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AS and A Level: Cognitive Psychology

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  1. Multi-Store Model of Memory. In this essay we will be looking at what research and evidence there is to support the model

    Murdock (1962) presented patients with a list of words, which they then had to recall. Experiments show that when participants are presented with the list, they tend to remember the first few (primacy effect) and last few words (recency effect) and are more likely to forget those in the middle (McLeod, simplypsychology.org). The primacy effect occurs because the first few items have already been rehearsed and transferred to LTM, whereas the recency effect occurs as the last few numbers are still being held in the STM.

    • Word count: 1356
  2. Outline and evaluate the working memory model. (12 marks) UPDATED

    The fourth component is the episodic buffer which acts as a store for visual and acoustic data. The different components of the working memory model are well supported by research evidence. For example Bunge et al. (2000) found that the same parts of the brain were active during reading and recalling tasks, but were more active when participants had to perform two attentional tasks at the same time than when these were performed sequentially (evidence for the central executive).

    • Word count: 419
  3. Explain how the cognitive interview differs from the standard interview and assess the effectiveness of the cognitive interview

    like a standard interview was. A second difference is that in the cognitive interview, witnesses are encouraged to report every detail, no matter how minor it may seem. Context reinstatement is used where the witness are asked to think about the time of the event and bring themselves back in order to aid memory recall. No questions are asked, this means that the witness is able to freely recall from start to finish.

    • Word count: 510
  4. Discuss research into one factor which affects eyewitness testimony

    This was a misleading question as it suggested that there was a barn in the film, even though there wasn?t one (misinformation). A week later both groups were asked ?did you see the barn?? 17% of the experimental group reported seeing a barn in the original film but only 3% of the control group made this error. For those in the experimental group, it is likely that they formed an image of a barn, which over time became implanted into their mental representation of what they had actually seen in the film.

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  5. Ivan Pavlov and the Theory of Classical Conditioning

    process of learning through which an initially neutral stimulus, such as the ticking of a metronome, comes to elicit a particular response, such as salivation, as a consequence of being paired repeatedly with an unconditioned stimulus, such as food? (para. 1). Classical conditioning is a spontaneous or reflexive kind of learning that requires a stimulus that obtains the capability to induce a response that was initially evoked by a different stimulus. Classical conditioning then couples that neutral stimulus with the stimulus that evokes a desired reflex, and the stimulus that brings forth the desired reflex is presented even when the reflex does not occur.

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  6. To what extent does the multi-store model offer a reasonable account of human memory?

    They had two groups of participants, each of them were giving the same lists of words. As group A was tested on immediate recall and group B recalled after 30 seconds in which they have to complete the task the teams. Participants that were presented with words at a 3 second rate were more likely to remember the first words of the list than participants presented with the words at a 2 second rate. This is because they were able to remember the first words more.

    • Word count: 789
  7. Describe and evaluate explanations for prosopagnosia

    The first explanation of prosopagnosia is that it is a result of impaired neurology. Prosopagnosia has been associated with damage to the fusiform face area, especially the one in the right hemisphere, for two reasons. The first reason being that prosopagnosics typically have damage to this brain area and second, the fusiform gyrus is generally more active when individuals are engaged in face, rather than object recognition. For example, Downing et al (2006) reported that the fusiform face area responded significantly more strongly to faces than either to scenes, or 18 object categories such as fruit and tools.

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  8. Investigation Into How Grouping Words Can Affect Memory

    (Flanagan, 2000) There are three major processes involved in memory: encoding, storage and retrieval. Encoding is the stage where a memory trace is created. Once encoded the trace is then stored within the memory system. In STM the information tends to be encoded acoustically i.e. it is represented as sounds. In LTM the information is generally encoded systematically i.e. data is represented by its meaning. In STM, rehearsal is used to keep memory more active, repeating something over and over to try to commit it to STM. There are several models of memory; representations of how memory works.

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  9. Discuss how evidence can be made more reliable through interviews.

    The basic cognitive interview has four main techniques. Report everything, as witnesses may omit details they feel are irrelevant, especially if they do not fit into their existing schemas for that type of event. Encouraging them to report every detail, regardless of how small, may increase witness accuracy. Reinstate the context at the time of the event. Encouraging witnesses to recall how they felt, the scents, time of day, weather, etc.

