AS Psychology - Memory 2/4

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The Multi-Store Model

Theory AO1

  • Atkinson & Shiffrin proposed the Multi-Store Model.
  • A structural model composing of 3 separate stores with information passing between the stores, in a linear way.
  • 3 stores are Sensory Memory, Short-Term Memory & Long-Term Memory. 
  • Sensory Memory has several stores called Sensory Registers, each processing information from a particular sense. 
    • Iconic Register = processes vision.
    • Echoic Register = processes sound. 
    • Haptic Register = processes touch. 
  • The sensory register is not under cognitive control & is the first storage system for incoming information. 
  • Information received is raw and unprocessed, and the SR has a large capacity. 
  • The duration of storage is milliseconds unless given focused attention, in which case it will move to the STM. 
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The Multi-Store Model

Theory - AO1 (Continued)

  • Rehearsal maintains information in the STM. However, it is still vulnerable to being forgotten due to the limited duration which is decay. 
  • Or displacement by new incoming information due to limited capacity.
  • If the information is rehearsed and processed deep enough, the information passes to the LTM. 
  • The LTM has an unlimited capacity & unlimited duration.
  • LTM encoding is semantic and based on meaning, STM encoding is acoustic. 
  • STM has a capacity of 7+/- 2 items. 
  • STM has a duration of up to 18 seconds.
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The Multi-Store Model

Evaluation AO2

Glanzer et al

  • Demonstrated support for the STM and LTM being different stores.
  • Participants were tasked with recalling word lists.
  • Earlier and later words were more likely to be recalled, and this was known as the primacy and recency effect. 
  • Primacy effect: first words are transferred to LTM.
  • Recency effect: the last words are still within the STM. 
  • Delays of 10 seconds or more before recall affected the LTM. 
  • This highlights the difference between the STM + LTM.
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The Multi-Store Model

Evaluation - AO2

  • Major strength of this model is that it can be easily tested, to verify if it applies to human behaviour. 
  • The evidence supports the idea of STM & LTM being separate types of memory.
  • This has been verified: 
    • PET and FMRI scans have been used, when participants were doing separate tasks related to STM & LTM.
    • Prefrontal cortex was seen to relate to the STM.
    • Hippocampus was seen to relate to the LTM. 
    • Supporting the ideas of different memory stores.
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The Multi-Store model

Evaluation - AO2 (Continued)

  • MSM can be argued to be oversimplifying memory structures and processes.

Shalice et al highlighted this:

  • With a case study on KF who suffered brain damage - resulting in difficulty with verbal information in STM but normal ability with visual information. 
  • This highlights how STM is not a single store as the MSM suggests.

Schacter et al proposed 4 different types of LTM Stores: 

  • Semantic Memory - knowledge. 
  • Episodic Memory - ranged from your own actions or what you did.
  • Procedural Memory - riding a bike or learning to read
  • Perceptual Representation System - memory related to recognition of specific stimuli. 
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The Multi-Store Model

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Types of Long-Term Memory

Episodic Memory

  • Consists of memories such as our thoughts or experiences we have had and our recollection of them. 
  • Usually based on events that occur in people's lives. 
  • Over time, the events move over to Semantic memory.
  • As the events association diminishes and the memory becomes knowledge based. 
  • Strength is determined by the emotions present at the time; the memory is being coded. 
  • Traumatic life events may be recalled better due to the strong emotional attachment they have. 
  • Believed episodic memory is what helps us distinguish between our imagination & real events.
  • The pre-frontal cortex is linked to the initial coding of episodic memories.
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Types of Long-Term Memory

Semantic Memory

  • Contains the knowledge, facts and meanings the individual has learnt. 
  • Semantic memory = relates to how certain things work, their functions or abstract concepts.
  • Strength: is positively correlated with the strength of processing that occurs when coding with semantic memories, lasting longer than episodic memories. 
  • Semantic LTM is linked with Episodic LTM; semantic memories formed based on experiences that occur.
  • Episodic-based experiences move to semantic over time. 
  • Some people argue the hippocampus is involved while others believe several parts of the brain play a role.
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Types of Long-Term Memory

Procedural Memory

  • Skill based memory and focused on recalling how to do something.
    • E.g. Swiming, reading or cycling. 
    • Usually learnt through repetition and practice. 
  • Language is believed to be the procedural memory, as it helps individuals speak using the correct grammar and syntax without having to give constant thought into it. 
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The Working Memory Model

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The Working Memory Model

Theory - AO1

  • Idea of a unitary STM store. 
  • Suggested a system involving multiple stores consisting: active processing & short-term storage of information.
  • In the WMM - STM is an active processor, which the Central Executive (CE) 'attends to & works' on. 

