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describe and evaluate one ttheory of memory/eyewitness tesimony

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Introduction

1a) One theory of Memory is that of Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) which suggests that memory composes of three stores. These are known as the Multi-Store Model, which divides into the sensory memory, short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) .The proposal by Atkinson and Shiffrin is that information from the environment flows into the sensory memory, where it is stored for a brief period of time before either decaying or if attended to, passing on to the STM, sensory memory can be iconic or echoic. Capacity in the STM is limited and when not attended to information is lost via displacement or it decays. Coding in the STM is assumed to be in terms of sound. The theory also suggests that through rehearsal the information is stored for longer than 30 seconds in the short term memory, enabling it to pass through to the LTM store. Information in the LTM can be stored indefinitely or lost via interference and the capacity is unlimited. Coding in the LTM is in terms of meaning. (72) Atkinson and Shiffrin where right to distinguish between short-term and long-term memory. ...read more.

Middle

The participants were found to be influenced by their own culture in recalling the story. The changes in the story indicated that the participants where actively reconstructing the story to fit their schemas. Hence according to Bartlett, we have schemas for different situations in life according to our own experiences. For example in a restaurant schema we would expect a setting of tables and chairs, customers eating, waiters taking orders and so forth. Therefore we would not pay too much attention to what we already expect to happen. Bartlett suggested that schemas can distort our memories of particular incidents.(88) Bartlett research is important in providing the first idea of schemas which are important in the study of memory. His studies have ecological validity and show how we use schemas in everyday life for example in predicting certain situations. Also the idea of schemas has important implications for the reporting of events in cases where eyewitnesses give testimony.(35) Some critics on the other hand have criticised Bartlett's studies as being vague and lacking in rigor. Schemas differ from each individual and so results can not be generalised.Result for the experiment on reconstructive memory cannot be reliable as the intervals of which the participants where asked to recall the story were often changed(33) ...read more.

Conclusion

The interview was compared to the way the police interviewed in real Life cases. They found that people's recall was much better when retrieval cues were used, asking the questions in chronological order helped to trigger more original details of the incident. The cognitive interview proved to be more effective than the police interview. Although it is time consuming the cognitive interview is more likely to produce more accurate recall than the standard police interview.(94) Research on the memory has proved to be vital in identifying reasons for inaccurate memory recall in eyewitness testimony. Research by Bartlett and Loftus among others, has been very useful in highlighting problems with eyewitness testimony and their principles have been considered in the development of the cognitive interview. Geiselman et al. looked into ways of improving accuracy of recall in eyewitness testimony and came up with the cognitive interview which achieved better results than the standard police interviews. Although the cognitive interview is not without its problems, it has helped improve the way police interview eyewitnesses to achieve better recall accuracy hence lessening chances of miscarriages of justice.(60) Refrences Cardwell, M., Clark, L., Meldrum ,C.(2000),Psychology for AS Level, London: Harper Collins Eyesenck,M.W.(2000), ?? ?? ?? ?? Valerie Mathe ...read more.

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