Memory - AQA (A) PSYA1

Includes pretty much everything for Memory. I tried to condense each topic down to a page. 

Models of memory

• The multi-store model, including the concepts of encoding, capacity and

duration. Strengths and limitations of the model

• The working memory model, including its strengths and limitations

Memory in everyday life

• Eyewitness testimony (EWT). Factors affecting the accuracy of EWT, including

misleading information, anxiety, age of witness

• Improving accuracy of EWT, including the use of the cognitive interview

• Strategies for memory improvement

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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 27-04-14 10:49
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Strategies for Memory Improvement 06/04/2014 11:05
Peterson and Peterson
AIM ­ to assess the duration of STM
o 24 university students given a consonant meaningless syllable followed
by a 3 digit number
o Asked to count backwards from that number in 3s until told to stop and
were then asked to recall the syllable.
o The reason for counting backwards was to prevent rehearsal as that
would aid recall.
o On each trial the time spent counting was different: 3,6...18 seconds.
FINDINGS - Participants remembered 90% when there was only a 3 second
interval. Participants only remembered 2% when there was an 18 second
CONCLUSION - Suggests when rehearsal is prevented, duration of STM is
about 20 seconds at most.
Bahrick et al
Natural experiment using American high school yearbooks.
Yearbooks were shown to 400 people between ages of 17 ­ 74 and they were
asked to put names to faces. Only some members were of their classmates.
Found people tested within 15 years of leaving school were 90% accurate in
their recall. After 48 years, recall was only about 70%.
Shepherd - Showed participants 612 memorable photos and 1 hour later were shown
some of those pictures among a set of others and showed almost perfect recognition. 4
months later they still remembered about 50% of photographs.
Marsh et al ­ argued that participants in Peterson study were relying on more
than STM alone as they knew they were going to be asked to recall items after
an interval with a distracting activity.
Nairne et al ­ doesn't support Peterson 20 seconds. Found items could be
recalled as long as 96 seconds. Found information remains in STM for a while
unless other material replaces it or overwrites it.
Validity ­ only studies one kind of memory (memory for syllables and words)
but majority of the time our memory is preoccupied with other things such as
what our children look like.

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Strategies for Memory Improvement 06/04/2014 11:05
LTM ­ semantic
STM ­ acoustic or visual
AIM ­ investigate effects of acoustic and semantic similarity on recall.
PROCEDURE - Gave participants a list of words that were acoustically
similar and dissimilar and words that were semantically similar and
FINDINGS ­ found that pp's had difficulty remembering acoustically
similar words in STM but not in LTM, whereas semantically similar
words caused no problem for STM but led to muddled LTM.…read more

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Strategies for Memory Improvement 06/04/2014 11:05
Sensory memory ­ information collected at the senses. Retained for a very
brief period. Large capacity. Info only transferred to STM if attention.
Sperling ­ supports limited duration of sensory store as he found
recall was poorer when pp's were asked to report a whole table of
numbers and letters they had seen for 50 milliseconds than when only
asked to recall a row. Suggests information decays very quickly in
sensory store.…read more

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Strategies for Memory Improvement 06/04/2014 11:05
Developed to challenge the MSM as they felt the STM wasn't
just one single store because: You can do two different tasks
at the same time but not two similar tasks.
Central executive ­ supervises the working memory and
decides which slave system should deal with incoming
information. Limited capacity.
Phonological loop (slave system) ­ stores limited number of
speech-based sounds briefly.…read more

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Strategies for Memory Improvement 06/04/2014 11:05
1. Witness encodes details of event into LTM. May be partial or distorted.
2. Witness retains information for period of time. May be modified or forgotten.
3. Witness retrieves memory from storage. May not be accurate.
Misleading information - Loftus and Palmer
(Experiment 1)
AIM ­ investigate whether misleading info effects accuracy of EW
immediate recall.
PROCEDURE ­ 45 students, 7 films of traffic accidents. Given a
questionnaire, asked to describe accident and answer specific
questions.…read more

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Strategies for Memory Improvement 06/04/2014 11:05
Parker and Caranza (children as witnesses)
Compared primary school children and college students in their
ability to correctly identify a target individual following a slide
of sequences of a mock crime.
Found the children had a higher rate of choosing however, they
were more likely to make errors than college students.
Yarmey (age differences in accuracy)
Stopped 651 adults in public places.…read more

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Strategies for Memory Improvement 06/04/2014 11:05
The weapon focus effect
Loftus et al
AIM ­ to investigate whether witnesses focus on more central details
of the attack (weapon) than what's going on in violent crimes.
o 2 conditions (one with weapons, one without)
o Participants heard a discussion in a near room in both conditions.
o Condition 1 ­ man entered holding a pen with grease on his
hands.…read more

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Strategies for Memory Improvement 06/04/2014 11:05
Fisher and Geiselman ­ found people remember events better when
provided with retrieval cues.
1. Report everything ­ interviewer encourages witness to report every
single detail even if it may seem irrelevant.
2. Mental reinstatement of original context ­ interviewer encourages
witness to mentally recreate the scene from the original incident.
3. Changing the order ­ interviewer may try alternative ways through
the order of the incident, e.g. reversing the order in which the events
4.…read more

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Strategies for Memory Improvement 06/04/2014 11:05
Mnemonic techniques
Acronym ­ a word or sentence is formed from the first letters of other words. (e.g.
ROYGBIV is colours of the rainbow)
Acrostic ­ a poem or sentence where the first letter in each line or word forms the item
to be remembered (My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets)
Rhymes ­ a group of words with an identity and rhythm. E.g. using tune of Twinkle
Twinkle Little Star to remember the alphabet.…read more


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