Central Executive

  • The main component and coordinates other 'slave systems' - ensure they take the right path. Slave Systems = (Phonological Loop, Visual-Spatial Sketchpad & Episodic Buffer).
  • Slave Systems can be used as a temporary storage system to free up capacity within the CE with other demanding tasks. 
  • Capacity for CE is limited. 
  • Receives information from the senses/LTM. 
  • Involved in directing 'attention' towards particular tasks. 
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The Working Memory Model

Phonological Loop

  • Processes speech based information.
  • Preserving the order within the phonological store which acts like an "inner ear". 
  • The inner voice is linked to speech production and is used to Rehearse & Store verbal information through maintenance rehearsal. 
  • Has a limited capacity. 
  • Confusion often occurs with similar sounding words as it is an - acoustic store.

Visuospatial Sketchpad

  • Processes visual information through the eyes.

Logie (1995)

  • Suggested the VSS could be further sub-divided into a Visual Cache (VC) & Inner Scribe(IS)
  • VC = Stores visual material in colour and form. 
  • IS = deals with spatial relationships, rehearsal and transfer of information from the Visual Cache to the Central Executive.
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The Working Memory Model

Episodic Buffer

  • Episodic buffer works as an extra buffer that integrates information from all 3 main systems.
  • Central Executive has no capacity of its own. 
  • Baddeley realised the model required a general store to explain why some amnesia patients with no long term recall could recall information immediately.
  • Suggests a "Temporary Buffer" exists.
  • Episodic buffer has limited capacity.
  • Records events as they happen and transfer this information into the LTM.
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The Working Memory Model

Evaluation - AO2

  • Major weakness: Little is known about the main component, the central executive. 
    • There is little evidence suggesting it's not unitary. 
    • Critics argue, CE may not be a single element. 

Eslinger et al

    • He highlighted this with one patient EVR, who had a cerebral tumor removed. 
    • He performed well on reasoning tasks, suggesting CE was functional.
    • Struggled with poor decision-making skills, suggesting elements of CE were damaged.
    • Suggests there may be other components to the CE, which the WMM can't explain due to it being over-simplified. 
  • The model is unable to explain how musical memory works. 
  • Participants may be able to listen to instrumental music, without impeding performances in other acoustic tasks. 
  • Not fully understood, the link between working memory and LTM.
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The Working Memory Model

Evaluation - AO2

Baddeley

  • Demonstrated the existence of the Visual-Spatial Sketchpad. 
  • Participants were given the task of tracking a moving light with a pointer.
  • While doing this they were tasked with one of two other tasks
    • 1 - to describe all the angles on the letter F.
    • 2 - to perform a verbal task. 
  • Describing the angles was difficult, as both tasks competed for the limited resources of the Visual-Spatial Sketchpad. 
  • The verbal task wasn't difficult, as that involved two different slave systems. 

This experiment demonstrated the limited capacity of the Visual-Spatial Sketchpad. 

