AS Psychology Unit 1

EDEXCEL Unit 1 - Cognitive & Social Psychology

  • Created by: Aletia
  • Created on: 13-12-11 13:44

Sections of Psychology


  • Memory
  • Forgetting
  • Key Issue


  • Obedience
  • Prejudice
  • Key Issue


  • Cognitive Practical
  • Research Methods
  • Terminology
  • etc.
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Cognitive Overview


  • Cognitive Assumptions


  • Levels of Processing
    • Key Study: Craik & Tulving (1975)
  • Multi Store Memory Model
  • Reconstructive Memory


  • Cue Dependency
    • Key Study: Godden & Baddeley (1975)
  • Repression

Key Issue

  • Eye Witness Testimony
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Cognitive Assumptions

The cognitive approach to psychology looks at the function of the brain, and also compares the brain to a computer, because, for both humans and computers;

  • The chain of processing is; input -> process -> output.
  • Have the ability to store and retrieve information
  • Have comparable ideas of "sleep"
  • Can "delete" information
  • Have "hardware" and "software" (explained below)

A computer's hardware is that such as external drives and keyboards, while it's software is the programs and operating software it has.

While, a human's hardware would be bones and parts of the body, and it's software would be experiences, and memories.

This shows how a computer and a person are the similar in terms of hardware, however the software is what makes the person/computer unique.

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Memory - Levels of Processing

The Levels of Processing theory was put forward by Craik & Lockhart. This theory suggests that there are three different ways of processing information, of which lead to better or worse recall.

  • Structural Processing
    • Processing information about shape
  • Phonetic Processing
    • Processing information about sound
  • Semantic Processing
    • Processing information about meaning

The theory suggests that information is better recalled when it's been processed deeper. Structural processing is said to be the shallowest level of processing, next phonetic, and the best/deepest level of processing is semantic.

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Memory - Levels of Processing

Evidence for this theory includes;

  • Craik & Tulving's study, as it's results showed semantic processing leading to better recall than phonetic, or structural processing.
  • Morris et al. doesn't support the theory, as the study resulted in phonetically processed words leading to better recall than semantic and structural processing.

This theory can be applied to revision, as it shows that when semantically processing information, it will be better remembered, so students should focus more on the meaning, when revising.

This theory is that it is incomplete, and a simplistic view of memory, as it does not account for variations in memory, such as; emotion and distinctiveness. However, because the studies this theory is supported by/based on are lab experiments, which collect quantitative data, meaning the results cannot be subject to interpretational bias.

An alternative theory to this is the Multi Store Memory Model.

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Memory - Key Study: Craik & Tulving

A study by Craik and Tulving (1975) was done to test which level of processing would lead to best recall.

A lab experiment was set up to test this, where 20 students would be tested to see which level of processing would lead to better recall, however they believed that this was just answering questions.

40 1-2 syllable words were shown on a tachistoscope, one at a time, for 200 milliseconds each. Questions were whether the word shown; was in capital letters (structural), rhymed with another word (phonetic), or fitted into a sentence/category (structural), meaning this was a repeated measures design.

Participants then had to recall through the means of a recognition test, where they would choose words that seemed familiar.

18% of structurally processed words, 50% of phonetically processed words and 80% of semantically processed words were recalled.

Therefore, this supports the Levels of Processing theory, as semantically processing the words led to best recall, while structurally processing words led to the worst recall.

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Memory - Key Study: Craik & Tulving

The Levels of Processing study, by Craik & Tulving was unethical as participants were deceived, because they did not know the true nature of the study, which in turn leads to the participants having not given full informed consent.

This study was a lab experiment which means that the variables were fully operationalised, and tightly controlled, which makes it reliable. This also means that there is clear evidence that the independent variable is directly affecting the dependent variable, giving the study validity.

However, the study lacks ecological validity because of an artificial task, and setting. Another weakness of the study is that because only 20 participants were used, it is not a representative sample of the population, meaning the results cannot be generalized.

