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AS and A Level: Cognitive Psychology

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  1. To what extent does research support the multi store model?

    Despite these negative points, there are many more positive points that do support the multi store model of memory. Such as the senal position effect and the fact that brain scans have shown that the pre-frontal cortex is activated for the STM and the hippocampus is activated for the LTM. There was also the case of HM in which brain surgery after an accident (damaged hippocampus) left the loss of ability to transfer from STM to LTM. HM could remember events before the operation yet forgot things quickly after the operation.

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  2. To make participants rely on their short-term memory by using visual intakes/coding of six from the consonants B, C, F, M, N, P, S, T, V and X, because the rate was to fast for the participants to keep them they had to rely on their memory.

    Capacity in short term memory - Jacobs (1887) Aim: To investigate how much information can be held in a short-term memory. Procedure: A laboratory experiment using digit span technique was conducted. Participants were presented with a sequence of letters of digits. which they were required to serial recall. The pace of the presentation was controlled to half seconds. Initially the sequence was three times, which then increased by a single item until the participant consistently failed to reproduce the sequence correctly.

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  3. How reliable is Eyewitness testimony

    The participants recall distorted the content and the style of the original story. The story was shortened and the phrases were shortened to become more similar to our own language. Over periods of time up to a year Bartlett asked his participants to keep recalling the story and found that the distortions increased the longer recall went on. Bartlett found that the reproductions of memory just kept on evolving and memory was forever being reconstructed. Some parts of information were forgotten and others were exaggerated. Bartlett's study showed how our cultural expectations or stereotypes lead to predictable changes in memory.

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  4. What are heuristics? How do they help us make decisions or solve problems? How do they hinder decision making and problem solving? What does the study of heuristics tell us about how our mind works?

    A path, or an operator, would be selected to reach the subgoal. Egan & Greeno(1974) used the Tower of Hanoi problem to investigate this heuristic method. They found that subjects with prior experience with the problem who used the means-ends analysis solved more difficult versions of the problem faster than subjects who did not make appropriate subgoals. Subjects who changed their strategy to means-ends analysis produced better results than those who did not. Overall heuristics are useful in solving problems and making decisions as they reduce the complexity of different solutions that are possible.

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  5. "Eyewitness testimony differs from many other aspects of memory in that accuracy is of much greater importance." Consider what psychological research has told us about the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.

    This shows the effect of language on EWT again. In a similar study, Loftus arranged for participants to watch a film of a car travelling through the countryside. They were all asked how fast a white sports car was travelling but some of them were asked the question with '...as it passed the barn' (but there was no barn). Later, when participants were asked if they saw a barn in the film those who had been prompted to think there might have been a barn were more likely to report that they saw it.

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  6. "In reality, both the 'repressed memory' and the 'false memory' positions are probably at least partially correct" (Matlin, 1998). Discuss this statement with reference to evidence from cognitive psychology.

    Memory loss may be caused by a number of factors, including physical trauma and drug abuse, in which actual brain cells or systems are destroyed. There are a few theories on forgetting, the most influential being the 'motivated-forgetting theory' and the 'distortion' and 'decay theory' of forgetting. According to the motivated-forgetting theory, forgetting is a motivated process rather than a failure in terms of learning or other processes. Whereas, the distortion theory (Gestalt theory), claims that memories undergo qualitative changes over time rather than being lost completely, and become distorted towards a 'better', more regular, symmetrical form.

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  7. Explain what is meant by the terms, 'Flashbulb memory', 'Repression' and 'Reconstructive Memory' (2+2+2).

    Bartlett (1932) argued that Reconstructive Memory is when we store memories in terms of our past knowledge and experience (schemas). A schema is a way of summarizing events, which enables us to predict what will happen in certain situations. For example if you were asked what your schema of 'getting on the bus' involved you would probably include: Getting on the bus; stating your destination; paying the fare and finally sitting down. 2. Outline two factors that might influence the accuracy of Eyewitness Testimony (3+3)

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  8. Memory and forgetting

    Conway et al (1994) tested the accuracy of Flashbulb memory. He did a study using British and non-British participants. Participants were tested after the news of Margaret Thatcher's resignation from parliament and again 11 months later. It was found that the British participants recall was better at 80% whereas only 25% of non-British participants could recall the event correctly. This was due to a strong emotional response. It is concluded that there was some strong disagreement about flashbulb memory. This is because some argue that there is a distinctive type of memory characterised by emotional response, produced by event and the importance attached to these events.

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  9. The Effect Chunking of Numbers has on Short-Term Memory Recall.

