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Cognitive Psychologists are concerned with internal operations in the mind. These are collectively called cognitive processes (or cognition). This includes perception, memory and thinking.
The Levels of Processing Approach (LoP)
Craik and Lockhart (1972) wanted to explain how memory operates. They said how well something is remembered is due to its processes. Craik (1973) defined depth of processing as the amount of meaning that was extracted from the information. Information that is deeply processed is likely to be remembered. Craik and Lockhart (1972) suggested three levels of how well information is processed: Structural Processing What things look like Phonetic Processing What something sounds like Semantic Processing The meaning of the word Semantic processing is the deepest form and is most likely to be remembered. Craik and Tulving tested this theory in 1975.
Aim Procedure To see whether words processed semantically would be better remembered 20 students were given a reading list of 10 1 -2 syllable words. Asked whether it was in capitals, rhymed with another or whether it fitted into the sentence. Questions and words were rotated for a different combination ± counterbalancing. Later participants were tested on recall from a list. Results Words remembered best when processed semantically. 96% semantically processed recalled from a list whereas only 18% of structurally processed words were recalled Conclusion Depth of processing affects how well words are recalled ± semantic processing is best There is support from Nyberg (2002). He examined brain -scanning studies looking at information processing and memory. Found activity in frontal and temporal lobes is greater when semantically proces sed. Priming The involuntary recall of words where words are linked through meaning. Ramponi et al(2004) did a study on this: Investigated the extent of deep processing and age influences how well words are recalled under voluntary and involuntary conditio ns. 48 adults and 48 students. Participants encountered priming words. Semantically processed words were best recalled and young people were better at recall. The association of words was strong and involuntary. They concluded: words can be involuntary recalled regardless of process at the time.
For and Against Levels of Processing
For Experimental support ± Craik and Tulving 1975. This showed semantic words best recalled It has proved extremely helpful in helping us understand memory although the model in its classic form has limitations Support from brain scanning studies like Nyberg (2002). Material processed semantically showed more activity LoP helps students with revision. Those who revise semantically learn better than those who just read Against Other factors play a part e.g. Reber et al (2004) especially words of emotional significance. Thus LoP is not a complete explanation to how memory works Priming (Ramponi et al (2004)). Strong involuntary associations can cause recall of words
The Multi-Store Model (MSM)
Atkinson &Shiffrin (1968) proposed an early MSM, which suggested there are three types of information store:
Sensory Memory y Duration y Capacity y Encoding Short Term Memory y Duration y Capacity y Encoding Long Term Memory y Duration y Capacity y Encoding
¼ to ½ second All sensory experience (larger capacity) Sense specific (e.g. different stores for each sense
0-18 seconds 7 2 items Mainly auditory
Unlimited Unlimited Mainly semantic (but can be visual and auditory)
Peterson and Peterson (1959)
Aim Procedure To test memory (STM) when rehearsal is prevented for different times 24 students tested on recall of test items. Shown a trigram (ACE) and had to count in 3s backwards until a red light showed and recall the trigram. They w ere stopped at different time intervals Results Time delay caused recall to decrease Conclusion When rehearsal is prevented items in STM are lost. They can be hold for a maximum of 28 seconds. LTM is somewhat different to STM. It has an unlimited capacity and information can last a lifetime as its duration in unlimited. Some things however are forgotten very quickly. It is held semantically through meaning rather than phonetically via the STM.
Evidence for LTM + STM
Glanzer and Cunitz (1966) Primacy + Recency effects. Suggests words are transferred in the LTM that are shown early, whereas words later on are stored in the STM. Words in the middle are most often forgotten LTM + STM are 2 distinct systems. These results are af ter testing a week later
Smythe + Costall (2003)
There is also support from Brain Damaged patients and genetic conditions to support to MSM: Case of HM Suffered severe epilepsy and at 27 he underwent brain surgery to treat his condition. They removed large areas of the temporal loves on both sides of the
brain. Since the day of the operation he has been unable to form new memories. But his LTM remains intact from before the operation as he can still perform new motor skills. Although he can¶t form new LTM his STM capacity is the same as most at 7. Therefore he has a severely damaged LTM but a fully functioning LTM ± thus separate system. Genetic condition with multiple physical and psychological effects, from short stature and obesity to learning difficultie s and behavioural problems. Studies have shown people with PWS have normal LTM but functioning STM. Canners et al (2000) found that their LTM was strong whilst STM was weak. If LTM can function but STM is impaired there is evidence to suggest that the memo ry stores are separate.
But despite all the support for the MSM there is evidence that STM is processed semantically. Gelkopf + Zakai (1991) tested whether information was lost on a first -in first-out basis as MSM had proposed. They found they were not di splaced in this way. Case of FK Suffered brain damage from Carbon Monoxide poisoning at 29. Suffered damage to his LTM and has difficulty recalling facts although he can recall events. He has difficulty recalling words, and when tested found it difficult t o pronounce unknown words when reading. Reading involves STM. If there was no semantic processing in the STM, then FK¶s recall should have no difference in pronunciation of unknown words. This evidence suggests that there are: Separate STM Systems to handle visual and verbal information. Support from FK who showed this when reading. More than one type of LTM : Semantic Memory ± Memory of Facts Episodic ± Memory of events Procedural Memory - Memory of how to do things This is supported by the evide nce of HM¶s ability to perform new motor skills but not able to form new LTM of facts and FK¶s ability to recall events but not words.
