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AS and A Level: Cognitive Psychology

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  1. Categorisation in Long-Term Memory

    The second group had the words listed randomly and thus was only able to recall 18% of the words. This implies that the long-term memory stores information by organisation as well as categorisation and that people will remember more information if the information organised. Bousfield (1953) gave participants 60 words to study; they consisted of 15 names, 15 animals, 15 professions and 15 vegetables. The participants were asked to recall as many words as possible. The participants remembered the words in clusters according to their category.

    • Word count: 2353
  2. Does chunking help with memory?

    Those with 7 categories recalled approximately 20 more words than those who used 2. Mandler argued that the great number of categories used, the greater amount of organisation was imposed on the list. However my particular study is inspired and based on a later one by Bowers et al in 1969, in which data wads organised by conceptual hierarchy. In this study participants were required to learn a list of words which were arranged in a hierarchical structure. See appendix 1.

    • Word count: 2984
  3. Memory 1.Outline what happens at the encoding stage of memory. At the encoding stage of memory sensory information

    3. Describe one way in which short term memory differs from long term memory. Short term memory can only hold 7� 2 items of information whereas long term memory capacity is infinite. 4. Explain how interference affects memory. Interference can affect memory by in one of two ways: * Retroactive interference - occurs when information you receive later, interferes with your ability to recall something which you learned earlier. An example of this would be if someone knows how to use Microsoft Word software starts learning Lotus Notes; if they then try to go back to use MS Word they may find they can only remember how to do things in the new software package, Lotus Notes.

    • Word count: 448
  4. The following essay will describe and explain Flash bulb memory using the knowledge of the cognitive approach. Flash bulb memory is the

    and Brown and Kulik (1977). In the Brown and Kulik (1977) experiment they put forward that flashbulb memories are not only accurate but also very long lasting, but also include the following information; informant, place were the news was heard, ongoing event, individuals own emotional state and consequences of the event for the individual. To carry out this experiment Brown and Kulik asked 80 participants what they were doing at the time of hearing about President Kennedy's assassination. They found out most of the people recalled quite well what they were doing, showing us that flashbulb memories are a unique type of memory that is immune from the usual process of decay and distortion.

    • Word count: 613
  5. To what extent does the multi-store model offer a reasonable account of human memory?

    characterised by limited capacity and reasonably short duration, and a long term memory (LTM). which had potentially unlimited capacity and duration. If a person's awareness is focused on material in the sensory memory then this would be transferred to STM. Atkinson and Shiffrin claimed that information was transferred from STM to LTM through the process of rehearsal in STM and the strength of long-term memory- the more the information is rehearsed, the better it is remembered.

    • Word count: 343
  6. 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.

    • Word count: 1224
  7. What is meant by the terms encoding, capacity and duration, in relation to short term memory

    Capacity - The capacity of something is how much it can hold. In terms of short term memory the capacity is limited, unlike long term memory.

    • Word count: 266
  8. Describe two factors that influence forgetting in short-term memory (STM).

    Describe the procedures and findings of one study that has investigated the capacity of memory. Jacobs (1887) aimed to investigate the capacity of memory. To do this he presented his participants with a random sequence of digits or letters, and he then asked the participants to repeat the items back in the order that they were read.

    • Word count: 368
  9. To what extent does research evidence (theory and/or studies) support the view that short term memory and long term memory are separate stores?

    The information kept in this store is diverse and wide ranging and includes all of our personal memories and general knowledge. Many studies have been conducted to support the views that short and long term memory are different stores. In 1966 Baddeley carried out a study of encoding in short term memory and long term memory. Baddeley aimed to support earlier research that showed short term memory was largely based on acoustic code, and to find out whether either short term memory or long term memory was also acoustically coded.

    • Word count: 691
  10. Eyewitness Testimony

    Loftus and Palmer found that the group given the verb 'smashed' estimated a higher speed than the other groups. The group given verb 'contacted' estimated a lower speed than the other groups. This research study shows us that leading questions can effect the accuracy of memory. An additional explanation is that the shape of question actually alters the participant's memory account of the accident, which guides them to give a higher or lower estimate. One criticism of this study is that it is not true to life. A laboratory experiment may not signify real life, as people may not take the experiment seriously and/or they are not emotionally aroused as they would be in a real life accident.

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  11. The first emotional factor in forgetting is flashbulb memory (FBs)

    The questionnaire consisted of a list of 10 events about assassinations, attempted assassinations and other important events. For each event, participants were asked 'do you recall the circumstances in which you first heard that...'. If they answered 'no', they moved onto the next event. If they answered 'yes', the participant was asked to free recall the circumstances in any form or order. Brown and Kulik found that white people had greater recall for events concerning white individuals and black people had greater recall for events concerning black individuals. From doing this study, Brown and Kulik suggest that both consequence and surprise are characteristics of biologically important events, and this may lie behind the reason we have FBs.

