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Psychology Essay-1

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Introduction

Peterson and Peterson (1959) Aims: To prove that things only stay in short term memory for around 20 seconds and then, if it is not rehearsed, it disappears forever. Procedures: Participants were given sets of trigrams to learn and then tested on their recall. They had to recall them after 3, 6, 9, 12 or 18 seconds. They also had an interference task, counting backwards, in threes from a random number. The independent variable was the time delay and the dependant variable was how good the recall was. Findings: After 3 seconds: 80% After 6 seconds: 50% After 18 seconds: Less than 10% Conclusions: They had proved their hypothesis, there was very little left of the trace after approx. 20 seconds. It also proved that there was a distinct difference between the LTM and the STM. Criticisms: It lacks mundane realism because the likelihood of the recall of trigrams in real life probably wouldn't happen. The trigrams are not meaningful. Other research has shown that more meaningful things are remembered. Bahrick et al (1975) Aims: They aimed to test VLTM. They wanted to see whether long term memory was infinite. Procedures: Participants included 392 American ex-high school students aged 17-74. Recall was tested in four ways. 1) Free recall of the names of as many of their former classmates. ...read more.

Middle

Findings: After 3 seconds: 80% After 6 seconds: 50% After 18 seconds: Less than 10% Conclusions: They had proved their hypothesis, there was very little left of the trace after approx. 20 seconds. It also proved that there was a distinct difference between the LTM and the STM. Criticisms: It lacks mundane realism because the likelihood of the recall of trigrams in real life probably wouldn't happen. The trigrams are not meaningful. Other research has shown that more meaningful things are remembered. Bahrick et al (1975) Aims: They aimed to test VLTM. They wanted to see whether long term memory was infinite. Procedures: Participants included 392 American ex-high school students aged 17-74. Recall was tested in four ways. 5) Free recall of the names of as many of their former classmates. 6) A photo recognition test. 7) A name recognition test. 8) A name and photo matching test. Findings: 90% accuracy in face and name recognition after 34 years. 80% accuracy for name recognition after 48 years. 40% accuracy for face recognition after 48 years. 60% accuracy for free recall after 15 years. 30% accuracy for free recall after 30 years. Conclusion: Classmates were rarely forgotten once recognition cues had been given. This supports the idea that people have VLTM. Recognition was better than recall. ...read more.

Conclusion

2) They do not have to be negative, they can be positive as well. 3) They are as if a photograph were taken and stuck in someone's memory. 4) They are enduring and accurate. 5) They seem to contradict the idea that thorough processing in STM is needed for it too pass onto long term memory. 6) They support the idea that emotional factors and distinctiveness are essential in remembering. Repression ==> Freud (1915) said that 'repression' was a way of protecting the ego (conscious mind) from uncomfortable memories. Motivated forgetting. Traumatic memories are more likely to be forgotten than happy ones. Anything that has been forgotten, could have been repressed. Eyewitness Testimony ==> The evidence provided by people who witnessed a particular event or crime. It relies on recall from memory i.e. the descriptions of criminals. Reconstructive Memory ==> Bartlett believed that when we remember something, we only store elements of it. ==> We reconstruct the gaps in the memory with our own schemas. ==> Schemas are ready stored opinions and expectations which we use for quick judgements. ==> Our culture, beliefs, prejudices and previous experiences will all help us with these reconstructions. ==> The way information is initially perceived and stored is affected by schema and stereotypes. ==> Research has shown that people can be mistaken for their initial encoding of events, leading to a mistaken recall. ==> So schemas and stereotypes are used when forming a memory but also when trying to reconstruct it. ...read more.

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