    • Word count: 523
  10. Critically evaluate some of the central themes within psychology Behaviourism VS Cognitive

    They focus more on internal factors unlike behaviourists who focus of external factors. They study internal processes such as thought processes, attention, memory, language and perception. Behaviourists only study behaviour that can be observed. It assumes that we learn by associating certain events with certain consequences, and people tend to behave in the ways which lead to good consequences. Classical and Operant conditioning are two important concepts linked to behavioural psychology. Operant conditioning was introduced by a psychologist named Burrus Frederic Skinner. Skinner believed by looking at causes of an action and it?s consequences- we could learn to understand behaviour.

    • Word count: 2376
  11. Study skills essays.When learning to drive a car, visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles are used.

    This learning style is also helpful if you have forgotten what you were shown visually. I found this learning style helpful when I started my lessons. In the theory exam this is how you will be tested, by reading for yourself or listening to someone else read the questions and you will be expected to select an answer within a certain amount of time. I passed my theory test using this method.

    • Word count: 590
  12. The MSM model of memory

    The second stage in the MSM is the short-term memory (STM). It is suggested that the STM has a capacity of 7 +/- 2 and a duration of around about 18 seconds. The type of encoding that the STM uses is acoustic though not exclusively so and has been known to use visual encoding as well. To transfer information from the STM to the LTM it needs to be rehearsed, if rehearsal is prevented then information can be lost through either decay or displacement. The third and final stage of the MSM is the long-term memory (LTM).

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  13. Distinguish between subjectivity and objectivity in relation to psychology.

    it explains everyday behaviour using the belief and desire principle, he implies it doesn?t need to be theory based because folk psychology explains it well enough. Abnormal behaviour, mental disorders and memory are not taking into account because it is not everyday behaviour. (Johnson 2012) The primary founder of the psychodynamic approach to psychology, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian neurologist who created the subjective psychodynamic approach to explore and understand human personality. He published a variety of books, his most famous being 'The Interpretation of Dreams' which describes how unconscious desires and experiences shape dreams.

    • Word count: 2550
  14. Psychological explanations of schizophrenia

    It can also be defined with the social drift hypothesis which is where people with SZ can no longer cope with jobs and relationships so drift down the socioeconomic hierarchy. However in 1990 Fox produced a meta-analysis from studies by him and other professionals and found no conclusive evidence for the drift theory.

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  15. Outline and evaluate the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

    Also, because the experiment was controlled, it means there was a good control of extraneous variables, which allows a causal link to be made between the question type and the answers participants gave to the questions and therefore allowing them to conclude that it was the words used in the questions that caused the differences in recall. The experiment was an independent measures design, which is an advantage, as this experimental design means that there are no order effects. This means participants are not going to perform differently due to factors such as boredom or fatigue because of the order in which the conditions are performed, as they are only participating in one condition.

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  16. The Stroop and Simon effect.

    In Simon Effect, the position of given words which act as a stimulus on the screen overlaps with the position of the relative stimulus dimension whether it is on the left or right side of keyboard. As a result, irrelevant dimension of the stimulus activates the corresponding response and affects the decision making on non-corresponding side. This leads to the behavior of faster and accurate response where the stimulus and answer are at same side compared to the opposite location between stimulus and relative stimulus dimension.

    • Word count: 580
  17. Summary of Gardner-Gardner Study teaching chimps sign language.

    ASL also provided the advantage of conducting comparisons with deaf children and chimps. Chimpanzees, in addition, were an ideal choice as they were intelligent, sociable, and capable of strong attachments to humans. However, it was later recognized that their great strength was also a cause of serious hindrance. In June 1966, the Gardners then brought Washoe , a wild caught infant of 8-14 months, incase there was a critical early stage at which such behaviour is acquired, to the laboratory and began to master their knowledge of ASL into her through imitation operant conditioning, in which they simply reinforced desired behaviour; meanwhile ensuring maximum stimulation and minimum restrictions.

