Cognitive Psychology Edexcel

revison notes for edexcel as level, cognitve psychology.

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Cognitive Approach
Aim, Procedure, Findings, Conclusion and Criticisms.
Cognitive psychology is the investigation of the mind.
The information processing model is used to explain how we receive, interpret and respond to
information. Information is picked up by the senses, and it is then processed. It is stored in the brain.
When remembered, it is retrieved from storage.
Computer analogy shows that the brain works like a computer. This is because it inputs information,
and then processes it, and then there is an output, just like a computer.
(stimulus) ­ What our (meditational process) ­ using (response)
senses pick up cognitions of perception, attention,
language, memory and thinking.
Lab Experiment ­ Conducted in - Reliability can be tested - Control over extraneous
a controlled environment, - Extraneous variables can be variables makes it artificial and
where the independent controlled to such an extent unnatural, so its low in
variable is manipulated by the that a cause and effect ecological validity as the results
researcher and the effect of relationship can be established. can't be generalised to the
this change is measured by the wider public.
dependant variable. - Participants may be aware of
the research which leads to
demand characteristics.
- The experimenter can
influence the participant's
behaviour (experimenter
Field Experiment ­ Conducted - Participants are not aware of - No control over the setting, so
in a natural environment. The the experiment, so their extraneous variables can affect
independent variable is behaviour is realistic. the findings which threatens
manipulated. - Findings can be generalised to the validity of the study.
real-life situations - Time consuming and difficult
to set up.
- Ethical problems because the
participants are unaware that
they are taking part in an
Natural Experiment ­ - High in ecological validity -Lack of control over
Conducted in a natural because it was done in a participants.
environment. The independent natural setting. - Extraneous variables can
variable is not manipulated by - The independent variable is affect the results.
the researcher. naturally occurring, so it's more - Hard to replicate, so low in
realistic. reliability.

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Experimental hypothesis (H1) ­ A statement which makes certain predictions about the outcome of
the study.
Null hypothesis (H0) ­ It states that there will be no change in behaviour.
Directional or one-tailed hypothesis ­ States the direction in which the results are expected.
Non-directional or two-tailed hypothesis ­ It doesn't give a predicted direction.
Independent variable ­ It's manipulated or changed in order to demonstrate a difference between
the experimental conditions.
Dependant variable ­ It is measured. The result of the experiment.…read more

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Experimental design
Independent Measures Design ­ A Repeated Measure Design ­ Same Matched Pairs Design ­ Every
group of participants only do the participants are used in all the participant in one group is
experiment in one condition. conditions. matched with a very similar
Strengths: - Strengths: - person in the second group.
­ No order effects - No individual differences as the Strengths: -
- No demand characteristics ­ same people are used.…read more

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Findings ­ Participants recognised 15% of words when asked shallow questions, 50% when asked
intermediate questions and 80% when asked deep questions.
Conclusion ­ Participants recall of the words improved when they had to think of the meaning of the
words which involved elaborate rehearsal. Craik and Lockhart suggest that they had processed the
information at a deeper level.
High in reliability as it was repeated a lot and the same results were obtained.
Craik and Lockhart's experiment provides evidence for the LOP framework.…read more

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For LTM 10 words had to be recalled after 20
minutes. He found that for STM more acoustically dissimilar words were recalled and for LTM equal
amounts of semantically similar and dissimilar words were recalled.
Cue-dependant forgetting ­ It explains the failure to remember as an accessibility problem. Tulving's
encoding specificity principle says that the `greater the similarity between the encoding event and
retrieval event, the greater the likelihood of recalling the original memory'. E.g.…read more

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Participants involved in laboratory experiments are aware that they need to pay attention to
the video. However, real-life events are often confusing and happen quickly, unlike
laboratory studies that lack ecological validity. Similarly the questioning of participants is
much more intense and important in real-life events than laboratory experiments.
Age, gender and personality types affect witness recall.…read more


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