AQA Psychology - Cognitive Psychology: Memory

I have used the "Psychology AS The Complete Companion" revision text book to make notes, diagrams and tables on the specification content of the Memory unit. Please note that most of the information is simplified and not copied down in all exactness, this will not teach you the content you need to know but will help you to revise it. I have compressed 10 double spreads worth of information on 7 pages. I hope you will find it useful.

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  • Created on: 01-01-13 20:44
Preview of AQA Psychology - Cognitive Psychology: Memory

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Nature of Memory: STM, LTM and duration
Duration of STM
Refers to how long a memory lasts before it is no longer available
Short term memories don't last very long
Rehearsal keeps memories in STM for longer
Duration of LTM
Anything that isn't short term
Lasts between roughly 2 hours and 100 year+
Key study ­ STM
Peterson and Peterson (1959)
- 24 university students given consonant syllable and 3 digit number (e.g WTX, 472)
- Had to count backwards from number for a set retention interval
- Had to recall consonant syllable
- Participants remembered 90% when there was a 3 second interval
- Participants remembered 2% when there was an 18 second interval
Key studies ­ LTM
Shepard (1967)
- Showed 612 memorable pictures
- An hour later had perfect recognition
- 4 months later recognised 50%
Bahrick et al. (1975)
- Showed participants high school yearbook
- Asked them to put names to faces
- 48 years later about 70% accurate (since material was more meaningful to participants)
Marsh et al. (1997)
- If participants do not expect to be tested afterwards, forgetting occurs after 2 seconds
Nairne et al. (1999)
- Items were recalled after 96 seconds when the same items were used across trials
Nature of Memory: Capacity and Encoding
Duration Seconds and minutes Hours, days, years
Capacity Less than 7 chunks Unlimited
Encoding Acoustic or visual Semantic
Capacity of STM

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Jacobs (1887)
- Used a digit span for determining capacity of STM
- Found it to be 9.3 for numbers and 7.…read more

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Evaluating the multi store model of memory
Strengths Weaknesses
Strong evidence of 3 qualitatively different Too little focus on process. Items can be
stores remembered through deep processing too ­
Craik and Lockheart (1972)
Clear predictions on memory, so we can conduct Oversimplifies memory structures and
tests easily processes.…read more

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Episodic Buffer
- Extra storage system
- Has a limited capacity
- Integrates information from the other components and also from LTM
Evaluating the working memory model
Strengths Weaknesses
Strong evidence supports the existence of each Patient EVR demonstrated that the Central
component Executive is more complex than we think
The WMM provides a better account for the STM Some key evidence comes from case studies
component of the multi store model of memory (which are not a great source of evidence)
Explains a lot…read more

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Eyewitness Testimony
- Refers to the information provided to the police by a person who witnessed a crime
- Is not a very reliable or accurate source of information for the police
Key study: Loftus and Palmer (1974)
- Showed 45 British school children 7 video clips of traffic accidents
- The children were divided into 5 groups
- There was a critical question: About how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?
- One group was given this
- The other…read more

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Loftus et al. (1987) monitored the eye movements of eyewitnesses and found that their attention
was drawn towards a weapon, if one was present, and away from the person's face
Age of witness
Parker and Carranza (1989) compared primary school children and college students in their ability to
correctly identify a target individual following slides of a mock crime.…read more

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Stein and Memon (2006) conducted the CI in Brazil. Compared to Brazil's standard interviewing
technique (interrogative and torture), the CI produced much more accurate information.
Police forces often have less time than is available and so they don't conduct the Cognitive Interview
in its entirety (Kebell and Wagstaff, 1996). It is also costly to train staff to use the full version.…read more


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