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30 terms

Cognitive Psychology

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Short Term Memory
The memory stage with a small capacity (7 +- 2 chunks) and brief duration (< 30 seconds) that we are consciously aware of and in which we do our problem solving, reasoning and decision making.
STM coding
Items in STM can be coded as sounds (acoustic coding), visual images (visual coding) or a concept (semantic coding)
Sensory Memory
The set of sensory registers, one for each of our senses, that serve as holding places for incoming sensory information until it can be attended to, interpreted, and encoded into short-term memory.
Sensory Memory Capacity/Duration
The capacity of SM is based on time rather then capacity
The duration of SM is: - 0.5 second for a visual image
- 4 seconds for a sound
Central Executive
Manage complex activites, a special part of working memory, directs the flow of information. It decides what to attend to, coordinates incoming information, already in the system and selects and applies and monitors strategies
Phonological Loop
(verbal working memory) A sub-system of working memory that stores a limited number of sounds for a short period of time
Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad
The first component of working memory; holds and manipulates visual images and spatial information
Decay
Where the memory is lost
Displacment
Where one peice of infomation is replaced by another newer piece
Iconic Store
Holds visual information for very short periods of time.
Chunking
The configuration of smaller units of information into large coordinated units
Encoding
The process of moving information from one memory stage to the next
Long Term Memory
Permanent store of knowledge (LTM)
LTM coding
LTM is coded predominanly in visual images and semantic coding
Capacity
How much infomation a part of the memory model can hold
Duration
How long infomation is held
Rehersal
Cognitive process in which information is repeated over and over fairly quickly as a possible way of learning and remembering it
Episodic Buffer
Temporary storage system that allows information from the subsidary systems to be combined with information from LTM.
Leading Questions
Questions phrased in such a way as to suggest the desired answer or questions that assume something is either true or false
Schemas
Frameworks for our knowledge about people, objects, events, and actions that allow us to organize and interpret information about our world.
Misleading Information
Misleading information presented after a person witnesses an event can change how the person describes that event later
Role of anxiety
Some evidence states that people might be better at remembering things if you are anxious, whereas other evidence suggests you may be less reliable when you're anxious, as you are focused on yourself.
Age of witness
This could be a problem as there are issues of whether children should be allowed to be a witness.
General findings on children as witnesses
1) Children's schemas = less developed, could be less relaible as no context for memory, but could be more reliable as less likely to make things up.
2) Very young children might not be able to retrieve memories.
3) Children feel they have to give the answer that an adult wants - could mess up testimonies
4) Have to make sure you don't let the child start imagining anything
5) Uniforms might intimidate children.
Reccomendations for testing children
Video every testimony a child gives, specially trained officers and barristers, have to think carefully about the questions asked.
Brewer and Treyens (1981) Testing Schemas
Asked participants to go into an office. Asked to recall the objects in the office. People used things from their schemas to fill in objects from the office that weren't there. Did remember the skull in the office. Shows we fill in gaps using our schemas.
Loftus (1979) Testing Weapon Focus
Staged an argument infront of unexpecting participants. Condition 1 - Discussion about broken equipment man comes out with a pen and oil over him. Condition 2 - loud argument, lound crash, man walks out with penknife and blood over him. People remembered more about the mans face in condition 1. Backs up the idea of weapon focus.
Yuille and Cutshall (1986) Testing weapon focus and anxiety
21 witnesses of a real life crime. One man shot. 4-5 months later their accounts of the crime scene stayed the same. People who were the most traumatised had the best recollection. Could this mean that anxiety makes a eyewitness account better?
Poole and Lindsay (2001) Testing Children's testimonies
Children from 3-8 shown a science presentation. Then were read a story about science by their parents. Younger children could not distinguish the presentation from the book, older children could. Shows that older children are not effected quite so much by pre/post event information.
Poole (1991) Testing Children's testimonies
Allowed people to witness a video which was quite unclear. Age groups were separated into 4-, 6-, 8 year olds and adults. Children were as accurate as adults when responding to open ended questions. Adults more likely to start guessing things they didn't know. Conclusion - children might actually be better witnesses than adults!