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University Degree: Cognitive Psychology

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  1. Is schizophrenia caused by genetic (nature) or environmental (nurture) factors? Critically discuss with reference to both psychological theory and research.

    Schizophrenia is generally characterised by disturbances in Thoughts, e.g., delusions, Perception, e.g., hallucinations, Language, e.g., disconnected ideas and Affect e.g., flattening of emotion. For a diagnosis, symptoms must have been present for six months and include at least one month of active symptom (DSM - 5). . Symptoms typically come on gradually, begin in young adulthood, and last a long time there are three different types of symptoms associated with schizophrenia: ?positive symptoms?, ?negative symptoms? and ?catatonia and inappropriate effect.

    • Word count: 1683
  2. Evaluate evidence suggesting three possible functions of sleep

    It is believed that NREM is the sleep phase in which the majority of mental development and maintenance occurs. Research has shown support for this in studies where it was found that declarative and non-procedural memory was improved after short periods of slow wave sleep when compared with control participants who were subjected to mild sleep deprivation. (Tucker et al, 2006) One function of sleep identified through research findings is the maintenance of mental health. Sleep deprivation can cause an increase in the likelihood depressive symptoms or disorders such as anxiety in an individual.

    • Word count: 535
  3. Executive Functioning and Working Memory.

    it plays in manipulating and integrating visual and linguistic resources to distinct executive tasks, the notion that it forms a unitary structure still remains tentative. Instead, more recent studies have argued that the central executive may in fact be fractionated into further sub-components, thus suggesting that this theoretical construct is more diverse than previously thought. This paper will therefore attempt to examine and evaluate some of the evidence put forth in recent findings, in an attempt to reconcile these opposing perspectives.

    • Word count: 2469

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?
  • “The hippocampus is the site of memory”. Critically discuss this statement.

    "In conclusion it would seem clear that the evidence put forward falsifies the statement that the hippocampus is the site of memory. Admittedly the hippocampus does play a crucial role in forming new memories. However it has also been shown that other areas, such as the diencephalon, the perirhinal cortex, the amygdala and the basal forebrain also play critical roles in the functioning of human memory. It would thus seem more appropriate to declare that the hippocampus plays a crucial role in human memory as opposed to labelling it the 'sole' site of memory. This discussion has also shed light onto the complexity of human memory and human cognitive functioning in general. Therefore, as Ramachandran (1998) appropriately stipulates, the logical conclusion to be drawn from studies of amnesia is not that memories are actually stored in the hippocampus (as old memories are preserved), but that the hippocampus is vital for the acquisition of new memory traces in the brain."

  • "Critically evaluate the role of neural structures in subserving psychological functions"

    "CONCLUSION The main purpose of this study was to analyze the neural structures and how they relate and support psychological functions. The cerebral hemispheres, the cerebellum and the brain stem are the three main parts of a brain. Each one relates with specific operations and all interact in order to control our vital needs and behavioural responses. The psychological functions that were investigated here were language and memory. Language has a specific construction, that individuals with brain damage such as aphasias may not interpret, or they may be capable of understanding some aspects of it. Memory is the psychological fermentation that stores past events, and how this events are recalled in the future as an aspect of our behaviour. Various theories have categorized memory, and numerous researches were conducted in order to find which parts of the brain are related to this function."

  • No model of human cognition can be complete, unless it incorporates both mental representations and information processing. Discuss

    "In conclusion, in the absence of a particular object we rely on our representations to bring the object to the forefront of our minds. Certain models of human cognition would have us believe that representations and information processing do not combine to aid cognition. This essay however has taken an opposing stance and has tried to demonstrate that mental representations and information processing work together and that no model of human cognition is complete without the two."

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