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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

    In this essay I am going to contrast and compare three approaches in psychology which are behaviourist, cognitive, and humanist. I am going to show how these psychological approaches contribute to the understanding of the human mind and behaviour.

    4 star(s)

    Both transitions and changes make people experience different emotions. A person may either become stressed or even depressed, have negative feelings of him, or became withdrawn from others. However that way an individual reacts will depend on the transition or change itself, and on the individual whom is going through it. Psychologists believe the way an individual reacts through a moment of transition or change can be explained after an analyse of the individual's past experiences, knowledge, habits, social life, and culture, and application of an appropriated approach in psychology or a combination of approaches in psychology.

    • Word count: 2492
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and Evaluate 2 Models Of Memory

    4 star(s)

    According to the model, if attention is paid to an external stimulus, an internal thought, or both, then it is stored in the short-term memory. It is mostly stored in auditory form, however other types of encoding are also possible. Short-term memory is also called working memory and relates to what we are thinking about at any given moment in time. It is the memory from which an answer to a question comes out - the output. The presence of the short-term memory store and the auditory encoding is supported by the experiment conducted by Conrad in 1964, where he showed participants sequences of letter at random in a rapid succession, and relied on errors made to create his conclusion.

    • Word count: 1840
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Measurements of Accuracy of Eyewitness Testimonies

    4 star(s)

    This means that the experimental hypothesis was accepted, and the null hypothesis was rejected. Furthermore, these results gave further support for work done by Loftus and Palmer (1974) on leading questions, who showed that slight manipulations in questions can alter eyewitness testimonies. Introduction The increasing demand for accurate and detailed evidence in today's society means that there is a greater dependence on eyewitness testimonies. However, the idea that we are capable of recalling the exact details of a past event has been criticised and contradicted by a number of psychological studies. This investigation aims to measure the accuracy of Eyewitness testimony and discuss the relevance and implications of these findings in today's society.

    • Word count: 1767
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Define short-term memory and describe the main factors that influence the number of items recalled from short-term memory. Evaluate Nairne's theory relative to traditional theories, clearly stating your criteria for evaluation.

    4 star(s)

    The capacity of short-term memory has been assessed using the techniques of digit span and the recency effect in free recall (Eysenck and Keane 2002 [3]). In the nineteenth century the capacity of immediate memory preoccupied a number of theorists (Baddeley 1999 [1]). Take for example the work of William Hamilton. He observed that if someone threw a handful of marbles on the floor, the maximum number to be perceived with reasonable accuracy would be about seven (Baddeley 1999 [1]).

    • Word count: 3768
  5. Marked by a teacher

    To retain recall, which is more beneficial, rote rehearsal or imagery?

    4 star(s)

    (Cardwell, 1996, p153). Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) suggested that memory is made up of a series of stores. One is the sensory information store (SIS); the next one is the short-term memory (STM) and the long-term memory (LTM). The stores differ in their encoding, storage and retrieval characteristics. (See Fig 1.) The SIS incoming information is registered by the senses and held in the system until the image fades. This information is held as a sensation in a sensory system e.g. visual system.

    • Word count: 3447
  6. Marked by a teacher

    Craik and Lockhart believed that depth is a critical concept for levels of processing theory.

    4 star(s)

    Depth of processing involves elaboration. Organization Organization is another form of deep processing. Research has shown that organization creates a lasting memory like semantic processing. It is implicit rather than explicit memory and no conscious processing needs to take place. Mandler (1967) conducted and experiment in which he gave participants a pack of 52 picture cards, each of which had a word printed on it. Participants were then asked to sort the cards into piles, using anything from two to seven categories, and could go by any system the wished. They were then asked to carry on with the sorting until they came to two identical sorts.

    • Word count: 2805
  7. Marked by a teacher

    Are memories permanent and unalterable?

    4 star(s)

    In a survey of psychologists by Loftus and Loftus (1980), 84% favored the position that stored information is never lost from the memory system, although it may normally be inaccessible. Some evidence in support of this favored position can be found in the studies of Wilder Penfiel and his associates. While treating epileptic patients during 1940s, he was removing the damaged areas in their brains. In order to spot the damaged area he was stimulating the surface of the brain with a weak electrical current.