    • Word count: 547
  18. Using your knowledge and understanding of Reconstructive Memory Theory explain how a memory is created and stored and why there may be inaccuracies in the recall of the eye-witness, then evaluate this claim

    This means that any attempt to recall a memory involves the process of ?reconstructing? it. As with reconstructing anything, Bartlett argues that some features may not be identical to that of the original?that is to say, when we recall a memory, we may not recall it exactly how it happened. Bartlett says that humans make sense of information by putting them into schemas?units of memory that correspond to different situations. Schemas allow people to understand what they encounter. They may be determined by one?s prejudice?Bartlett?s Reconstructive Memory theory suggests that recall is subject to interpretation, based on a person?s norms and values.

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  19. Outline and evaluate the multi-store model

    sound, meaning or image. Many experiments tested how long information could last in the short-term memory, Jacobs/miller for example conducted an experiment with letters, they randomly listed 15 letters and asked participants to recall all 15 in order, other participants were then asked to recall 5 chunks of three word but with the same letters, they then put the letters into recognisable words and asked different participants to remember. They found that people could only remember seven plus or minus two; this was then called the magic number seven.

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  20. The Multi Store Memory has been criticised for being a passive/one way/linear model, what does this mean and do you agree?

    However there is much research which contradicts this idea of the multi store memory and many criticisms have been thrown at it. It has been criticised as being a passive, one way, and linear model. In other words it is implying that the Multi Store Memory (MSM) is an over simplistic representation of the brain which only works in a one way system from sensory memory to STM and with rehearsal to the LTM. Atkinson and Shriffin also proposed that rehearsal is the only method in which information is transferred to the LTM.

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  21. Outline and evaluate the working memory model

    The key element of the W.M.M is the central executive. This directs attention to particular tasks, determining at any time how ?resources? are allocated to tasks. The ?resources? are a combination of three slave systems. The central executive has a limited capacity and so cannot attend to too many things at once. One of the components to the slave systems is the phonological loop. This deals with auditory information and preserves the order of information. Baddeley (1986) divided this slave system into the phonological store and an articulatory process. The phonological holding the words you here and the articulatory process for words that are seen or heard.

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  22. The working memory model was proposed by two men called Alan Baddeley and Graham Hitch in 1974.

    The original model of Baddeley & Hitch was composed of three main components; central executive, the phonological loop, and the visuo-spatial scratchpad. CENTRAL EXECUTIVE The central executive is the control centre responsible for coordinating the other slave units. It is able to process information from any of the senses and appears to have a minimal storage capacity. We use the central executive when we are concentrating on a task and it is sometimes likened to ?attention.? If we are attempting to do two things at the same time, for example read and hold a conversation, it is the central executive that switches our attention between the two, deciding which other components of the working memory to use.

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  23. Outline and evaluate research into the effect of misleading information on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

    They aimed to test whether leading questions can distort memories. In this study, 45 American students were asked to estimate the speed of a motor vehicle in a video upon crashing, in the form of a questionnaire. This was a lab experiment where there were 5 groups of 9, and each was asked the question ?How fast was the car travelling when the cars (Hit, smashed, collided, bumped, contacted) with eachother? with each of the groups having a different verb in the question, but not knowing about it. Loftus and Palmer found that the verb used affected the outcome of the speed that the participants predicted, where smashed came out

    • Word count: 758
  24. The behaviourist approach states that behaviour is learnt from our environment. It believes that studies should be scientific and objective

    The cat eventually became quicker at getting out of the box. Another theory is Skinner?s operant conditioning. This is the belief that we learn from consequences. Operant conditioning (OC) consists of reinforcements and punishments, which make behaviour either more or less likely. Reinforcement is about making behaviour more likely, either positive or negative reinforcements can be used. Positive reinforcement consists of giving something, such as a reward, whereas negative reinforcement consists of taking something negative away, in order to make the behaviour more likely. Positive punishment consists of giving something negative, whereas negative punishment consists of taking something good away, in order to make behaviour less likely.

    • Word count: 882
  25. Describe and Evaluate the Multistore Model of Memory

    In addition, information selected for further processing passes from the sensory memory store into the short-term memory, it is thought that the short-term memory holds information in the form of images, sounds or meanings, information in the short-term memory is kept alive by continual rehearsal of it, an example study for the life-span of the short-term memory was conducted by Peterson and Peterson (1959) in which they gave participants a constant trigram to remember and then a large number.

    • Word count: 554

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