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Cognitive Psychology
Introduction
"The term cognition refers to the mental structures and processes involved in the
reception, storage, and use of knowledge" (Law, Halkiopoulos & Bryan Zaykov,
2010)
"All the processes by which the sensory input is a transformed, reduced,
elaborated, stored, recovered and used" (Neisser, 1967)
1950s Behaviourism: Based…

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Testable theories can be developed and come from unobservable cognitive
structures/processes
Theories can be tested using an appropriate scientific experimental research
method
Applications: Models (Atkinson & Shiffrin), Studies of Brain damaged patients
(H.M & Clive Wearing)

Outcome 1: Evaluate Schema theory with reference to research
studies

Schema Theory: How knowledge…

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o Rationalization: The process of making the story conform to the cultural
expectations of the participants
Evaluation:
o Methodology:
Laboratory study: limited ecological validity
Time intervals at which participants reproduced the stories not held constant
Low ecological validity: unfamiliar story to English participants, not similar to real
life
Rejected the…

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Results:
o The information that was irrelevant to their original perspective (schema) was
actually learnt (encoded)
o The information was not accessible (recalled) unless a relevant perspective
(schema) was activated
Encode: To transform an item from one to another
Recall: The process of retrieving information from memory
Evaluation:
o Conducted…

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1. Sensory Stores
2. STM
3. LTM
o Organized in a linear fashion

Memory



Sensory Memory ( Attention) Short term ( Retrieval, Rehearsal) Long
Term

Control processes: Attention, retrieval & Rehearsal
The types of memory differ in:
1. Duration
2. Capacity
3. Coding

Sensory store: To permit stimuli to be…

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o Delaying recall by 30sec negates the regency effect causing recall of later words
to be similar to ones in the middle, however doesn't influence primacy effect
o Primacy effect occurs because words remembered from the beginning of the list
have already been stored in the LTM owing to greater…

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Refers to the system for temporarily maintaining mental representation that are
relevant to the performance of a cognitive task in an active/attentive state




Central Executive:
o Limited capacity
o Any cognitively demanding task (e.g. decision making)
o Modality free
o Baddeley (1996): Capacity to coordinate performance on two separate tasks…

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o Second cognitive task: Repetitive tapping (control), Random nos. generation
(central executive), Pressing keys on keyboard in clockwise fashion (visuospatial
sketchpad), rapid repetition of the word seesaw (phonological loop)
o Findings: Selecting a chess move involves the visualspatial and the central
executive but not the phonological loop. Similar for stronger…

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High levels of cortisol & Memory
Cortisol: stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands in response to
psysiological/psychological stress
Longterm stress to high levels of cortisol which affects immune functioning and
also memory processes
Chronic oversecretion of cortisol may hinder the brain in forming new memories
of accessing already existing…

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Welge (2009):
Examined the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 156 individuals for the quantity of
betaamyloid and tau
Procedure:
o A needle inserted into the lower back to collect the CSF and then is analysed for
the quantity of betaamyloid and tau proteins
o The less amyloid in the CSF the…

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