AS Psychology revision - memory

I've uploaded this in a nice PDF format, just in case people's computers have trouble with word.

So, this is pretty much everything you need to know about memory for AS AQA A psychology - you'll need to know about attachments and research methods as well, but I'm going to start working on documents for those soon. :D I've pretty much taken the important stuff from my notes with bits from the textbook to expand on it, but it's a bit more organised than my class notes and more manageable than the textbook. If anything is missing or incorrect, or if something doesn't make sense, then let me know.

Also - sorry if the random colours of the text aren't to your taste, after glancing at large chunks of text I was horrified that it was all in black so I had to mix it up a bit. :D

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 08-12-11 20:08
Preview of AS Psychology revision - memory

First 245 words of the document:

What is memory?
Memory is a process of retaining information after the original thing is no longer present. In order
for this to happen, there are three stages: encoding (putting information in), storage (maintaining
and holding the information) and retrieval (remembering and extracting).
A measure of the amount of information that can be held in memory. It is measured in terms of bits
of information such as number of digits or number of chunks.
Short-term memory (STM) has a limited capacity store of 7 plus or minus 2 pieces of information,
while long-term memory (LTM) has a potentially unlimited capacity.
A measure of how long a memory lasts before it is no longer available.
Information in STM lasts for only a limited amount of time i.e. up to 30 seconds, while in LTM it
could last a lifetime.
The way information is changed so that can be stored in the memory. Information enters the brain
via the senses (e.g. through the eyes and ears) and then it is stored in various forms.
In STM, information is encoded acoustically (through sounds), and in LTM, it is encoded semantically
(through meaning).
Research into memory
ENCODING Conrad (1964) Baddeley (1966)
Participants were shown Baddeley conducted two
sequences of 6 letters. They different experiments ­ one to

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were asked to write them down measure STM, and one to
as they appeared, but the measure LTM. He used lists of
presentation was too fast to words and found that the type
keep up with, so the of error made depended on
information had to be held in both the type of list and the
STM. time delay. When recalling
The results showed that the from STM participants made
errors made were acoustic more acoustic errors.…read more

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names and 78% of the faces.
This suggests that LTM lasts a
very long time.
So, in summary...
SM (sensory memory) STM LTM
Encoding Stores info from the Acoustic or visual Semantic.
environment through
the senses. Stored
according to which
sense it is received by.
Capacity Attention mechanism Limited capacity ­ 7 Potentially unlimited
selects, varies plus or minus two
according to info chunks of information
receiving. Limited (e.g.…read more

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The sensory memory constantly takes in information from the environment through the senses. This
holds information only very briefly. If the person focuses their attention on something in their
sensory memory, this is transferred to short-term memory. With repeated rehearsal, this can be
transferred to long-term memory, where it can be retrieved from in the future.…read more

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The working model of memory attempts to show how the STM works.
Central executive
Limited capacity.
Can process information from any sense modality.
Responsible for a range of important control processes e.g. switching attention between
tasks, selecting relevant information, retrieving information from LTM, monitoring and
correcting errors.
Supported by two slave systems, the phonological loop and visuo-spatial sketchpad, which
can be used as storage systems to free up some of its own capacity to deal with more
demanding tasks.…read more

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Articulatory process
Active rehearsal system.
Words maintained by subvocal repetition (repeating it in your head).
Episodic buffer
Provides temporary storage.
It can hold information which is limited in capacity and needs refreshing.
It is multi-dimensional, i.e. visual, acoustic, and possibly smell and taste.
Allows information to move to and from LTM.…read more

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Evaluation of the working memory model
Explains the word length effect as shown Central executive component is vague
by Baddeley. and doesn't really explain anything.
Accounts for why brain damaged Merely seen as `attention' and allocation
patients can show partial STM difficulties of resources.
e.g. only one part might not work e.g. Capacity of CE has not been measured.
phonological loop.…read more

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Long-term recall
What is eyewitness testimony?
Eyewitness testimony (EWT) is the evidence provided in court by a person who witnessed a crime ­
with a view to identify the perpetrator of the crime. The accuracy of the eyewitness recall may be
affected during initial encoding, subsequent storage and eventual retrieval.
EWT is a legal term. Psychologists refer to the term `eyewitness memory' (EWM) instead.…read more

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Collided 39.3
Bumped 38.1
Hit 34.0
Contacted 31.8
These results show that the words used in a question can affect people's answer, because they are
leading questions.
Loftus et al. (1978)
The aim of the study was to find if misleading questions affect recall. Participants were shown slides
of events leading up to a car accident. One group was shown the car stopping at a junction with a
`stop' sign, the other group a `yield' sign.…read more

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The getaway car will have a driver inside.
This can influence a person's recall of events later ­ they forget details, so their memory fills in the
gaps with things they would expect e.g. they were wearing dark clothing.
Anxiety and its effect on accuracy of EWT
Anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state where we fear something bad is about to happen.
In violent crime, victims often have high emotional arousal (anxiety), which also means that their
EWT is more unreliable.…read more


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