This study can be applied to real life, in the form of revision, as making notes, and therefore semantically processing the information, rather than reading a textbook, can lead to developing a greater knowledge.

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Memory - Multi Store Memory Model

The Multi Store Memory Model was put forward by Atkinson & Shiffrin. This theory suggests that there are three different stores of memory; the sensory memory, the short term memory, and the long term memory.

Information enters the brain and is stored in the sensory memory, which can hold large amounts of information, but only for around 2 seconds.

Once the information in the sensory memory is paid attention to, it moves into the short-term memory which has a capacity of 7±2 pieces of information, for up to 30 seconds.

To move this information into the long-term memory it must be rehearsed. This store has a potentially unlimited capacity and duration that information can be held for.

Information can be lost through displacement, but can be brought back through cues, or information can decay over time.

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Memory - Multi Store Memory Model

The Multi Store Memory Model is supported by;

  • Peterson & Peterson's study where participants were given trigrams, and slowly increased the time between hearing the trigram and having to recall it shows partial support for the Multi Store Memory Model because as time increased, the ability to recall decreased, which is evidence for the short-term memory.
  • Glanzer & Cunitz gave participants a list of words to recall, and found that the beginning of the list, along with the end of the list was well remembered, while the middle of the list was not remembered well. This was because the words at the beginning of the list had been rehearsed, moving them into the long-term memory, while the words at the end of the list were seen last, putting them in the short-term memory.

This theory can be used to help understand brain damaged patients, such as patient HM who had a short-term memory, and could recall several recently processed pieces of information, however he could not rehearse this to move it into his long-term memory.

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Memory - Multi Store Memory Model

A strength of this theory is that it's supported by reliable lab experiments, that have tight control and standardized procedures, which means the theory itself is also reliable.

A weakness of the theory is that it is a simplistic/reductionist view of memory, as it does not explain why we remember information that hasn't been rehearsed.

An alternative theory to the Multi Store Memory Model is the Levels of Processing theory.

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Memory - Reconstructive Memory

The reconstructive memory theory suggests that memories are not always exact. Bartlett suggested that this is because memory is actually an active process of reconstruction, meaning that current attitudes or emotions can affect accuracy of recall, such as where information from a memory is not remembered, the gaps can be filled through the stereotypes and schemas that we have.

In order to test this theory, Bartlett collected many participants and gave one a story, called "The War of Ghosts" and had them read it, and then pass the information on to the next participant, much like the idea of Chinese whispers.

He found that the story had become largely shortened, to aid passing it on, but also that key pieces of information had been left out or changed, which is due to what we've been told not fitting with the schemas and stereotypes we have; so we fix it.

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Forgetting - Cue Dependency

Cue Dependency theory states that information may be in the brain, but needs a cue to bring it forward and be readily available, where cues are additional pieces of information that guide us to the information we need. Therefore, information is forgotten if we do not have the necessary cues to retrieve it, such as if a cue is present when learning the information and not when trying to retrieve it, the information will be forgotten.

The two types of cues are;

  • context cues
    • environmental cues; when environments are different, information is forgotten.
  • state cues
    • internal/emotional cues; when emotions are different, information is forgotten.
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Forgetting - Cue Dependency

The Cue Dependency theory is supported by;

  • Godden & Baddeley who found that divers when learning and recalling words in the same environment recalled 50% more than in different environments.

The theory can be applied to police statements because by going back to the scene witnesses regain their context cues, making their statements more accurate.

A strength of the cue dependency theory is that it has face validity, as people tend to forget their childhood memories, as they grow older, but can remember them when they return to the areas they used to go, and therefore regain their context cues. However, the theory doesn't explain why some memories are forgotten permanently and cannot be accessed by cues.

The alternative theory to this is repression, which suggests that we forcibly forget negative memories, so we don't have to relive the feelings attached with them, instead of, as the cue dependency theory suggests, due to a lack of cues.

