50 terms

AQA Psychology AS - Memory

AS Level - AQA Psychology A - PSY1
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Terms in this set (...)

Stages of Memory
• Encoding - how information is processed so it can be held in the memory.
• Storage - holding information in the memory until it is needed.
• Retrieval - accessing the stored information to use it.
Short Term Memory - Capacity, Duration and Encoding
• Capacity - 7 +/- 2 items.
• Duration - 18-30 seconds.
• Encoding - acoustic.
Long Term Memory - Capacity, Duration and Encoding
• Capacity - Unlimited.
• Duration - Up to a lifetime.
• Encoding - semantic.
Who studied the STM capacity and what did they do?
• Miller found that participants could hold 7 +/- 2 chunks of information on average, when using digit span measures, regardless of the size of the chunk.
• Miller argued this could be a number, sentence or capacity.
Who studied the STM duration and what did they do?
• Peterson and Peterson.
• Showed the participants a trigram (three random consonants) which they had to repeat in order after an interference task of counting backwards from a three digit number, preventing rehearsal.
• The interference task lasted 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 or 18 seconds.
90% recall after 3 seconds and 10% recall after 18 seconds, so STM lasts around 20 seconds
Who studied LTM duration and what did they do?
• Bahrick et al.
• 392 participant between the ages of 17-74.
• Had to recall high school classmates from photographs, names, matching photos to names or free recall.
• 90% accuracy for faces and names for school leavers 15 years prior. 80% accuracy for names for school leavers 48 years prior.
Evaluation of Research into STM/LTM Capacity, Duration and Encoding
+ High internal validity. Strict, well-controlled environment for lab experiment
- Tasks to test memory are artificial. Bears little resemblance to what information is learnt throughout everyday life. Cannot apply findings to real life
Multi-Store Model of Memory
Atkinson and Shiffrin
Multi-Store Model of Memory strength
+ Describe Primacy Recency effect
Multi-Store Model of Memory weakness(es)
- Oversimplfied. Argued that STM is more complex and has its own stores, therefore not as simplistic as the model describes
- Overemphasises the importance of rehearsal. Flashbulb memories cannot be rehearsed but still are still remembered. Rehearsal not essential.
Glanzer and Cunitz procedure and findings
• Participants presented with a list of words to learn and recall.
• Participants had best recall with words at the start (primacy) and end of the list (recency), while words in the middle had the poorest recall.
• Words at the start can be rehearsed and so transferred to the LTM, those at the end are fresh in the STM, and so are recalled the best.
• The middle words fade from the STM and are not transferred to the LTM.
Glanzer and Cunitz strength
+ Provides support for the MSM. Words at the start can be rehearsed and so transferred to the LTM, those at the end are fresh in the STM, and so are recalled the best. The middle words fade from the STM and are not transferred to the LTM
Glanzer and Cunitz weakness(es)
- Lacks external validity. Controlled environment does not mimic memory demands of everyday life. Task is unrealistic compared to daily life. Lacks ecological validity.
Clive Wearing
• Developed amnesia due to an illness that destroyed his hippocampus.
• Couldn't form new memories as he could not transfer information from the STM to the LTM.
• Can still access his LTM as he still plays and reads music. These skills would be stored in the LTM and shows that the STM and LTM are separate stores
Working Memory Model
Ignore Episodic Buffer!

Baddeley and Hitch

Central Executive
∙ Attention control system
∙ Coordinates slave systems
∙ Limited capacity
∙ Process information in any sensory form

Visuospacial Sketchpad
∙ Holds visual information
∙ Inner scribe, visual cache
∙ Processes visual and spacial information (what things look like and their physical relationship to other things)

