AS Psychology (The start of unit 1)

These cards are basically the start of unit 1.  

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  • Created by: Toni
  • Created on: 12-12-11 21:27


A procedure in which researchers draw together and analyse the results of many different studies that have used a similar procedure.  A meta-analysis uses only quantitive data.

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Abstract Words

Words that cannot be perceived with your senses. e.g. love, nice.

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Concrete nouns

Nouns that can easily be visualised e.g. dog, tree.

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Leading question

A question phrased in such a way as to prompt a particular kind of answer.  'was the man wearing a hat?" is an open question whereas 'what colour was the man's hat?' is a leading question since it suggests that the man was actually wearing  a hat.

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Interference task

A task that gets in the way of the processing necessary to do the task being tested.  e.g. being asked to say what colour words are printed in, but the words are names of colours.

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Eyewitness testimony

The evidence given in court or in police investigations by someone who has witnessed a crime or an accident.

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Proactive interference

Where things that have already been learned make it harder to learn new things.

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Pseudo - words

A combination of letters that sounds as though it could be an English word, but actually does not exist (e.g. nym)

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Dual task method

Where participants are asked to carry out a primary task while also engaging, in a secondary task.  Performance on each of the tasks when done individually.

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Digit span technique

A way of measuring the capacity of STM.  Participants have to repeat back strings of digits in order of presentation.  The number pf digits in the string is gradually increased until the participant can no longer recall the sequence of digits correctly.

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Serial recall

A way of testing STM where participants are required to recall items in the order of presentation.

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Short-term memory

A temporary store where small information can be kept for brief periods.  It is a fragile store and information can be easily lost.

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Long-term memory

A pemanent store where limitless amounts of information can be stored for long periods of time.

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A type of forgetting where the items currently in the limited capacity STM are pushed out before being transferred to LTM to make room for incoming items.

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Free recall

A way of testing memory where participants can recall items from a list in any order.

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A type of forgetting where information stored in LTM is confused with similar information.

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The amount of information that can be held in memory at any one time.

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The length of time that memories can be held.

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The way in which information is represented in the memory store, e.g. by sound, meaning or image.

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The Atkinson & Shiffrin Model

(also known as the multi-store model)

A series of stages where information passes from one store to another in a fixed sequence.  

Sensory memory > short term memory > long term memory

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Sensory memory

A set of limited capacity, modality - specific stores that hold information for a very brief period of time.

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An emotional tie or relationship between two people shown in their behaviour.

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The study of animal behaviour.  Ethologists observe how animals act and identify the purpose the behaviour is likely to have served in helping survival in the evolutionary past.

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Ecological validity

The extent to which the methods, materials and setting of the experiment approximate the real-life situation being studied.

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Sensitive period

A period in time in which something is likely to occur, for example, young children are likely to start talking around the age 12-18 months.  However, development can take place outside the sensitive period as we can see in studies of older children who have been brought up in isolation but develop language later in childhood.

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Critical period

A specific period of time in which something has to develop.  for example, in an embryo, limbs start to develop between 24 and 26 days after conception.  Anything that interferes with the process during those days (for example, drugs taken by the mother) will have a lasting effect.

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The tendency of babies to form a primary attachment to one caregiver.

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Internal working model

A template for future relationships including a model of how you and other people are likely to behave.

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Nice and easy to revise from! Will come in useful, thank you! 

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