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Forgetting - Key Study: Godden & Baddeley

The aim of this study was to investigate how cues affect the recall of informatoin. They looked at context cues, meaning they changed the environments, rather than state cues, which are based on emotions of the individuals.

There were 18 divers, who had lists of 36 unrelated words or 2-3 syllables, which were learned and recalled in different conditions.

The conditions were;

  • wet learning - wet recall
  • wet learning - dry recall
  • dry learning - wet recall
  • dry learning - dry recall

After going through the list, they were given several numbers to recall at the time, to ensure the list of words did not remain in their short-term memory. The divers did each permutation of conditions, making this a repeated measures design. The wet condition was 20ft below the surface, while the dry condition was sat near the water.

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Forgetting - Key Study: Godden & Baddeley

50% more words were forgotten, when the environments were different, to when they were the same, with dry-dry leading to best recall and wet-dry leading to worst recall.

This shows that recalling in different environments to that in which it was learnt in, leads to worse recall, and therefore giving support to the idea of context cues, from the cue dependency theory.

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Forgetting - Key Study: Godden & Baddeley

This study was very ethical, as it didn't break any ethical guidelines.

The study has ecological validity, as it used professional divers, meaning that the participants were in their natural environments, however, it lacks ecological validity because the task was artificial.

The results for this study are difficult to generalized, because only 18 participants were used, who were all divers.

This study is useful because the results show how context cues help recall information, which can be useful for police witness statements, as returning to the environment where the incident happened, will make the statement more accurate, as there are context cues available.

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Forgetting - Repression

Freud's theory of repression suggests that we forcibly forget information that provokes anxiety or unhappiness, as a defence mechanism, so that we do not have to suffer from feeling these feelings day to day.

The memories stay active in our mind, although they are pushed into the unconscious so that we are not aware of them, which can trigger symptoms such as; depression or OCD.

The main way to bring back repressed memories is through psychotherapy.

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Forgetting - Repression

Freud's theory of repression is supported by;

  • Walker et al. who had participants write a diary of events, and found that there was a better recall of positive events, than negative, which suggests the negative would have been repressed.
  • Hadley and MacKay found when participants were given neutral words, compared to taboo words, the taboo words that this theory would suggest would be repressed, were actually better remembered.

This theory can be applied to mental illness, as it may have been caused by symptoms of repressing a memory.

A strength of this theory is that there are a lot of real life cases that support this theory, such as repressing a memory of abuse. However, this theory cannot be tested psychologically because it would break the ethical guideline, which says that participants must be protected from harm, as the study would require giving a participant a negative memory to possibly repress.

An alternative theory to this, is the Cue Dependency theory, as it suggests forgetting is not deliberate, but due to a lack of either context or state cues.

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Cognitive Key Issue - Eye Witness Testimony

Eye witness testimony refers to the recollection of a memory where you witnessed an incident, which is recorded in a police statement, to be used as evidence in a court of law.

There is a lot of controversy about the accuracy and reliability of eye witness testimony, but the problem with eye witness testimony is that if it's incorrect then it can lead to innocent people being charged with responsibility for causing the incident.

This means that police have to take steps to ensure that the testimony is reliable, thus having to improve the process of collecting an eye witness testimony. The way they have done this is through the introduction of the cognitive interview, where free recall takes place.

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Cognitive Key Issue - Eye Witness Testimony

Loftus & Palmer's study on leading questions was evidence that eye witness testimony was unreliable, and needed to be changed.

They conducted a study where they asked people to give their statements, but when asking questions changed one verb in the question, to see what difference it made, when asking for an estimate of the speed of cars.

The two verbs being used when asked about a car crash were; "smashed" and "contacted". The "smashed" group estimated the car was travelling at 41mph, while the "contacted" group estimated the cat to be travelling at 32mph.