    Chase and Simon (1973) investigated the different chunking processes which novices and experts used in chess playing, building on Miller's "magical number" 7(2. They found that experts could identify relationships, like colour and proximity, between the pieces, creating chunks of 4-5 chess pieces. However, novices could only see each piece individually. This meant that while novices could only recall around 7 single-pieces, experts could recall up to 7 multi-piece chunks (more that 30 pieces in total). Therefore, chunking can greatly improve recall, and practice and development of skill levels also increase the ability to chunk information.

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  10. An investigation into the effect of chunking on recall.

    and there was knowledge or information, which he believed, lasted a long period of time known as LTM (long term memory). There are 3 ways in which STM differs from LTM, which are encoding, storage and retrieval. Encoding is basically how information is stored. In STM there are two ways, visually and acoustically. Visually is when u can see what is going on and store it as pictures in your brain and acoustically is repeating it to your self so it becomes a sound which you remember, this is seems to be the best way to remember for your STM.

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  11. Encoding in Short-term and Long-term memory.

    Conrad (1964)- confirms notion that acoustic coding used in STM. * No difference in performance at immediate recall between semantically similar and semantically dissimilar -Meaning not important in STM * LTM (delayed recall)-no difference in performance between acoustically similar and acoustically dissimilar lists- acoustic coding not used in LTM. * Semantically similar words confusing than semantically dissimilar lists-Important for LTM coding Conclusions -findings suggest nature of encoding is different in STM and LTM. * STM- is acoustic not semantic - Encoding is on the basis of sound not meaning - We rehearse/say over words in STM.

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  12. The purpose of this essay is to discuss whether eye-witness testimony draws upon the same kinds of memory representations as are used for recalling other scenes or events?

    Talented Barristers for example ask leading questions suggesting a particular version of events. Certain words like "smashed" when used in the context of a car accident, carries the connotation of high speed. Substituting the word "bumped" implies an entirely different version of events. The use of different words within the context of leading questions could affect what the witness says he or she saw, but they would probably believe that their memory of events would remain unchanged. However studies by Loftus et al challenge this belief. Studies by Loftus et al (1974-1979) questioned participants who had watched a short video of two cars colliding head-on.

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  13. Compare and evaluate two models said to describe the structure of memory.

    The sensory register (sensory memory) is where all the information from the senses (sound, touch, taste, smell and sight) is collected, and is then sorted for its importance. Everything that we receive through our senses goes into the sensory register and then is either manually selected by ourselves or non-intentionally moved into the short term memory, where it is stored for longer and can be used further. The information received is known to be 'modality specific'; this means that the information received through the senses is sensitive to the sense in use.

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  14. Experiment to Test Memory Using Recognition and Free Recall.

    and found that cued recall produced better results consistently. Brown 1991, after studying 25 years of research, reported that people failing to remember the target name can remember the first letter between 50% and 70% of the time. This confirms Tulivng theory of forgetting. An alternative view, held by Craik and Lockheart, is that we forget information we have only processed to a shallow level, such as the shape of a letter and we remember information processed to a deeper level, involving semantic analysis at the time of learning.

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  15. Describe two differences between Short term memory (STM) and Long term memory (LTM) in term of duration and capacity.

    in the first hour and thereafter stabilised to a much slower rate of loss. Linton used a diary to record at least 2 everyday events from her life each day for 6 years and then she had to aimlessly test her later recall of them. The results were that there was a much more even and gradual loss of data over time. STM has a limited storage capacity; whereas the capacity of LTM is impossible to measure therefore it is enormous. Many early researchers such as Ebbinghaus proposed the capacity of STM and Miller (1956) investigated this limited capacity experimentally.

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  16. Memory.This experiment studies the effects that organised and unorganised lists have on the performance of memory recall. Participants were randomly assigned to conduct an experiment using two different methods; words in a random format and in an organis

    This course work will only be covering STM, as this is what we will be investigating in this experiment. In STM there are three main theories as to why we forget things. *Displacement: Existing information id replaced by newly received information when the storage capacity is full, Waugh and Norman (1965). *Decay: Information decays over time. *Interference: Other information in storage at the same time, distorts the original information, Keppel and Underwood (1968). Short-term memory is often called active memory or working memory. What ever you are actively thinking about or working on at a given moment is held in this memory system. Information taken into the STM must be limited; otherwise we would be overwhelmed by sensory stimuli.

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  17. The aim of my investigation was to investigate whether imagery was a better form of memorisation then rote rehearsal.

    The results were collected on a sheet (appendix ). The words that were correctly remembered with the associated word were written down on the sheet. The participants were taken into a separate room so that other participants were not around, thus avoiding conferring and distraction. The results obtained showed that imagery is a better form of memorisation then rote rehearsal. It was found that more people INTRODUCTION There are various ways in which we can encode stimulus inputs. It may be stored as a visual representation so that you form a visual image of either the printed word itself or a pictorial image of it, or you could form an acoustic representation by saying the written word aloud.