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The Working Memory Model

Evaluation - AO2

  • Evidence in support of the WMM comes from PET scans.
  • Which show different parts of the brain become activated when doing visual and verbal tasks. 
  • Suggests the Phonological Loop & Visual-Spatial sketchpad are separate systems.
  • The WMM model is only a model for temporary STM.
  • It does not attempt to explain how memory works as a whole, including lTM. 
  • The model is incomplete - a major weakness. 
  • Evidence for testing different components: VSS & PL have relied on dual task techniques.
  • Participants are required to carry out two simultaneous activities. 
  • The problem is they lack external validity & realism due to the artificial setup. 
  • They are not tasks people would usually do in everyday life. 
  • Studies that have tested for the WMM lack mundane realism.
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Explanations For Forgetting

Interference Theory

  • Occurs due to two memories competing and being affected by past memories. 
  • The more similar the two memories are the more interference it causes, as the two memories become confused with one another. 
  • 2 types of interference are proposed to occur: proactive interference & retroactive interference. 
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Explanations For Forgetting

Proactive Interference

  • The coding of new memories being interfered with due to past similar memories.
    • E.g. An old mobile number is recalled when trying to recall the new mobile phone number.

Keppel and Underwood (1962)

  • Demonstrated proactive interference. 
  • Participants were tasked with recalled trigrams after varying intervals. 
  • They were also tasked with counting backwards in threes. 
  • Forgetting increased after each interval, however forgetting occurred at the start. 
  • Proactive interference can explain this = earlier consonants entered the LTM. 
  • This interfered with the formation of new memories. 
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Explanations For Forgetting

Retroactive Interference

  • Occurs when the coding of new information disrupts previously stored information. 
    • E.g. you learn your new mobile number, but are unable to remember your old one. 
  • The new memory, therefore, affects recall of the old memory. 

Ceraso (1967)

  • Suggested one possible explanation for RI.
  • There was no actual loss of information, but merely the wrong information was accessed as it had been moved.

Muller (1900) 

  • Identified retroactive interference, through a study where participants tasked with learning a list of syllables. 
  • They were given an intervening task between exposure to the syllables & recall. 
  • Intervening task (describing paintings) produced retroactive interference, with participants struggling to recall their lists. 
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Explanations For Forgetting

Evaluation - AO2

Major Weakness:

  • Interference effects are more evident in laboratory-based settings, using various memory-based tasks. 
  • This lacks ecological validity & mundane realism, the tasks are rarely indicative of what people would experience in real life situations.
  • This makes is difficult to generalise the findings, externally beyond lab settings. 

Anderson (2000)

  • Believed interference did play a role in forgetting but it was difficult to understand how exactly how much.
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Explanations For Forgetting

Evaluation - AO2

  • Individual differences explain why some people are less affected by proactive interference when compared to others.

Kane et al (2000)

  • Found individuals with bigger working memory spans, were less susceptible to proactive interference when testing recall using three-word lists, compared to individuals deemed to have less working memory spans.
  • It's unclear whether those with greater working memory spans have achieved this either through more practice in some form. 
  • But it highlights how interference theories cannot be fully generalized to everyone.
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Explanations For Forgetting

Evaluation - AO2

Major weakness: 

  • Interference theory only explains forgetting when information is similar and cannot explain why forgetting occurs in the majority of real-life situations
  • Forgetting due to similarities doesn't happen that often, suggesting it is only one part of a bigger explanation & over-simplified.
  • Interference has been proven to occur when trying to remember information, the theory does not offer any explanation as to what the cognitive processes are at work to cause this. 
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Explanations for Forgetting

Retrieval Failure - Theory AO1

  • Retrieval failure theories argue forgetting from LTM is caused by failing to access the memory due to insufficient cues to aid recall - rather than it being unavailable. 
    • Cues act as a marker to aid recall, without these, the mind is unable to locate the correct memory. 
    • A cues effectiveness depends on the number of items associated with it with fewer items leading to a more effective cue. 

Tulving (1973)

  • Called this the encoding specificity principle, recollection is affected if the context of recall is different to when the memory was coded. 
  • Tulving suggested that memory recall is most effective, when information is present at the time of encoding is available during retrieval. 
  • There are 2 types of cue-dependent forgetting: 
    • Context Dependent Failure 
    • State Dependent Failure.
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Explanations For Forgetting

Context Dependent failure

  • May rely on external environmental retrieval cues being similar to when the information was encoded to aid recall.
  • E.g. being in the same room where you learnt the answears to a test and then taking the test in this room. 
  • This would result in greater recall than being in a different room. 
  • Environmental context such as being at a particular place can trigger retrieval, as can:
    • Sights
    • Sounds
  • If they are experienced strongly enough during encoding. 

