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Psychology Critical Analysis Questions

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Introduction

Critical Analysis Questions Psychology 1. (a) We use our memory every day all the time and we do not think about it. Our senses (eyes, ears etc.) are constantly taking in new information and this information comes into our sensory memory, where it is held for a fraction of second in its original sensory form (sound, image etc.). If we pay attention to this information, it is selected and a meaning is made out of it, for longer storage in short-term memory. We cannot attend to every sensation and we therefore select the most important ones. This is called selective attention. This means that we focus our attention on a limited aspect of all that we experience. Wilson (2002) concluded that our five senses take in an estimated of 11 000 000 bits of information per second, 40 of which we consciously process. We intuitively make use of all the other bits. When selected the information we want to focus on and made sense of, it is transferred into short-term memory. Short-term memory can only keep a small amount of information for a small amount of time before it is lost or stored in long-term memory. Experiments have shown that you can remember, for example a friend's phone number, better if you rehearse it. ...read more.

Middle

Cognitive psychologists seek to explain why we think what we think rather than how we think. Theories that describe cognition at this level are concerned with the social context in which behaviour occurs cognitive models based on information processing in computers seem a long way away from this type of work. Computers are machines that have no attitudes or beliefs other than those they are programmed with. The computer model seems less useful in understanding social cognition, although it still has a value in helping us to understand more basic processes at the level of brain function. 2. (a) Atkinson and Shifrin (1968) made a memory model and proposed that memory can be understood as a series of structures: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. There are associated processes that pass information between the stores including: attention, perception, rehearsal, encoding and retrieval. These terms are shown on the diagram below: Our senses (eyes, ears etc.) are constantly taking in new information and this information comes into our sensory memory, where it is held for a fraction of second in its original sensory form (sound, image etc.). If we pay attention to this information, it is selected and a meaning is made out of it, for longer storage in short-term memory. ...read more.

Conclusion

The model also helps us to understand what we have to do if we want to remember something. If we for example study for a test, it is important that the information gets encoded into long-term memory. Organising of information is an effective way of remembering things. If information can be categorised into groups or "chunks", then we only have to remember the chunks that contain the rest of the information. When we forget something we loose information that was once stored in either short-term memory or long-term memory. Either we cannot bring it to mind or that it has disappeared from our memories. Then it is maybe better to write things down on a calendar if you know that you may not remember it. Another reason why we forget things can be that we have not encoded the information properly, or because it was learned but forgotten or because we were not successful in retrieving the information. Words presented at the beginning and end of a list are remembered better than those presented in the middle. We may fail to remember words in the middle of the list because they could not be included in the limited- capacity short-term memory store and had not been encoded sufficiently to be included in long-term store. Forgetting also depends on the length of time passed since being exposed to the information. ...read more.

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