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Cognitive Psychology
Explains our behaviour in terms of what is going on in
our minds(mental processes)
Mainly uses the research methods of experiments and
case studies of brain damages individuals
Is characterised by the information processing approach
Strengths ­
1. Investigates areas which behaviourism ignores
2. Applied to a large range of matters
3. Takes into account how knowledge can influence how
we interpret new information
Weaknesses-
1. Reductionist as simple view of behaviour
2. Lacks ecological validity and in labs
3. Not taking into account social and emotional factors on
behaviour…read more

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Loftus & Palmer 1974
Aim ­ to see the effect of leading questions on the memory of an event
Participants ­ 45 Students , 150 students in three groups of 50
Method/Design ­ Both Laboratory experiments, independent measures
design
Condition ­ The word being used , e.g.- hit collide
IV ­ Verb used in the question
DV ­ Estimate of the speed given, if broken glass was seen
Procedure ­ 1)watched a video clip for up to 30sec.Amswered questions
but the verb was different.
2) 3 groups watched a clip and then answered questions on if they saw
glass, verb also different for each group.
Controls ­ Same questions, age and clip
Results ­ That when the word smashed was used the average was 40mph,
whereas contracted was 31mph. When smashed was used more said that
they had seen glass.
Conclusions ­ That wording effects estimate of speed, the verb can cause
bias, questions can distort memory meaning memory is not reliable and
can be influenced.…read more

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Loftus & Palmer
Advantages Disadvantages
Controls were kept tight so High level of control means
was certain to conclude low ecological validity
that was word
No valid measurement ­ is
That the memory is altered not real crash so causes
so eyewitness testimony's estimate not to be
cannot be accurate accurate
Quantitative data, easy to Only students, good
draw conclusions from as memory, not representable
only statistical data, of general population
comparisons were also
easy to make No experience driving,
interpretation of speed is
inaccurate
Bias sample
Demand characteristics
No depth or detail into the
answers…read more

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Baron-Cohen
Aim ­ to see if autistic adults lack advanced theory of mind skills
Participants ­ 16 with high functioning autism, 50 normal aged
matched adults, 10 adults with tourettes syndrome
Method/Design ­ matched pairs design, quasi experiment,
repeated measures
Conditions ­ The three groups
Iv ­ Was the three different subject groups
Dv ­ performance on the eye test
Procedure ­ Eye test , 25 eyes where shown fro three seconds,
given choice of two words
Gender recognition ­looking at same eyes and identifying the
gender
Controls ­ matched on age, above average IQ, slit into groups,
asked in different order, tested individually
Results ­ on the eye task, both control groups preformed better
than autism group, females preformed better than males on
gender recognition
Conclusions ­ Autistics do lack theory of mind and females have
more advanced theory of mind…read more

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Baron-Cohen
Advantages Disadvantages
Low ecological validity as
was in a lab
Can control extraneous
variables and Sample is small but difficult
standardised instructions to find autistic ppts so not
representable
Allows cause and effect to
be established
Individual differences in the
autistic group, spectrum of
Naturally occurring characteristics.
independent variables so
less ethical problems
Lab experiment so not
representative
Implications for
educators and others who
interact with autistic. Ppts may have been
Need to design work that disorientated therefore
is suitable and realise the performance is effected
child will not respond
`normally' The eyes were just images
and not real life ,
Concurrent validity as reductionist
gained by results from
Happes stories so autistic Autistic people void eye
preformed worse on both contact anyway so may not
tests. be the best measure
Is not valid therefore not
useful…read more

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