Abernethy (1940)

  • Found that after participants had learnt various material, they showed greater difficulty with recall, when they were tested by an unfamilar teacher in an unfamilar room. 
  • Compared to a familar teacher and a familiar room. 
  • Shows support for the importance of context aiding the memory retrieval process. 
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Explanations For Forgetting

State dependent failure

  • Occurs when the internal state of the person is different to when the information was encoded. 
  • This may be down to: 
    • Feeling a different emotion & trying to remember something when you were happy whilst you are feeling sad. 
  • Internal states can also act as retrieval cues. 

Overton (1972)

  • Partipants learnt material either drunk or sober. 
  • Found that particpants struggled with recall more when trying to retrieve the information in a state that is different to the time of encoding. 
  • E.g. trying to recall information sober, when it was learnt drunk. 
  • This provides support for state dependent failure as an explanation of forgetting. 
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Explanations For Forgetting

Evaluation AO2

  • Many studies into retrieval failure, due to cue dependent forgetting are based in a laboratory and lack ecological validity and mundane realism. 
    • They're not indicative of real world environments/situations of forgetting. 
  • Such explanations - not able to explain why retrieval failure cannot be explained with cue dependent forgetting for activites such as: riding a bike
    • Suggesting retrieval failure as a theory for forgetting is oversimplified and incomplete.
  • Research into retrieval failure and cue dependent forgetting has real world applications, particularly:
    • In the search for missing people. 
    • Reconstructing the last known whereabouts. 
  • Used to aid the conviction of Dainelle Jones' killer. 
  • Reconstruction in 2001, prompted the witness to recall her arguing with a man which later led to the conviction of her uncle through witness testimony.
  • This helped in cognitive interviews to help recall information for EWT. 
  • Understanding how cues affect recall, can help develop ways to improve our memory.
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Explanations For Forgetting

Evaluation AO2

Support for retrieval failure haveing more validity than Interference theory comes from:

Tulving and Psotka (1971)

  • They showed how interference effects occured due to the absence of any cues to aid retrieval. 
  • Participants were given word lists to remember, with one condition: having catergoy headings & another without. 
    • In conditions without - fewer words were recalled than when headings were present.
    • Showing the information was available but simply unable to be accessed due to the absence of cues. 

Baddeley (1997)

  • Criticised the encoding specificity principle as impossible to test and verify for certain making it unscientific. 
  • If a cue aids retrieval, then it could be argued to have been encoded in the memory. 
  • However if it does not then it could be argued that it wasn't encoded in the memory as a cue. 
  • Fact that it is impossible to test for an item as been encoded or not = cannot fully test the conding specificity principle  
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Eye Witness Testimony

Discuss research on the effect of milseading information on eyewitness testimony

Theory AO1

Loftus and Palmer (1974)

  • Conducted varius experiments measuring how leading infromation affected recall.
  • 45 students were shown several films of road traffic incidients & then given a questionnaire.
  • They had to describe the accident and answer a series of questions about their observation.
  • One critical question, varied between conditions with one group asked how fast the vehicles were going, when they "hit" each other.
  • Whilst the other group had verbs implying different degree's of collision such as "bumped, smasshed, contacted, collided".
    • Results found the words that implied a stronger collision resulted in geater average estimates of speeds from participants.
    • Those exposed to "smashed" gave the highest estimates (41mph).
    • Whilst "contacted" resulted in the lowest speed estimate (30mph).
    • This demonstrtaed how leading questions could influence memory recall.
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Eye Witness Testimony

Discuss research on the effect of milseading information on eyewitness testimony

Theory AO1

Loftus and Palmer (1974)

  • The experiment was recreated with another group with the verbs "smashed & "hit".
  • While a control group was not exposed to such leading quuestions.
  • Were questioned 1 week later & asked a series of questions with one critical question being.
    • Whether they witnessed any broken glass
    • There was no broken glass in the film, however:
    • Results found that those who were exposed to the "smashed" condition, led to believe the car was traveling faster were more likely to report seeing broken glass.
    • With the control group being least likely.
  • This highlighted how misleading information post-event can change the way information is stored or recalled.
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Eye Witness Testimony

Theory AO1

Loftus & Pickrell (1995)

  • Conducted a study into how misleading information could create false memories in individuals. 
    • 24 participants ranging in age from 18-53 were given four stories about their childhood gathered from relatives. 
    • 3 of the stories were true, whilst one was false and it included being lost in a department store with kids - the age of 5, and an elderly lady rescuing them.
  • Participants were then asked questions on whether they recalled these stories & results found:
    • 29% of the fake stories were recalled by participants believing them to be true. 
    • 68% of the true stories were recalled correctly. 