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  12. To what extent has research shown eyewitness testimony to be inaccurate?

    to see if leading questions distort the eyewitness's immediate recall. A leading question is a question that 'either by its form or content, suggests to the witness what answer is desired or leads him to the desired answer'. After being shown films of traffic accidents, students were asked one critical question: 'About how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?' The word 'hit' was replaced with 'smashed', 'collided', 'bumped' and 'contacted' for different students. The students who were asked with the word 'smashed' estimated the highest speed, whereas the group asked with the word 'contacted' estimated the lowest speed.

    • Word count: 511
  13. Sensory learning

    If attention is focused on it, then it is transferred to short-term memory. It demonstrates information is maintained in STM through rehearsal, otherwise it will decay or may be displaced by new information. Increasing rehearsal leads to transfer from STM to LTM concluding that the more rehearsal, the better information is remembered. A strength of this model would be there is general agreement that there is an STM/STM difference, and this is well supported by the experiential evidence.

    • Word count: 562
  14. "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. Eyewitness testimony is defined as, "an ar...

    This usually occurs because simply the person concerned is not paying attention. Perhaps more importantly memories can become scrambled, in the process of retrieval; as a result the scrambled memory is recalled-along with mistaken details instead of your original memory. In the case of eyewitness testimony, this may lead to wrongful convictions. The history of the United States justice system, like those of other countries is littered with wrongful convictions. For example, Rattner (1988) reviewed 205 cases of wrongful arrests and found that in 52 percent of cases, this was due to mistaken eyewitness testimony.

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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.

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  16. Give a brief account of the multi-storemodel of memory and consider its strengths and weaknesses.

    If a person's attention if focused on material in sensory memory, then it is transferred to STM. Atkinson and Shiffrin also implied that transfer of information from STM to LTM was through a process called 'rehearsal'. They proposed a direct link between STM and the strength of LTM, claiming that the more the information is rehearsed the better it is remembered. Research studies have supported Atkinson and Shiffrin's view that the stores of information are different in terms of capacity, duration and encoding.

    • Word count: 417
  17. To investigate the effect of misleading questions on the accuracy of witness statements

    The results, 7% of group A said "yes" and 15% of group B said "Yes" to an item which was not there, suggests that the wording of the question can have influence on the answer of the eye-witnesses. So the chance of an incorrect answer increases if a misleading question is asked. Another experiment has also been conducted by Loftus and Palmer in 1974, where participants were shown a video of a car accident and were asked to judge the speed of the cars.

    • Word count: 989
  18. ''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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  19. Describe two factors that can influence reconstructive memory

    Many other studies into schemas and reconstructive memory such as Brewer and Treyens (1981) discovered that objects which were considered bizarre in comparison to certain environments (a bouncy castle in a office) had the highest count of recall. One in study into repression by Levinger and Clark (1961), had the aim to investigate the retrieval of associations to words that were emotionally charged, compared with the retrieval of the association to neutral words. Another aim was to see if negative emotionally charged words, would be harder to recall due to repression, the study would help support the idea that our subconscious keeps certain memories from our conscious awareness.

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  20. How Valid is the Modal Model of Memory?

    When participants are given a list of items to commit to memory, their recall is usually better for items which appeared early in the list (the primacy effect) and late in the list (the recency effect), than it is for items in the middle of the list (the asymptote). This is represented diagrammatically shown below. The primacy effect has been explained as being caused by the operation of the long term memory (LTM). In theory, the earlier items of the list will have been rehearsed and processed in the short term memory (STM)

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  21. Forgetting is a common process that occurs near enough every day. The general definition of forgetting is the inability to recall

    The problem is that both of these variables occurred and the same time, and thus it is impossible to tell whether better recall was due to sleep in the retention interval, or the time of day when recall took place. It is, perhaps, also necessary to point out that this study is not very realistic - the information participants were asked to remember is not like it would be in real life, and therefore the experiment lacks ecological validity. Further investigation into the decay theory, and extending Jenkins and Dallenbach's work, was Hockey et al.

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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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  23. Is performance of memory affected by environmental stimuli?

    However, when there is noise in the environment, rehearsal and actively working on information received from the senses, is more difficult. Cohen et al, (1980) investigated whether environmental noise from aircraft influenced performance within school. To do this they compared the performance of pupils from 'matched schools' located under flight paths, with schools in a quiet environment. Students were tested on reading, memory, attention and stress responses. The results indicated that chronic aircraft noise exposure does not always lead to generalised cognitive effects, but rather more selective cognitive impairments (Cohen et al, Evans et al, Evans and Cohen, Wachs and Gruen).

    • Word count: 3232
  24. Have You Been Drinking&#133;or Just Thinking? A Look into the Effects of Drinking on Memory.

    The "automatic" phase parallel in both experiments refers oppositely to the effortless, unintentional uncontrolled processes which occur without awareness. "Learning" processes become automatic with practice and experience. Both experiments used doses of alcohol as the independent variable which involved manipulation in the amount administered. These research designs accounted for the affects for both the automatic processes and the effortful memory processes. This research came to the conclusion that both of these processes of memory are affected by intoxication; however the effortful "learning" phase is more affected than the automatic phase. Research by Parker, Birnbaum & Noble (1976) also identified the same phases of the dependent variable of memory previously discussed.

    • Word count: 2014
  25. 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)

    • Word count: 1384

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