AS Psychology - Memory & Attachments

My notes for AS Psychology, sorry about spelling mistakes. Hope they help :) Holly x

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  • Created on: 06-01-10 16:40
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The Case of HM
Brain surgery to try and cure his epilepsy. Left with severe amnesia and cannot remember past
events after the operation.
His short term memory is normal but he is unable to transfer information to long term memory.
This case suggests that short term memory and long term memory stores are connected. Procedural
memory (skills) is stored in a different part of the brain.
The Case of Clive Wearing
Cold sore virus which left him with extensive brain damage and major memory disruption. He can still
talk, read and write and play music but his memory for past events is hazy and he is unable to
recognise photos of old friends. His general knowledge is also reduced. He is unable to make new
Atkinson and Shiffrin suggested the Multi-Store Model 1968.
Spirling 1960 studied the iconic (visual) store in sensory memory. Showed participants letters for
about 50 milliseconds using a tachistoscope. He used whole report technique (33%) then
partial report technique (75%).
This suggests they saw all 12 letters but they don't stay in sensory memory long enough to be
Peterson & Peterson ­ duration in STM
Participants shown a trigram with 3 consonants then asked to count backwards. 80% accuracy
after 3 seconds but recall worsened as time intervals lengthened.
Concluded that information decays very rapidly from shot term memory when rehearsal is
Baddeley ­ encoding in STM
Gave 75 participants 4 words lists of: accoustically similar words, accoustically dissimilar words,
semantically similar words and semantically dissimilar words. Repeatedly heard one word list then
rearranged words into the original list.
Recall was worst for accoustially similar words due to acoustic confusion in STM.
Miller 1956 ­ capacity of STM

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Suggested that capacity for STM is 7 plus or minus 2 items. He called this the `magic
number'. He also suggested the method of `chunking' ­ grouping information to make it easier to
Soloman Shereshevsky ­ capacity of LTM
Russian journalist with good recollection because of his synesthesia. Could rememeber complex
formulas and foreign poems.
Tells us that capacity for LTM is unlimited but people just have difficultly accessing their memories.…read more

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Central executive ­ decides which information to send to each slave system. Has limited capacity but
is flexible.
Articulatory control system ­ rehearsal mechanism. It is a verbal rehearsal loop that holds the
words we are preparing to speak.
Phonological store ­ recieves auditory information and stores it in an acoustic code. Important for
language aquisition.
Inner scribe ­ rehearsal mechanism which transfers information back to the central executive.
Responsible for spatial and kinaesthetic information.…read more

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Vague study.
Multi-Store Model
Influential and useful
Much evidence showing distinct types of memory store
The serial postion effect, suggested by Murdock provides support for 2 seperate memory
Case studies support separate memory stores
More rehearsal does not ensure that information is transferred from STM to LTM
Over-simplified. Assumed a single STM and LTM
Over emphasises the role of rehearsal
Only shows a one-way flow of information.…read more

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Juries place emphasis on EWT but there is a lot of evidence to suggest it is unreliable.
Wells et al found that at least 5 people in the US have been sentenced to death after being wrongly
convicted due to EWT.
Loftus et al 1987 ­ The Weapons Effect
In the 1st experiement, ppts who viewed an armed robbery had more eye fixations on the weapon
which led to a reduced inability to recognise the person holding the gun.…read more

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Children don't tend to correct mistakes made by adults (demand characteristics)
Poole & Lindsay 2001 ­ Age
Ppts: children aged 3-8
Took part in science demonstration, then were read a story by their parents. Story had some of the
same information as the demo but also had some new information. They were then asked about the
The children added some new information to their original memories.…read more

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Hypnosis ­ helps recover information in unconscious mind
Problems: unethical (reliving trauma on a deeper level)
Physiological effects eg, headaches
Psychological effects (don't feel like same person after)
Open to suggested so can be easily influenced
Reconstructions ­ remake of scene aimed at witnesses/general public to trigger memory
Problems: may not be completely accurate
The Cognitive Interview
Fisher et al 1987
Looked at the way police interviewed in Florida over 4 months ­ more valid data
Found that:
Leading questions were used
Interrupted witnesses
Asked…read more

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Evaluation of Cognitive Interview
Helpful for police and courts etc
Lots of lab and field support (eg. Fisher et al 1990)
Doesn't always work for children as they need more structure
The longer the interval, the less effective the interview
May cause more harm to witness than standard interview
Time consuming (training and conducting interview)
Expensive (staffing and training)
Memory Improvements
Verbal mnemonics ­ used to aid memory by creating a word or sentence which consists of
letters that act as a cue.…read more

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It emphasises role models and the presence of others.
Children observe and imitate others.
Vicarious learning ­ learning through other's successes and failures
Experience and observation of children tells us that his does happen
Useful because it emphasises the use of role models
Reductionist - Ignores role of emotion and biological factors
Bowlby's Theory of Attachment 1940s
Suggests attachments are evolved and ensure survival of the child. This is innate (nature).…read more

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Shaffer & Emerson ­ Phases of Attachment
Pre-Attachment Phase ­ 0-3 months
Babies develop bonds with others and have a preference to people compared to objects and
events, and show this by smiling
Indiscriminate Attachment Phase ­ 3-7/8 months
Babies discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar people
Discriminate Attachment Phase ­ 7/8 + months
Babies develop specific attachments and recognise its mother
Multiple Attachments Phase ­ 9 + months
Babies form strong attachments to other family members
Lorenz 1935
Used 2 groups of geese eggs.…read more


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