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Psychology Unit 1 Research Studies


Milner et al (1957) Case study of HM (support for Cognitive Approach)

Cognitive psychologists believe different types of memory are separate systems in brain.
Case study of HM supported this by showing STM and LTM must be based in different
brain structures.


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However, she did not learn grammar

Can be applied to human cognitive abilities helps develop theories on how humans
learn language
Ethical considerations Washoe taken from wild and deprived of other chimps for
External validity not possible to accurately generalise results from chimp to human

Peterson and…

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Shows evidence of VLTMs in `real life' setting
Recognition better than recall may be a huge store of information but not always easy
to access it all (may need a cue to get to it)

High ecological validity field experiment
Better recall than other studies on LTM shows…

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Independent groups design
Ppts given four sets of words that were either
Acoustically similar (eg. man, mad, mat)
Acoustically dissimilar (eg. pit, cow, bar)
Semantically similar (eg. big, large, huge)
Semantically dissimilar (eg. good, hot, pig)
Ppts asked to recall words either immediately or following a 20min task

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Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) Multistore Model of Memory (MSM)

Memory Store Duration Capacity Encoding
SM Few secs Relatively large Modality Specific (all the
STM Approx. 20 secs 7±2 Acoustic
LTM Lifetime Unlimited Semantic

Primacy Effect research shows ppts able to recall first few items of list better than…

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Supports MSM by showing STM and LTM are separate stores
Model is influential generated a lot of research into memory
Some things can't be/aren't rehearsed but are still stored
Model is oversimplified reductionist. Assumes only one STM store and one LTM store
but this has been disproved by evidence from…

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According to WMM, both these tasks use the phonological loop (has limited
capacity) and can't cope with both tasks. Performance on one or both tasks will
be affected
However, if two tasks involve different systems, performance isn't affected on
either task. (eg. saying "the, the, the" whilst tracking moving object)…

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Shows there are implications in police interviews when it comes to EWT
Artificial experiment watching a video is not as emotionally arousing as a real life
event. In fact, a later study found that witnesses who thought they'd witnessed a real
robbery gave a more accurate description of robber.…

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Psychologists believe small increases in anxiety and arousal may increase accuracy of
memory, but high levels have negative effect on accuracy. In violent crimes (where levels
likely to be high), witnesses focus on central details (eg. weapon) and ignore other
peripheral details.

Independent groups design
Ppts hear arguing in…

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Staged situation of intruder carrying blue rucksack entered classroom and stole a slide
2 days later, ppts were question about event
Independent groups design
Either questioned using standard interview or using cognitive interview
Early in questioning, ppts were asked "was the guy in the green rucksack nervous?"


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