This shows how false memories could be created from suggestion and misleading information. 

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Eye Witness Testimony

Evaluation AO2

Weakness: 

  • Such studies are laboratory studies - they lack ecological validity and mundane realism. 
  • Results gained in these settings may lack external validity & wider generalisation. 

Strength:

    • The laboratory condition allowed researchers to control for extraneous confounding variables. 
    • Can clearly see the link between leading questions and recall.
    • The lab setting made it easier to verify results for reliablity, through replication and establishing the cause & effect relationship between leading questions and memory recall - would be difficult to do in real world setting. 
  • Repeat studies have concluded similar findings, leading researchers to conclude leading questions and misinformation can affect recall. 
  • Use of students - confounding variable: they're not represetnative of the range of ages in the normal population & therefore the sample lacks population validity 
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Eye Witness Testimony

Evaluation AO2

  • Age may be a confounding variable, when it comes to leading questions with Warren et al:
    • Finding younger children were more susceptible to influence to misleading information than elders. 
    • This study may lack internal validity, it may be more of a measure on how leading questions affect one particular age group rather than the wider population. 
  • The use of a questionnaire is a possible weakness. 
    • Questions can be easily misunderstood by participants or misinterpreted without clarification. 
    • People's responses may be misunderstood by researchers. 
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Eye Witness Testimony

Evaluation A02

Yuille and Cutshall

  • Found that witnesses to real events tended to have accurate recall even months after witnessing events with misleading questions have little affect 
    • Suggesting the previous finding by Loftus into leading questions may be limited due to: lab settings.
    • May be explained due to highly motivated participants displaying demand characteristics - may not be indicative of real witnesses. 
  • In real situations - arousal, stress, anxiety or concentration may be a stronger factor in recall than leading questions. 

Forster et al (Supporting Evidence)

  • Where participants who thought they were watching a real life robbery, believed their responses would have an impact on an upcoming trial, actually be more accurate in their recall.
  • Ethical issues are raised due to participants being deceived, into thinking what they were watching was real. 
  • Findings show leading questions may have some impact in lab settings but in real life, factors such as: arousal,stress concentration or motivation, may mitigate for this.
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Eye Witness Testimony

Anxiety -  Theory AO1

Loftus et al

  • Two groups in different conditions observed a violent and non-violent event.
    • In condition 1 a man exited a discussion holding a pen.
    • In condition 2 a man exiting holding a paperknife covered in blood after a loud altercation.
  • The group who observed the pen were more accurate 49%. 
  • Than the group who observed the violent situation 33%.
    • A possible explanation is the weapon may have distracted their attention from everything else happening.
    • It may explain why some witnesses struggle for other details in violent crimes as their focus switches to the weapon.
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Eye Witness Testimony

Anxiety - Theory AO1

Clifford and Scott

  • Found those people who saw a film of a violent attack,
    • Remembered less than the people in a control group who saw a less stressful version.
  • They concluded that witnessing stressful situations in real life will be far more stressful than observing a film.
  • Memory accuracy may well be more affected in real life with poorer recall.