The next question was then about whether there was broken glass, or not. When "smashed" was used, 32% thought there was broken glass, while only 14% of the group asked about when the cars "contacted" thought there was broken glass.

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Social Overview


  • Agency Theory
  • Milgram's Original Study
    • A Variation of Milgram's Study
  • Hofling's Nurses Study
  • Key Study: Meeus & Raaijmakers (1986)
    • Comparison: Milgram / Meeus & Raaijmakers


  • Social Identity Theory
  • Key Study: Sherif et al. (1961)
  • Zimbardo's Prison Study

Key Issue

  • Obedience in a Prison Setting (Abu Ghraib)
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Obedience - Agency Theory

Agency theory suggests that there are two states we can be in; agentic or autonomous.

When in the autonomous state, we are using our free will to make our own decisions and doing what we decide.

However, we can shift into the agentic state, where we become an agent of society, and give up our free will, to follow others.

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Obedience - Agency Theory

Agency theory is supported by Milgram's study that showed the participants moving into the agentic state, after asking "who is taking responsibility for this?"

This theory can be used to explain why those in Nazi Germany said they were only "following orders" as they had shifted into the agentic state, or those who campaigned against the Nazi party, such as Oskar Schindler, who would have remained in the autonomous state.

However, this theory does not explain why there can be individual differences in obedience, such as how in a situation some people will obey, where as others will not.

An alternative to this theory is the Charismatic Leader theory, which suggests that high obedience comes from leaders with high levels of charisma such as; Hitler and Martin Luther King.

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Obedience - Milgram's Original Study

Milgram aimed to see how fair people would obey an authoritative figure, even when they knew the orders were unjust. He also wanted to see how Americans compared to Nazi Germany, as the Germans were seen as particularly obedient to authority, as an explanation of why the Germans' followed Hitler's ideas.

An advert was put in a local newspaper, asking for male participants to go to Yale University. Once the participant had begun to read out the pairs of words for the stooge, Mr Wallace, to remember, they had to give shocks for any incorrect answers. At 180 volts, there would be a shout that the 'learner' could no longer take it, at 300 volts, he begged to be released, and after 315 volts there was silence.

All participants shocked up to 300 volts, while 65% went to the full 450 volts.

Milgram concluded that those in Nazi Germany, had not been a collection of evil people, but those who were obeying, and that anyone in their situation would also have done the same.

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Obedience - Milgram's Original Study

Milgram's study was largely unethical because;

  • The participants were exposed to high levels of stress during the study
  • Although the participants were told they could take the money and withdraw at any point, they were told "the experiment requires you continue"
  • Milgram advertised that he was doing a study on learning, which means he deceived his participants, because it was truly about obedience
  • As the participants were deceived, it means that they could not give full informed consent.
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Obedience - Milgram's Original Study

However, Milgram's study can be seen as ethical because;

  • He gave a full debrief after the study had ended, where the participants could meet the stooge, Mr Wallace, and he then followed this up by sending a psychiatrist to evaluate the participant's mental state, a year after the experiment had been done
  • Milgram was definitely competent for this study, as not only was he a fully qualified psychologist, but because he asked other psychologists, on their opinion of the study, before conducting it, and they agreed very few would go to the full 450 volts, and therefore it was a safe study to conduct.
  • The participants did technically have the right to withdraw, as many did after 300 volts, despite the prompts, from the experimenter, to go on.
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Obedience - Milgram's Original Study

A weakness of this study is that it is gender biased, because only men were advertised for, so the findings are not generalizable.

A strength of this study is that it's a lab experiment, meaning that the data it collects is quantitative, so it's not subject to interpretation bias.

This study is useful because it allows us to understand the obedience that led to the genocide in WWII.

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Obedience - Milgram's Variation

Milgram had received a lot of criticism for his original study, as he carried it out at Yale University, which people believed because it was a prestigious university led to higher obedience rates.