Phonological Loop
Articulatory Control System
∙ Inner voice
∙ Subvocally rehearses information
Phonological Loop
∙ Holds speech based info
∙ Decays after 2 seconds if unrehearsed
Working Memory Model strength
+ Provides a more valid account of memory than the MSM. Argues there is more than one store of passiveness in memory and so provides a more detailed explanation
+ Shows rehearsal is not essential for memory as the MSM suggests. Must be a more valid explanation for memory than other theories
Working Memory Model weakness(es)
- Hard to test scientifically. Difficult to assess cognitive tasks testing the capacity and function of the central executive as not much is known about it. Lacks scientific validity
Baddeley procedure and findings
• Participants asked to follow a spot of light with a pointer.
• Whilst doing this, they were asked to either complete a visual task of describing the angles in a hollow letter F or a verbal task of remembering sentences.
• It was found that those completing the visual task found it harder to track the light compared to those completing the verbal task.
Baddeley strength
+ Findings support WMM. Participants doing the visual task found it more difficult to follow the light because the visuospacial sketchpad was doing too many things at once. Whereas the verbal task was more successful as the participants were using two memory components instead of one. Shows there is more than one store in the STM.
Baddeley weakness(es)
- Low external validity. Tasks are not applicable to everyday life, would rarely be asked to follow a light while describing angles in a letter F or recalling sentences. Unrealistic, lacks ecological validity.
Factors affecting eyewitness testimony
∙ Age of eyewitness.
∙ Anxiety.
∙ Misleading information.
Pozzulo and Lindsay procedure
• Meta-analysis of studies comparing the accuracy of children and adults when identifying suspects in an identity parade.
Pozzulo and Lindsay findings
• Children under 5 were less likely to make a correct identification than adults and older children.
• No significant difference in ability to make a correct identification between children over 5 and adults.
• The accuracy of elderly people was poorer than younger adults.
Pozzulo and Lindsay strength
+ More representative of wider population. Sample is wide and diverse and covers all age groups and genders. More reliable sample, high population validity.
Pozzulo and Lindsay weakness(es)
- Meta-analysis lacks internal validity. Researchers have no control over the quality of each piece of research. Methods used may not be accurate.
- Limited by individual differences. Differences among age groups (e.g., emotional threshold, memory problems) may effect findings
Ceci et al procedure
• Tested the suggestibility of children aged 3-12.
• Read a story about Lauren's first day at school and then given misleading information about the story.
Ceci et al findings
• If no misleading information was given, there was little difference between age groups in accuracy of recall.
• With misleading information, the younger the child, the more inaccurate the recall with the 3-4 age group showing less than 40% accuracy
Ceci et al strength
+ Positive applications. Shows that misleading information may affect accurate recall in EWT and the child may be confused and feel wrong and so follow with the adults implications.
Ceci et al weakness(es)
- Artificial story bears little resemblance to real life. Not related to crime in any way so findings are irrelevant to EWT for crimes due to no emotional arousal. Lacks ecological validity.
- Cannot be used accurately due to ethical concerns. Cannot subject a child to a crime due to the trauma it may cause. Breaks the protection from harm guideline, so more realistic situations need to be analysed for accurate findings.
Loftus procedure
• Investigating the effect of anxiety (weapon focus) on EWT.
• Lab experiment.
• Participants told to wait outside the room before the experiment began.
• One group heard a hostile argument, a crash and saw a person leaving carrying a blood covered knife.
• The other group heard a normal conversation and saw a person leaving with a pen and grease of their hands.
• Participants asked to identify the person from 50 photos.
Loftus findings
• Accuracy of recall in no weapon condition - 49%.
• Accuracy of recall in weapon condition - 33%.
Loftus conclusions
• Anxiety of weapon condition caused weapon focus, meaning the participant concentrates on the weapon instead of the person.
Loftus strengths
+ Practical applications. Recall worse for weapon situation as weapon is the focus. Tells police that EWT is less reliable in weapon situation.
+ Good internal validity. High control over extraneous variables in lab setting. Cause an effect can be easily established.
Loftus weakness(es)