Christianson

  • Found contradicting evidence. 
  • When witnesses to real bank robberies were tested on recall. 
  • Found that increased anxiety led to improvements in the accuracy of recall. 
  • Suggests high levels of anxiety in situations do not always divert attention away from what is happening. 
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Eye Witness Testimony

Anxiety - AO2

  • Yuille & Cutshall's study contradicts laboratory findings, however, highlighting the importance of stress in EWT.
  • Witnesses to a real life violent crime; e.g. Gun Shooting, were found to have remarkable memories of the stressful situation even after observing the gunman be killed. 
    • Those re-interviewed 5 months later were found to have accurate recall, with even misleading questions, having no effect. 
    • However, the witness who experienced the most stress, were closest to the event, may have aided their accurate recall. 
  • Proximity to events may be a confounding variable, in such research studies. 
  • This study illustrates that in instances of real-life stressful situations, recall may be accurate even months later.
    • Misleading questions tended to have less of an affect in real life situations, compared to Loftus & Palmers Lab study on misleading questions and stress. 
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Eye Witness Testimony

Anxiety - AO1

Deffenbacher

  • Reviewed 21 studies finding the stress-performance relationship followed an invert U as proposed by the Yerkes-Dodson Curve. 
    • This means that the efficiency of EWT depended on the level of stress/anxiety, with low and high amounts of anxiety resulting in poorer recall & performance.
  • Practical application: 
    • Establishing eye witnesses level of anxiety may be key in court evidence to determine the validity of their account. 
    • Is likely to be difficult & purely based on a subjective measure. 
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Eye Witness Testimony

Evaluation AO2

  • Critisisms of such finding are that such studies were conducted in laboratory settings - therefore lack ecological validity. 
  • Participants are motivated and eager to engage in the study, which may be unrealistic of real-life witnesses.
    • Motivation itself may be a confounding variable.
  • A Possibility of demand characteristics is very possible. 
  • Benefit of such studies:
    • Experiments can be easily replicated for validity & reliability checking as well as limiting confounding extraneous variables, to establish cause and effect relationships between anxiety and EWT.
  • Due to ease of replication, studies have found similar findings

Deffenbacher and Loftus are relaible

  • Replicated studies tend to be within artificial settings - affecting resulsts and lack external validity + wider generalistation to real world situations.
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The Cognitive Interview

Theory - AO1

Cognitive Interview CI - a method used primarily by the police to aid eyewitnesses in recalling information more accurately 

Tulving

  • Based on Tulving findings several retrieval paths exist to memory recall. 
  • Information not accessible by one path may be available using varying methods of recall. 
  • Using the CI, the witness is encouraged to: 
    • Report every detail. 
    • Recreate the context. 
    • Recall the event in different orders. 
    • Recall the event from different points of view or perspectives. 

The interviewer may try to ensure they reduce the anxiety of the witness, minimise distractions, allow them to take their time in their recall & avoid interruptions or leading questions while the interview occur. 

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The Cognitive Interview

Fisher et al

  • Found supporting evidence for the CI in real world studies.
    • 16 Police officers interviewed 47 people twice who were victims of crimes themselves or witnesses. 
    • 7 officers were trained to use the Cognitive Interview. 
    • 9 used the Standard Interview. 
  • Results found that:
    • The cognitive interview gained 47% more facts overall compared to the Standard Interview. 
    • Concluded it was beneficial for improving EWT.
  • This study used real police officers & real witnesses = meaning the study had high external validity to real world application. 
  • Weakness: the control group of officers may have been demotivated due to not receiving training which may have affected their motivation levels & performance in the standard interview negatively 
    • Although CI was effective in gaining more information, was also found to increase the amount of incorrect information given from the witness. 
    • Major limitation as interviewers may not always know what is factual or not. CI = doesn't guarantee the accuracy of information recalled. 
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The Cognitive Interview

Evaluation - AO2

  • In real world situations due to time and resource constraints.
  • The Cognitive interview may not be as effectively used.

Wagstaff et al

  • Reported that in practice, police officers stated CI requires more time than is usually available.
  • Often police officers may limit a witness's account to what the officers feels is appropriate or necessary. 
  • CI technique may prove useful in interviewing senior witnesses. 
  • They tend to be more wary in giving details, due to perception, their memory declines but the CI promotes people to describe every detail, which can help overcome this. 
  • Fisher et al. found that the CI produced more information than the Standard interview.
  • This was much greater for older participants, than a younger control group.
  • This highlights how the CI may be effective in overcoming individual difference and age barriers for older participants.
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