This led to Milgram repeating the study, but moving it to a downtown office, near Yale.

He repeated the experiment exactly the same, but with the different location.

This variation still found that 47.5% went to 450volts.

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Obedience - Hofling et al.

Hofling's study aimed to investigate how obedient nurses would be to doctors, and if their obedience would stretch to a point where they would obey even when breaking hospital regulations and endangering patient's health.

Hofling questioned 22 nurses, asking if they would give an overdose of a drug, when instructed by a doctor. In the study, bottles of astroten were placed in different hospitals and a doctor would call the nurses, Dr Smith from the psychiatric department, instructing the nurses to give a patient a 20mg dose of the drug. However, the bottles were labelled saying 10mg was the maximum safe daily dosage. The doctor would then say he was running late, and would sign the necessary authorization later.

21 of the 22 interviewed nurses said they would not administer the drug. However, 21 of the 22 in the study, did give the 20mg dose. When questioned afterwards, 11 of the 21 who gave the drug, said they were not aware that 20mg was over the safe dose, while the other 10 said they had noticed, but because the doctor had instructed them to, they judged it to be safe.

This study is useful because it shows that people give answers society wants, rather than what will happen, because they do not know how obedient they're going to be.

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Obedience - Hofling et al.

During the study, Hofling broke several ethical guidelines, which makes the study unethical. For example; the nurses may have been places under stress, after knowing they had given an unsafe dosage of a drug, meaning they were not protected from harm, which is one of the ethical guidelines.

He also deceived the nurses as they were told by Dr Smith to give a patient a drug, but Dr Smith was not a real doctor, and the drug they had to administer was not a real drug.

The study had high ecological validity, because it was done in the participant's every day setting, where the nurses were doing every day work, in a regular hospital. However, the study cannot be generalised, because it was done in several hospitals across America, meaning it cannot necessarily apply to all nurses.

This study shows that nurses training should be improved, as not only did nearly all the nurses administer an unsafe dosage, but because nearly half who did give the drug, did not realize they were doing something wrong.

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Obedience - Key Study: Meeus & Raaijmakers

The aim of the study was to see whether a more modern study, that uses psychological, rather than physical harm, would lead to less obedience than Milgram's original study.

39 people responded to a newspaper advertisement, that asked for volunteers who would be paid for their time. Participants stood in on a test done as part of an interview, and were told to make 15 increasingly distressing comments, such as "the test suggests you're not suited to this job, you should try applying for a lower position." When participants didn't want to give comments, the experimenter would tell them they must continue, however, they also had a control group, to compare results with, which had no experimenter present.

92% of the experimental group made all comments, and believed that the situation was real, and disliked making the comments, because they thought their comments had affected their performance. While nobody in the control group made any of the comments.

The study concluded that the level of obedience was higher than Milgram's original study, which had a 65% obedience rate, because it's easier to inflict psychological harm, compared to Milgram's physical harm. Also, that people in uniform, such as an experimenter in a lab coat, leads to people being obedient.

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Obedience - Key Study: Meeus & Raaijmakers

This study was unethical, because participants were not protected from harm, as they were caused distress by the involvement in the study. Also, participants were deceived, because they were told the study was on stress, rather than obedience, and because the applicant was an actor, and would not be affected by the participant's input.

However, the study was ethical because the participants were given a full debrief, and given a follow up questionnaire a year later, to ensure they had not suffered any effects from participating.

A weakness of this study is that participants were responding to an advert, they were a volunteer sample, meaning they could be biased, as volunteers tend to me more motivated and perform better. however, a strength of the study is that they used a control group, as it allows you to compare the results of the experimental group, to make sure you can establish cause and effect, with the experimenter causing the obedience.

This study is useful because it shows that there is obedience in every day culture, where you may not expect it.

