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AS and A Level: Cognitive Psychology

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  1. 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.

    • Word count: 1426
  2. A study investigating the effects of categorisation on recall

    Only information attended to is passed into short term memory - we would be swamped by sensory information otherwise. Short term memory has a limited storage capacity and a very short duration. Short term memory can be lost by decay or displacement as new information is added to the store. Miller (1956) suggests the "magic number" 7 plus or minus 2 - that is between 5 and 9 bits of information can be retained in short-term memory. By organising this information in short term memory, between 5 and 9 "chunks" of information can be passed into long term memory.

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  3. 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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  4. Outline and evaluate research (theories and/or studies) into eyewitness testimony

    A week later participants were ask another ten questions, and the last question ask did they see a barn (which was not in the incident). Only 2.7 % gave the incorrect answer and in-group 2 17.3% gave the incorrect answer. Loftus concluded that the introduction of the barn in the first misleading question was now recalled as part of the original event. Elizabeth performed a further study (1978) on eyewitness testimony and found the same thingy, also that the effect of the misleading question became more prominent over time.

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  5. Explain two theories of forgetting

    In addition, we can forget because of an inability to recall information that is in long-term memory. There are many theories to consider which explain why forgetting occurs, one of them being interference- When something gets in the way of something else. When used in the study of forgetting it refers to the tendency for one memory to 'interfere with' the accurate retrieval of another memory.

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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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.

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  9. 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.

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  10. Recall in Memory Using Mnemonics

    Memory is commonly split into three forms - Sensory, Short term (STM) and Long Term (LTM). From research into STM we find that it has a capacity of 7 +/- 2 items (Miller 1956). Also if unrelated information is chunked (i.e. linked together) recall is improved. Sensory memory has a duration of about 1 / 2 seconds in order for a person to decide whether further processing is necessary. This form of memory is modality-specific and although research in this area is rare, the current research focuses on the visual and auditory stores (iconic and echoic stores).

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  11. Studies In The Cognitive Approach - Levels Of Processing (Craik and Lockhart 1972)

    Three groups of people were given a list of words to learn. Group one was told to remember the list simply by just looking at it. The second group was told to remember the list by trying to rhyme the words on the list with other words. The third group was told to remember the words with the use of semantic processing. The semantic group gave the best recall, the auditory (the rhyming group) group gave the second best, and the visual group gave the worst recall. Craik and Lockhart believed that the reason for these results is that visual is the lowest level of thought and that giving something meaning (semantic)

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  12. '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.

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  13. The Effect Of Conceptual Hierarchies On Memory Recall

    Memory is a store for information. This information needs to be encoded, retained and retrieved when required. There has been a great deal of research into the different types of memory. It is widely accepted that memory is categorised into 3 basic components, sensory memory (SM), short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM). William James (1890) was one of the first psychologists to define distinction between primary (short-term) and secondary memory (long-term). It is believed that STM has a duration ranging between 15 to 30 seconds.

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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. Human Memory.

    * Semantic memory (skills) Psychologists are able to draw a distinction between the two different types. Episodic memory is our memory for particular events and how where and when things happened. Whereas semantic memory is more concerned with skills and how we do things. We are then able to distinguish our every day skills and also are good and bad memories. There are also three stages of the memory. * Encoding * Storage * Retrieval When we are memorizing information there are three stages it goes through for us to remember.

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  18. Some psychologists believe that we simply rehearse things and that is how we remember. By rehearsing it leaves our short-term memory and enters our long-term memory.

    Context dependent recall relates to externally generated cues from the environment. Godden and Baddeley (1975) asked people to learn lists of words either on land or in 20ft of water. Four minutes later participants were given a test of free recall, either on land or underwater. Godden and Baddeley found that recall was 50% better if learning and recall took place in the same environment then if they occurred in different environments. State dependent recall relates to internally generated cues such as your physical or emotional state at the time of learning. Aggleton and Waskett (1999) had participants revisit a museum that they hadn't visited since six or seven years earlier.

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  19. The hypothesis that this investigation will be testing is that women will remember more items than the men.

    * Systematic sampling -Would need a large population to choose from and have not have enough friends, family, etc to select every 20th person (for example). Method of Experiment The method used for collecting primary data was by conducting an experiment. The experiment was based on a memory game. 16 different items were placed on a table or on the floor and the respondents were given 30 seconds to look at the items. The items were then covered with a cloth and the respondents were given a response sheet to list the as many items they could remember in two minutes.

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  20. 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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  21. An experiment to test the existence of the rehearsal loop using interference with numbers.

    The well-known technique for testing the existence of the rehearsal loop is the Brown-Peterson technique. Brown (1958) and Peterson and Peterson (1959) developed the idea of blocking rehearsal by such tasks as counting backwards. These were two separate groups of researchers, so the technique was jointly named after them. Participants learned trigrams such as BHK. Once they had been given the trigrams, however, rehearsal was blocked by making them count backwards in threes, for example 60,57,54 etc. The number of trigrams the participant could recall was recorded.

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  22. "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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  23. "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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  24. An experiment to investigate whether chunking leads to better recall.

    Support for this approach come from Craik and Tulvings study in 1975. Another theory to forgetting is the trace decay theory. Trace decay theory explains why forgetting increases with time. Memories are stored somewhere in the brain, many are impermanent but when learning takes place a permanent structural change or engram occurs. An engram is a biochemical change, which takes place in the brain. It is the result of external stimulus. It is hypothesized to be a biochemical manifestation of memory via the permanent alteration of brain tissue. Atkinson and Shiffrin's multi-store model is their attempt to describe how memory works.

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  25. Evaluate the evidence of the use of hypnosis in memory recall with particular reference to victim and witness memory.

    HPNO -SIS. The first section of the word (Hypno) comes from the Greek word 'to sleep.' The second part of the word (sis) comes originally from the Greek word 'you,' however the meaning changed and I'm not too sure of the exact meaning. If we put these together than we should end up with something like 'you sleeping', which could make sense if you're under hypnosis In this case witnesses and victims are under hypnosis and as they are asked questions about a certain scene they are said to be able to enhance their memory due to hypnosis.

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