Evaluation of MSM
For Evidence from experiments. That LTM + STM are separate ± Smythe + Costall found mobile phone use stimulates STM not LTM HM sustained severe damage to LTM but kept a relatively normal STM. It showed the stores are indeed separate Against More than 1 STM e.g. Seitz + Schumann -Hergsteller (2000) in which verbal information but not a motor task inferred with the ability to do maths. Also FK and his reading Evidence of FK suggests that the STM is analysed for meaning and not for sound, putting MSM in doubt Strong evidence from the cases of FK + HM that there are more than one type of LTM, fo r facts, events and skills
The Reconstructive Memory Approach (RSM)
This concerns what happens when information is stored and retrieved from memory. Bartlett (1932) suggested memory was more µan imaginative reconstruction of past events; influenced by our attitudes and responses to those events at the time they occurred¶. Retrieval of memory involves an active process of reconstruction. We actively piece it together using Schema. We activate the relevant schemas and make use of the information in them, e.g. War of the Ghosts and data schema.
War of the Ghosts became increasingly stereotyped and anglicised. It involved people using their own theories to what a story on ghosts and war should sound like Allport& Postman (1947) found people distorted the pic ture of a white man with a knife to a black man with a knife. Suggesting we used black schema and white schema to help distort the scene to make it logical to us. For Against Memory is inaccurate and distorts in line to our existing Reconstruction is a retrieval process, and there are schema other important aspects of memory that are not Memory becomes increasingly stereotyped following explained by the reconstructive memory approach. It reproduction e.g. War of the Ghosts does not address the issue of mem ory stores, or how memories are processed
Forgetting is where we do not have the ability to remember or recall an event. But why do we forget information? Has it been permanently lost from the brain e.g. trace decay. Cue Dependency Theory of Forgetting Tulving (1972) proposed that forgetting takes place when we have the information we are seeking in our memory but we lack the necessary cues to access it. Cues are additional pieces of information that guide us to the information we are seeking. Tulving + Pearlstone (1966) demonstrated that we can remember more words if we have access to categorise where words are taken e.g. dogs. In one condition they recalled words without cues (free recall). In the cued condition they were given category title s as cues (cued recall). In the cued condition participants remembered more words. The titles were a form of semantic cue and the meaning triggered recall. State + Context cues Context are environmental cues e.g. returning to your house after years away, whereas state refers to physiological cues or in other words the state we are in when we learn something.
Godden + Baddely (1975)
Aim To see whether words would be better remembered when recalled in the same environmental that in a very different environme nt ± in this case the beach and the sea 18 divers were given a list of words to learn. They were presented to them on a beach and 15ft under the sea. They were asked to recall words. In one condition the participants recalled where they learnt an d the other where not leant, to control the possibility of decline inaccuracy of recall was due to the disruptive change of land to sea or vice versa were also given a recognition test Overall where the words were learnt does not affect the level o f recall. However lists learned under water were recalled better than on the beach. It was approximately 40% better when learnt and recalled in the same environment. In the recognition tests the change in environment it had no effects. Recall was considerably better if context was the same as where it was learnt. Suggest context cues enhance recall. The fact that recognition was unaffected by change in environment suggests change itself was not responsible for accuracy of recall.
The state we are in when we learn something can work in much the same way. Recall is said to be state dependent if it requires a physiological cue for recall. When we are in a certain state in learning, being in the same state for recall can genuinely help retrieve information. This is comparable to emotional states. If we are happy when encoding, retrieval will be better.
For and Against Cue Dependency
For Evidence from studies such as Baker et al (2004) ± chewing gum between recall and lear ning improved results significantly Tulving + Pearlstone (1996) showed recall was better with semantic cues Explains everyday occurrences . Sensory cues when returning to your old home Can enhance people¶s recall in state or in context; Jerabeck + Standing (1992) found students recall better when imagining their classroom Against Only forgetting from LTM e.g. Baker et al (2004) affects after a day but not immediately Not a complete explanation for forgetting. Does not explain why emotionally charged memories remain vivid in the absence of context cues or why we lend to recall happy material better than unhappy material
Freud (1894) proposed the idea that we forcibly forget facts or events that provoke anxiety or unhappiness, thus protecting us from experiencing these negative emotions. It is a defence mechanism. He believed these theories remain active in the mind, but the individual is not aware of them and they trigger symptoms like depression. These memories can be recalled under psychoanalysis an d there is evidence of this such as where children have been sexually abused, and they only recall it later in life. For and Against Repression For Evidence from Koeheler (2002) that words appear to be stressful to participants are poorly recalled compared to neutral words, suggesting stressful words are repressed Walker (1997) found that happy memories are better recalled than unhappy memories ± thus sad memories are repressed
Against Hadley + Mackay (2007) found taboo words of emotional significance are better recalled throwing Koehler¶s results into doubt Bernsten (2002) found that participants remember shocking memories in more detail than neutral memories
Eye Witness Testimony (EWT)
Loftus has thrown the accuracy of EWT into doubt. Loftus (1975) tested whether misleading questions could lead participants to remember false details of a film. A piece of film showing a car that was involved in a crash to 150 students. All participants were given 9 of the same questions but the tenth one differed ± µHow fast was the car going when it past the barn?¶ and the other µHow fast was the car going down the road¶. There was no barn. A week later they were tested and 17% of those in the Barn group reported seeing a barn compared to just 3% of the control group, throwing the reliability of EWT into doubt. However there is counter evidence from Yullie + Cutshall (1986) which found that 13 of 21 witnesses of a shooting after 5 month s correctly recalled the event, and were unfazed by the misleading questions. This was similar to Riniolo (2003) on questions of the Titantic¶s sinking.
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