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AS and A Level: Cognitive Psychology

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  1. Psychology OCR Coursework

    The reason Bower's experiment was chosen as the background study is because it shows that words which people can create a mental image of are memorised more effectively. This should mean that participants in the experiment will show significantly better recall of concrete words as they are more likely to visualise these words. For example, participants are more likely to visualise the word 'pens' than a more abstract word like 'love' Hypotheses Aim of the study To investigate whether participants will memorise and recall concrete words more effectively than abstract words.

    • Word count: 1574
  2. Explain the Relationship Between Stress and Illness

    The test was repeated with pairs of monkeys; one had a lever as before but the other was given no lever, and had no control over the shocks it was administered. After 23 days of the experiment only the monkey in control of the lever died due to a perforated ulcer. Brady concluded that the psychological stress of deciding when to press the lever had caused the monkey's death, rather than the electric shocks. Brady's experiments on the monkeys went some way to showing that there may be a link between stress and illness.

    • Word count: 1671
  3. Can Psychology be a Science?

    His theory suggests that children pass through four distinct age stages of cognitive development, briefly outlined here: 1. The Sensorymotor Stage (0-2), itself split into six sub-stages, is essentially when "the child learns about, and starts to control, its environment through the senses and motor (movement) abilities." (Benson, 1998). 2. The Pre-operational Stage (2-7), also subdivided, is so called because "Piaget believes that the child is not yet capable of logical thought" (Twining, 2001). In this stage, the child learns to speak and eventually understands that people see things differently.

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  4. describe and evaluate one ttheory of memory/eyewitness tesimony

    (72) Atkinson and Shiffrin where right to distinguish between short-term and long-term memory. This distinction remains of central importance within memory research and is supported by research on brain damaged patients. The study of KF by Shallice and Warrington (1972) is one such example. KF suffered brain damage after a motorcycle accident and was found to have no problem with long-term memory, but his digit span was damaged to only two items, suggesting that different parts of the brain are organised into short-term and long term. There is also evidence to support the importance of rehearsal.

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  5. Eye Witness Testimony

    For Flashbulb memories to occur the event must be emotionally significant and are often unexpected. People who have flashbulb memories ten to remember information surrounding the event such as; where they were, what they were doing, who told them the news, what they felt about it, how others felt about it and what happened immediately afterwards. 2a. One theory of forgetting in STM is displacement. Forgetting in terms of capacity (7+/- 2: Miller, 1956). Once STM is full, any new information pushes out or 'displaces' old information. Old information is therefore forgotten. 2b. A theory of forgetting in LTM is Interference.

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  6. Utilising Learning theories, critically evaluate any 2 biological explanations for criminal behaviour".

    Lombroso's research focused on the physical aspects of criminals, such as the face and body, he believed that the physical shape of the head and face determined the 'born criminal'. He named those who he deemed to be criminal as, The Atavists, and described them as, primitive genetic forms who cannot adapt to modern morality. From his research he stated that the physical aspects that were evidence to express criminal behaviour, were large jaws, high cheekbones, large ears, extra n*****s, toes, or fingers.

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  7. Psychology. The aim of was to see if lyrical music or instrumental music affects peoples performance on a word search task.

    A non-significant trend for music type was found. The white noise group had the least amount of memory errors, while the Haydn group had the most. More false memories were recalled than failures to recall true memories. Neither type of memory was affected by the type of music played. The white noise group was found to have the least amount of memory errors while the classical, Haydn, music group made the most. One significant effect was that all three groups remembered more false memories than failed to recall true memories.

    • Word count: 1510
  8. investigation to find out whether people remember more word pairs by trying to make images of the word pairs rather than by repeating each word pair three times aloud, to store the information

    First, sensory, input went into the sensory memory; this input would go through to short-term memory. Then, only if this input were rehearsed, it would be encoded into long-term memory. This theory was heavily criticised by many other psychologists for being too simple. Eysenck pointed out that not all factors could be explained by the Atkinson and Shiffrin Model. He said that any theory should be able to explain all known facts. Baddeley believed that short-term memory did not just hold information received from the sensory memory, rather that it was a mental working space in which we can keep information without rehearsal and using long term memory.

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  9. A Level Psychology/ memory and organisation

    & Broadbent) A key study into hierarchy and memory was conducted by Collins and Quillian 1969 which proposed the hierarchical network model. This model was concerned with how words are organised in relation to their semantic meanings.Semantic memory was portrayed as a network of words which are connected to other when there is a semantic similarity. The meaning of a word is said to be given by 'pointers' which basically point from the word out to the meaning. For example, Collins and Quillian suggested that pointers could indicate properties.