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Obedience - Comparison: Milgram / Meeus & Raaijmak


  • The participants were responding to an advert in a newspaper
  • They were not told the true nature of the study
  • They were given a full debrief including checking up a year after to ensure they had not suffered any lasting damage from taking part
  • The stooge had expressed they did not want to continue in the experiment
  • Participants showed distress from taking part in the study, but were glad to have taken part after knowing the results
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Obedience - Comparison: Milgram / Meeus & Raaijmak


  • Milgram conducted his original study in the USA, while Meeus & Raaijmakers did their study in Holland
  • Meeus & Raaijmakers had their participants believe that they were inflicting psychological harm, while Milgram's participants believed they were inflicting physical harm
  • Meeus & Raaijmakers included women in their study, while Milgram did not
  • Milgram's study had 65% of the participants who went to the end, while Meeus & Raaijmaker found that 92% of their participants went to the end
  • Meeus & Raaimakers study had a control group, where as Milgram's didn't
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Prejudice - Social Identity Theory

This theory suggests that we identify ourselves with a group and then only view others as within or outside of the group, which creates the an "in group" and an "out group", and that this is what causes prejudice.

There are three stages to social identity theory;

  • Social Categorization; where people are put into groups, based on anything such as; stereotypes or appearance. This includes yourself, and whichever group you put yourself in is known as the "in group" and the other becomes the "out group"
  • Social Identification; where you identify with the rest of your group, and I don't really know much about this.
  • Social Comparison; comparing the "in group" and the "out group." The "in group" will always be seen as the higher group, in order to boost ones self esteem.
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Prejudice - Key Study: Sherif et al.

This study aimed to investigate relations between groups, and to see if two groups would become prejudiced and hostile when put into competition.

Twenty-two 12-year-olds were taken to Robbers Cave National Park, and split into two groups. For the first five days they worked in their groups, completing tasks that would lead to them bonding. Each group created a group name, along with a flag, which solidified the group identity. Over the four days after this, the boys were introduced to each other, and rivalry between groups was encouraged through competitions with prizes for the winners. After this stage, the two groups were then having to work together, where completing the tasks benefited both groups, such as when the water pipe became blocked, and they worked together to fix it.

In the first stage, the boys bonded well, and quickly, which led to them showing immediate dislike to the other group, so much so during the competitive stages they each destroyed something belonging to the other group. However, when they had to work together, the hatred that had so quickly formed, was quickly lost.

Once there was competition between the groups, the hostility increases, meaning that competition is a large reason that prejudices arise.

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Prejudice - Social Identity Theory

Social Identity Theory is based on a series of experiments conducted by Tajfel, such as where he put school boys randomly into two groups and set them each tasks. The boys could choose who would get rewards for being the best. Nearly all the time they chose to give it to someone within their own group.

Social Identity Theory can explain things such as racism, and large scale conflicts, such as in Rwanda, where one tribe killed the other, simply because they were another tribe, and therefore seen as the "out group."

A weakness of this theory is that it doesn't explain individual differences in prejudice; why certain people are more prejudiced than others.

An alternative to this theory is Sherif's Realistic Conflict Theory, that suggests that prejudice is brought about by competition, such as in his Robbers Cave Study, which can explain why prejudice is becoming stronger in recent times; as there's less jobs, therefore more competition for jobs.

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Prejudice - Zimbardo's Prison Study

Zimbardo recruited participants through a newspaper advertisement, and were randomly assigned to be either guards, or prisoners, in a prison environment that had been set up in the basement of Stanford University. The prisoners all wore the same gowns, with nothing to differentiate them, apart from identification numbers, while the guards had matching uniforms.

Initially the prisoners rebelled against the guards, but once this had finished, the guards became more aggressive each day, such as when they woke up prisoners for a head count in the middle of the night, just to disrupt the prisoners sleep.

Many prisoners were released because they all had developed unhealthy symptoms, such as suffering from severe depression. As many of the prisoners had begun to struggle with this study, it was abandoned after just five days.