    • Word count: 2311
  8. 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
  9. Marked by a teacher

    The Memory Process. This paper will describe a memory test using numbers, letters, and words and analyze results of the test, as well as explain the concepts of working memory, short term memory, and long term memory.

    3 star(s)

    Concepts of Working Memory The concept of working memory was developed as a progression and expansion of the former theory of short-term memory. In particular, the working-memory model suggests four elements. The short-term storage of data happens in the visuospatial or the phonological memory, both a storage barrier in a diverse sensory modality. The central executive distributes concentration, and the intermittent memory barrier joins long-term memory to working memory. An additional aspect of working memory is its weight on concurrent dispensation and retention of information.

    • Word count: 1158
  10. Marked by a teacher

    Psychology Revision Notes - list of major experiments

    3 star(s)

    research Atkinson & Shiffrin- Multi-Store Model which consists of three parts - sensory, short term and long term stores. Rehearsal is required in order for information to move across stores and retrieval is needed to access the information. If information is not rehearsed it will decay. Description of the working memory model, plus evaluation inc. research Baddeley & Hitch- Working Memory Model which consists of three parts - central executive, phonological loop (store and articulatory control system) and the central executive. Memory in the real world Knowledge of what Eye Witness Testimony (EWT) is- The evidence provided in court by a person who witnessed a crime, with a view to identifying the perpetrator of the crime.

    • Word count: 1825
  11. 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
  12. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and Evaluate the Multi Store Model of Memory.

    3 star(s)

    This had an unlimited capacity and its duration is up to a lifetime. The LTM is semantically encoded (meaning). Interference may occur for words similar in meaning, and sound or spelling, for example for 2 brothers named Jack and Joe others may get the names mixed up because they have similar meaning and both begin with J and so are stored similarly in the LTM. Research evidence for the existence of sensory memory can be found in the studies of psycholigists Baddeley and Sperling. Baddely (1968) investigated the iconic store. He had the hypothesis that the iconic store is present so we can view things smoothly in one motion, rather than a jumpy one which would make things difficult to see and/or understand.

    • Word count: 1005
  13. 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
  14. Marked by a teacher

    Outline & Evaluate the psychodynamic model of abnormality

    3 star(s)

    The focus of pleasure is the mouth e.g. eating and sucking on a dummy. Some people become fixated on this stage and start to overeat to comfort themselves or start smoking. This could be due to feeding difficulties or separation for a primary care giver. Their adult personality can become dominated by orality. Ainsworth also found a link between childhood attachment style and adult relationships. The a**l stage happens usually between the ages of two and three years. The focus of pleasure is the a**s. The child's issue at this stage is on faeces and toilet training.

    • Word count: 1420
  15. 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
  16. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and evaluate nature of short term memory using studies e.g. capacity, duration and encoding.

    3 star(s)

    to recall therefore proving that information stored in the LTM is helping to increase STM capacity temporarily, the influence of reading aloud as it causes participants to recall the digits better than if they were recalling them subvocally and rhythmic grouping as if the numbers are grouped together rhythmically, performance is better when participants are recalling digits than if they were recalling them in a monotone. Baddeley et al 1975 created a study to test the capacity of STM with an aim of: 'seeing whether people could remember more short words than long words in a serial recall test, and

    • Word count: 1237
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. Marked by a teacher

    Memory research

    3 star(s)

    For some researchers the major issue seems to involve the content ("what") of memory research. This is reflected, for example, in the title of Neisser's (1978) leading paper, "Memory: What are the important questions." Thus, everyday memory research has been characterized by its attempt to understand "the sorts of things people do every day" (Neisser, 1991, p. 35), by its choice of topics having "obvious relevance to daily life" (Klatzky, 1991, p. 43), and in particular, by its concern with the practical applications of memory research (e.g., Gruneberg & Morris, 1992).

    • Word count: 1395
  20. Marked by a teacher

    Describe and evaluate the Multi-store Model of memory.

    3 star(s)

    The Sensory Memory holds information for a very short time. It takes rapidly passing impressions of light, sound, smell etc. and preserves them just long enough for them to be recognised. It is the attention system. Any information, which we pay attention to, is selected, and is then processed further into the STM. All other information is disregarded at this moment. The STM contains only the small amount of information that is actually in active use at any one time. Verbal information is encoded at this stage in terms of its sounds.

    • Word count: 2262
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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

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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