- Poor external validity. Lab environment does not reflect unpredictability of the real world. Lacks ecological validity.
Yerkes Dodson Law
• Too much or too little anxiety can make recall less accurate.
• Optimum middle level of stress for best EWT.
Yuille and Cutshall procedure
• Investigating the effect of anxiety on EWT.
• Participants witnessed a robbery in a gun shop that killed a man and another seriously injured.
• 13 participants interviewed by the researcher 4-5 months after the event.
• Information found was compared with forensic reports and the original interview.
Yuille and Cutshall findings
• High accuracy of recall for the crime itself (83%) despite high anxiety of situation.
Yuille and Cutshall strength
+ Good ecological validity. Real life robbery is representative of other real crimes. Emotional arousal is high here so accuracy of recall for the crime is much higher.
Yuille and Cutshall weakness(es)
- Individual differences limit the findings. These people may have a better emotional threshold than others and handle the anxiety of the crime better, therefore giving better recall. Findings are inaccurate.
- Findings cannot be applied to all crimes. This was a violent crime and is not comparable to witnessing a shoplifting in a supermarket. Creates more emotional arousal than other crimes. Findings cannot be applied to other crimes.
Loftus and Palmer procedure
• Investigating the effect of misleading information on EWT.
• 45 American male students split into 5 groups.
• Watched a video of a car crash and then asked 'how fast the cars were going when they ____ each other?'
• Verb interchanged with hit, bumped, contacted, smashed and collided.
• Asked a week later if they 'saw the broken glass'.
Loftus and Palmer findings
• Highest speed estimate was smashed with 41mph.
• Lowest was contacted with 32mph.
• 32% of smashed reported broken glass.
• 14& of hit reported broken glass.
Loftus and Palmer conclusion
• Misleading information can affect the responses of eyewitnesses.
Loftus and Palmer strength
+ Practical applications for legal professionals. Clear evidence that wording of a question can act as misleading information. Distorts the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.
Loftus and Palmer weakness(es)
- Lacks ecological validity. Video of a car crash is not the same as watching a real car crash or other crimes. Shock of the crash would have given participants different reactions and responses to EWT. Not representative of a real crash.
- Limited sample is unrepresentative. Too small and specific as students have more active memories than other age groups since they work hard for exams. Would remember not seeing broken glass. Lacks population validity.
Yuille and Cutshall procedure
• Investigating the effect of misleading information on EWT.
• Participants witnessed a robbery in a gun shop that killed a man and another seriously injured.
• 13 participants interviewed by the researcher 4-5 months after the event and used misleading information.
• Information found was compared with forensic reports and the original interview.
Yuille and Cutshall findings
• High accuracy of recall for the crime itself despite the use of misleading information.
• Emotional arousal may affect accurate recall.
Yuille and Cutshall strength
+ Good ecological validity. Real life robbery is representative of other real crimes. Emotional arousal is high here so accuracy of recall for the crime is much higher.
Yuille and Cutshall weakness(es)
- Individual differences limit the findings. These people may have a better emotional threshold than others and handle the anxiety of the crime better, therefore giving better recall. Findings are inaccurate.
- Findings cannot be applied to all crimes. This was a violent crime and is not comparable to witnessing a shoplifting in a supermarket. Creates more emotional arousal than other crimes, less susceptible to misleading information. Findings cannot be applied to other crimes.
Cognitive interview factors and how they work
Geiselman et al.
1. Context reinstatement - participant asked to recall the whole event, including location, weather, mood and actions (more likely to remember when put back in the same situation).
2. Report everything - recall every event of the crime even the small details (small details may aid recall).
3. Change perspective - descrive event from another persons viewpoint or from across the street (encourages retrieval paths ).
4. Reverse order - asked to go through the event in a different order (avoids schemas when working forwards).
Cognitive interview evaluation
+ Practical applications to real life crimes. Benefits the police by showing how to get the most accurate statement from a cognitive interview for a better outcome when making an arrest.
- Limited by time. Facts recalled after a long time were less accurate, lessening validity.