

    'To what extent does psychological research support Atkinson and Shiffrin's model of memory?'

    4 star(s)

    There is some evidence to support this view. In one particular experiment, participants were asked to rehearse a list of items out loud. In general, the more frequently an item was rehearsed the more likely it was to be recalled from LTM (Rundus, 1971). However, evidence from everyday situations implies that rehearsal is a lot less important than the multi-store model suggests. Eysenck & Keane (1995) said that people rarely rehearse information in their everyday lives yet information is constantly entering LTM.

    • Word count: 832
  20. Peer reviewed

    Describe the application of psychodynamic in health and social care

    3 star(s)

    According to www.skepdic.com '[the] unconscious mind has been restricted to potentially harmful memories that might be stored or stirring there, memories of bad experiences that influence our conscious behaviour even though we are unaware of their impact. Because of this, behaviour is different and changed in someone and the unconscious mind is unaware of it which in conclusion makes the person unable to change their behaviour.

    • Word count: 504
  21. Peer reviewed

    Explanation of cognitive approach

    3 star(s)

    It is these repressed memories that can cause underlying/unconscious problems. The id, ego and superego all are prevalent and developed at different stages according to Freud. These stages are called the psychosexual stages and if fixated at a particular stage future adult life can be affected. The first stage is the oral stage and is where the id is produced and developed. This stage is from 0-18 months and is called the oral stage because the ids drive for pleasure and gratification is satisfied and concentrated in the mouth.

    • Word count: 995
  22. Peer reviewed

    Majority Influence

    3 star(s)

    This can be criticised as being ambiguous as it is very difficult to distinguish exactly how far a light has been moved and there was no right or wrong answer. The participants were first tested individually, in which the results varied dramatically, they then heard the estimates of others. When the participants had heard the estimates of others, their estimates converged to that of others, they became more alike and a group norm developed. This demonstrates informational social influence as participants probably felt that other participants had better knowledge than them or were more informed of the situation and were therefore more likely to have estimated the right distance.

    • Word count: 741
  23. Peer reviewed

    "Discuss two theories of forgetting in LTM"

    3 star(s)

    List A: Desk-Boy, List B: Desk-Tree. Then P's are given the first word in the pair and asked to recall the word in List A. The study found that Interference does cause forgetting but only when similar information is paired together, these conditions are rare in everyday life and this means that interference does not really explain most of forgetting in LTM. A criticism of the study is that Interference does not seem to occur with Experts, if you are an expert in a field then learning new information does not cause any interference in the old information this may be because an experts memory is highly organised.

    • Word count: 791
  24. Describe and Evaluate the Working Memory Model (WMM)

    Visuo-spatial sketchpad has limited capacity, it also is divided into two components, the visual component which deals with objects and features such as shape and colour and the spatial component which deals with locations and movements in space and it involves tasks such as planning routes. Unlike some other models, the working memory model explains not only the storage, but also the processing of information. It is consistent with records of brain-damaged patients. For example the visuo-spatial sketch pad is said to be made of two parts, the visual component which stores information about colour and form, and the spatial component, which processes spatial and movement information.

    • Word count: 579
  25. Describe and Evaluate the MultiStore Model of Memory

    The STM has a capacity of 7+ /-2 items and duration of 18 seconds and information is encoded acoustically. LTM's capacity is unlimited, it's encoded semantically and the duration can be recalled immediately and you can use different links to retrieve it. The MSM also includes two processes which are attention and rehersal which moves information along to the long term store. Evidence in support of the model includes work by Mudock's serial position curve which showed a primary and recency effect.

    • Word count: 789

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • How to Interpret Dreams. Ill discuss several theories on dream interpretation. In an online article published in January 2005 entitled How Dreams Work, Lee Ann Obringer discusses a theory from Sigmund Freud, a leading dream theorist.

    "To sum up, I have discussed dreams according to experts in dream theory, common dream interpretation and how to interpret dreams yourself to better understand dreams and where they come from. The dream I had with my father dying, helped me identify a personal conflict within me that I was torn between, symbolized by the war. And the image of death in my dream helped me see a part of me that I was losing due to the choice I had to make. This new personal insight and inspiration was provided only through dream interpretation. With practice, anyone can learn the language of dreams and what they have to offer."

  • Consider the extent to which the working memory model is an improvement over the multi-store model.

    "The evidence concluded by research into the working memory model, especially that done by Baddeley and Hitch, and their conclusions are hard to explain using the multi-store model of memory. Another reason why the working memory model is an improvement on the multi-store model is because it only has rehearsal taking place in one area instead of it being the most important part as it is in the multi-store model. Also the working memory model supports the evidence we have from brain damaged patients, much better than the multi store model. Shallice and Warrington studied KF, who had a normal LTM, but a damaged STM. However his short term forgetting of auditory stimuli was much larger than his short term forgetting of visual stimuli, i.e. he was able to remember meaningful sounds, but not words. The working memory model is a big improvement over the multi store model, because it is in much more detail, and also has more evidence to support it."

  • Discuss alternative models of memory

    "In conclusion, although research has been found to support and refute both the WMM and the LOP approach, both theories cannot be known for sure if they are correct. The MSM is also at fault, therefore the mystery of our memory still remains; the ghost in the machine, we can observe the actions (machine) but never see inside the mind."

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