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  10. why do humans forget?

    New information Old information Trace decay Trace is some kind of physical or chemical change in our brain. The trace decay theory of forgetting occurs as a result of the automatic decay of the memory trace. If information is not rehearsed then memory trace will decay in 10-15 seconds and become lost for ever! Interference These theory says that people more likely to forget information from STM when different items is similar and interferes with each other making it difficult to rehears, causing people to get mixed up. Older memories can interferes with newer, as newer memories can interferes with older.

    • Word count: 1471
  11. Revision Revision Strategies

    This also applies when initially learning a topic. Always ask for help if needed; tutors have an abundance of knowledge on exactly the topic being studying and will have alleviated many other students on the same topic so they will expect to be asked for their assistance. Study environments can have a positive or negative effect on revision. A quiet area free from distraction is best for providing an increased ability to concentrate. Where as studying while listening to music or around noisy children can only lead to poor concentration and hence poor revision.

    • Word count: 1015
  12. Are Forgotten Memories Lost, or Just Irretrievable ?

    Hence, according to Loftus, forgetfulness is due to a potential loss of memory. A Question of Inaccessibility However, Bekerian and Bowers (1983) and Christiaansen and Ochalek (1983) contended that the original information is not lost from memory, but is merely rendered inaccessible or non-retrievable. Bekerian and Bowers argued that in Loftus's studies, the recognition test items are presented in random order and not in the order in which the queried information occurred in the original slide sequence. Thus the retrieval environment does not closely match the original encoding environment.

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  13. Images are recalled better than words

    he showed participants a list of consonants, for about 3/4 of a second. Participants were then asked to recall what they had seen. Conrad found that errors of recall were linked to letters which had a similar sound. Bs were mistaken for Ps 62 times, Vs were mistaken for Ps 83 times but Ss were mistaken for Ps only 2 times. This suggests that visually presented information is encoded according to acoustics/sounds. Conrad referred to these errors as Acoustic Confusion. Shulman also conducted a research suggesting that Conrad was incorrect in proposing that all encoding in short term memory was acoustic.

    • Word count: 1937
  14. The use of music seems to be a good way of operationalising the IV as many people do learn to the sound of music so therefore the difference between the music and no music condition should be marked.

    Seeing as they know they are being studied and they know they have to learn the list of words given to them, they may try much harder than they normally would in their everyday life. There is the factor of social desirability and how some participants may deliberately try to recall fewer words. Improving Validity Although it would be very difficult and expensive it could be possible to take the study outside the laboratory to increase the ecological validity of the study.

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  15. Forgetting - why we forget.

    7 +/- 2 items. There is some evidence to support this. Interference Proactive interference ~ material learnt first --> interferes with --> material learnt later Retroactive interference ~ material learnt first <-- interferes with <-- material learnt later Cue - dependant forgetting Failure to retrieve Tulving (1974) Used the term 'cue - dependant forgetting' to refer jointly to state dependant and context - dependant forgetting. According to Tulving, your ability to retrieve information will depend upon retrieval cues or routes which are encode when you learn the material or provided later as pointers.

    • Word count: 1283
  16. ''how can the research on forgetting help us to understand remembering''

    Peterson and Peterson provided evidence that data in STM disappears. Peterson and Petersons study was to test the hypothesis that information held in STM disappears within about 20 seconds if rehearsal is prevented. If participants are allowed to repeat information, this maintains information indefinitely. An accurate reading of STM requires no rehearsal. Participants were given trigrams to remember such as TVG. After each trigram they were given a three-digit number and asked to count backwards in 3s and 4s. This was to prevent rehearsal.

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    The short term memory has very limited capacity and duration and also rehearses information acoustically (acoustic encoding). If this did not take place then we could not place the information into the long term memory after the rehearsal of the word or the digit. With all this there is a bad point to the short term memory which is that the information can be lost through interference, displacement and distraction. All this information is only forgotten in the short term memory store. The other store is the long term memory which can hold sufficient rehearsed information. The information is considered and stored in a meaningful way organised in terms of its meaning.

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  18. How can forgetting over the short term be explained best?