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  18. Evaluate two theories of forgetting.

    A trace is some form of physical and/or chemical change in the nervous system. Trace decay theory states that the forgetting occurs as a result of the automatic decay or fading of the memory trace. Essentially it is an attempt to explain why forgetting increases with time. The underlying assumption is that learning leaves a 'trace' on the brain, and there is some sort of physical change after learning that was not there before and forgetting is due to the fading or weakening to the memory trace over time. Trace decay appears to occur rapidly. STM has a limited duration.

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  19. An investigation into the processing systems of working memory.

    Another case study that supports the WMM is Clive Wearing his short term and his long-term memory were damaged. He can only recall patchy information from his long term memory this would suggest that there are more than one long term memory stores. It also suggests that you can put information into your long-term memory with out it going into your short-term memory first. The WWM specifically addresses short-term memory and views it as an active system used to work on information you are using at any one time. The modal consists of four components the first is the Central Executive this is a free attention system that has overall control of all the other components in the modal.

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  20. An experiment to investigate the effect of depth of processing on memory

    2. Storage: the information that we encoded then is stored, so it becomes available sometime in the future. Our memory for a word will include memory for how the word sounds like, looks like and what the word means. Different types of information are stored in different ways depending on how we retrieve it. 3. Retrieval: retrieval occurs when we try to retrieve information from storage. Sometimes we don't seem to remember something, this maybe because we are unable to retrieve it. For example this can happen when you go to get something from a different room, but as you get to the room you seem to forget what you went in there for.

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  21. Memory is studied within the Branch of psychology known as Cognitive psychology. Cognitive Psychology is a research field that strongly focuses on mental processes and the storage and the retrieval of information within the human brain.

    Research into STM and LTM. Miller in the year 1956 investigated into the capacity of Short Term Memory (STM), and concluded his results in his article ' The magic number seven plus or minus two '. His results stated that most humans could only remember chunks of information in the capacity of 5 or 9 in the STM. Other psychologists who have also studied the STM include Wicklegren in the year 1964 who also concluded that data could be stored much more easily is it is structured into groups or chunks.

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  22. Effects of Rehearsal and Imagery on STM Recall

    Concrete words are encoded twice, once as verbal symbols and again as image-based symbols. Therefore, this increases the likelihood that they will be remembered. This is similar to the processing involved with the Working Memory Model, where oral memory is stored in the Primary Acoustic Store, whereas images are collected in the Visuo-Spatial Scratch Pad. Paivio called this Dual Coding Hypothesis. The Mnemonic Keyboard was a concept devised by Pressley in 1982. It aims to identify part of a foreign word that sounds similar to an English word, and connecting them with a picture.

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  23. Discussion - From the analysis of the results, it clarifies that the outcome of the investigation showed that the labels given influenced the participants and so this affected the way the participants drew it from memory.

    This could have been due to condition A having more straightforward labels compared to that of the labels in condition B. Now referring to the statistical test completed for males and females, the calculated value was 11.5 and 10.5 and the critical value for Mann Whitney U was 2. The two calculated values are higher than the critical value and so the null hypothesis 'There will be no difference in the interpretation of an ambiguous figure by the influence of a label and there will be no differences between genders.'

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  24. So in conclusion this study has shown that there is a preferred method of encoding when using recall as the testing method. Although the hypothesis was not correct the aim was still achieved as it was found that visual encoding is preferred to acoustic.

    Relationship to background research The results from this experiment have shown that visual encoding is preferred to audio encoding. This disproves the original hypothesis but does allow the aim of the experiment to be achieved as it does show a significant difference with visual being the preferred method of encoding. The original hypothesis for this experiment was based on research from two studies into encoding in short term memory by Conrad and Baddley. These studies found that acoustic encoding was preferred in short-term memory rather than visual. There are a number of reasons that the results found in this experiment could have been different from those found by Baddley and Conrad.

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  25. Critically evaluate the traditional view(s) of memory as cited by Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968), in the light of the evidence provided by two other models of memory. What is memory?

    The first and earliest one was suggested by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) and is called the 'multistore model of memory' or the 'modal model of memory'. This model considered memory in terms of both process and structure, and consists of 3 main stores - the sensory memory store, the short-term memory store (STM) and the long-term memory store (LTM). The sensory store transfers information to the STM and is made up of the five sensory stores (touch, taste etc). Research has focused on the visual store, more widely known as the iconic store, and the auditory or the echoic store. Atkinson & Shiffrin based a lot of their work on Sperling (1960).

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