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AS and A Level: Cognitive Psychology

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 24
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  1. 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
  2. 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

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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