    Information in the short term store is very short lived if not backed up and refreshed. If you consider working in your room, whilst their you note all kinds of irrelevant goings on such as a child crying, someone walking down the corridor or a phone ringing off in the distance somewhere. However, although you notice them such matters are almost instantly forgotten. There are number of possible reasons for this, it could be down to decay, displacement, recency effect or quite simply the capacity of the short term store. Ebbinghaus (1885) and Wundt (1860s) were (as cited by Gross, 1992)

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  19. An investigation into the effects of generation on memory

    This investigation will replicate the study by Slamecka and Graf with a few differences. It will be interesting to see if the findings are reproduced. Rogers, Kuiper and Kirker (1977) studied a similar topic: they came up with the Self Reference Effect which is where material can be made more meaningful or memorable by reference (generation) to the self. Craik and Lockhart (1972) did some research on depths of processing. They said that long term memory traces are formed at the time of learning depending on the processes that occur.

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  20. Imagine you are training a group of newly recruited police officers in witness/ victim interviewing techniques. Suggest what advice you would recommend, in terms of appropriate techniques of interviewing and give reasons for your choice.

    One of characteristic in perception the new police officer has to be aware of is "Selectivity in perception". Attitudes, prejudice and stereotypes in perception can affect the reliability of the provided information. Each witness/victim has their own point of view toward what they have experienced in the scene. Training should delivery a message to fresh police officer to avoid any prejudice and stereotypes occurred in witness/victim information that can affect the consequence of the prosecution. Most of the witness/victim has tendency to be selective in perception about what they have seen in the scene.

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  21. To what extent does psychological research support the accuracy of eye witness testimony?

    Participants were exposed to two different situations, one being a minor argument in the adjacent room, a person then left that room covered in grease holding a pen. The second group were exposed to a passionate and hostile argument in the room next door followed by the sound of crashing chairs and smashing glass, a man then leaves the room holding a knife covered in blood. The participants exposed to the extremely hostile situation could recognise the attacker roughly 20% less than those in the docile situation.

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  22. Outline three differences between short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM).

    They found out that 90% of the names could still be remembered even after 34yrs. Encoding Differences: - Based on a study carried out by Baddeley (1966), there is evidence that STM is acoustically encoded i.e. encoding by the similarity of the sound of the words e.g. cat, mat, rat...etc, whereas LTM is semantically encoded i.e. encoding by the similarity of the meaning of the words e.g. big, huge, great...etc. Capacity Differences: - The capacity of STM is proved by Jacobs (1887) to be about seven items. Jacob used the technique called the "memory span" where participants were expected to repeat letters or digits, which were presented to them in the same order (serial recall).

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  23. Cognitive Psychology

    2) Outline one explanation of forgetting in long-term memory (LTM) and give one criticism of this explanation. Cue-dependant forgetting is a classic example of forgetting because of retrieval failure. The information is stored in memory, and so is available, but just cannot be retrieved until an appropriate cue is given. Tulving (1979) used the concept that remembering something depends on having the right cues, to put forward his encoding specificity principle: this is the idea that the closer the retrieval cue is to the information stored in memory, the greater the likelihood that the cue will be successful in retrieving the memory.

    • Word count: 1403
  24. A study to show the difference in the Duration of STM between males and females

    The interference task was to count backwards from a three-digit number e.g. 354,674. Peterson and Peterson found that participants recalled 80% of the trigrams correctly after 3 seconds, this however decreased as the time increased. After 18 seconds only 10% of trigrams were recalled correctly. This study showed that STM has duration or 18 seconds. However, if the information is rehearsed then the information is remembered for longer. I decided to apply the Brown Peterson technique to males and females to see if there is any difference in the duration of STM between the two genders.

    • Word count: 1270
  25. 'It is clear from psychological research into memory and eye-witness testimony that accounts of eye-witnesses are entirely unreliable.' Critically consider some relevant psychological research (studies and/or research)

    In one study Cattel asked his students about the previous weeks weather. It had snowed, however only 7 out of 56 mentioned this. One study done by Bartlett (1932) on reconstructive memory backs up the view that eye witness testimony is unreliable. Bartlett's aim was to see how peoples schema's (mental files) effect the way they recall stories and events, by maybe adding peoples own interpretations to them or by filling in gaps. Bartlett's theory of Reconstructive Memory is crucial to an understanding of the reliability of eye witness testimony (EWT) as he suggested that recall is subject to personal interpretation dependent on our learnt or cultural norms and values- the way we make sense of our world.

    • Word count: 1429

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