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Social Key Issue - Obedience In A Prison Setting

The key issue in social psychology is obedience in a prison setting, and how the obedience can lead to people doing unethical things, such as in Abu Ghraib. In 2003 photos were leaked of US soldiers brutally abusing Iraqi prisoners, on the night shift in Abu Ghraib. They stripped prisoners and humiliated them, arguing that the guards were told to "soften up" the prisoners. The most shock about this situation was the photos of Lynndie England participating in the abuse.

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Social Key Issue - Obedience In A Prison Setting

The key issue, of prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib prison, raises the question of whether the soldiers were sadistic individuals, or the whether the situation had corrupted their morals.

Zimbardo believes the situation is what led to such behaviour. This is based on what he witnessed with his Stanford Prison study, where half of the participants were randomly chosen to be prison guards, and they quickly turned into brutal tormentors of the other participants, who were acting as prisoners. This was such a brutal change in behaviour, and had become so hostile that Zimbardo had to abandon his study after just five days.

The behaviour of Lynndie England, one of the guards photographed, can also be explained through Milgram's agency theory, as when she arrived she was in the autonomous state and did not want to participate in the brutality. However, she shifted into the agentic state, which is explained in Milgram's theory, as the state where you become an agent of society, and go along with the majority, rather than question it, even when you can see the situation is unjust.

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General Overview

  • Cognitive Practical
  • Research Methods
  • Terminology
  • etc. (anything else I think of at some point)
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General - Cognitive Practical

  • In my experiment, I am testing the cue dependency theory, from the cognitive approach, where I will look to see if retrieval is affected by context cues, by comparing learning and recalling in the same environment with learning and recalling in different environments.
  • Aim: To see if context cues help with information retrieval and to see if more words will be remembered from a list of words, when learnt and recalled in the same environment, than when learnt and recalled in different environments.
  • Experimental Hypothesis: Participants will remember more words from the list when they are learning and recalling in the same environments, than when they are learning and retrieving in different environments.
  • Null Hypothesis: Participants will not remember more words from the list when they are learning and recalling in the same environments, than when they are learning and retrieving in different environments.
  • My experimental design was repeated measures design, as all the participants did all the conditions.
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General - Cognitive Practical

  • My experimental hypothesis is a one tailed hypothesis, because I am giving it a direction; learning and recalling in the same environments will lead to better recall than when in different environments.
  • Independent Variable: The environment in which participants are learning and retrieving the list of words; learning in classroom and recalling in classroom, or learning in classroom and recalling on the field.
  • Dependent Variable: The amount of words from the list of words, in each environment.
  • This is a field experiment, because it's in the participant's natural environment, with an artificial task, and a lack of control over the extraneous variables.
  • I used opportunity sampling, as I was limited for time in recruiting participants
  • I used 18 students as participants.
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General - Cognitive Practical

My standardised instructions;

  • I will show you a list of words for one minute
  • You will look at this list in the classroom
  • I will ask you to write down the words you remember, in the classroom
  • No communication is allowed during this time
  • You can have your score at the end, if you wish
  • You will then do a different task, in between conditions
  • You will look at another list, for one minute, in the classroom
  • We will then go outside and recall as many words from the list as possible
  • The results from both conditions will be compared
  • You will be fully debriefed and can then leave the study
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General - Cognitive Practical

Procedure of the experiment;

  • I created a list of 30, 1-2 syllable words
  • Using opportunity sampling, I collected participants
  • Once the participants agreed to take part in my study, I breifed them
  • Participants signed consent forms, and were made aware they could withdraw at any point
  • Informed participants that the study was on information processing
  • Participants were shown a list of words for a minute, in the classroom
  • There was then one minute for recalling words
  • The participants then had to count back from 30
  • Another list of words was shown for a minute
  • The class went to to the field to recall the words
  • Once this was completed, participants were debriefed, and given the ability to obtain the results of the study
  • Participants were thanked for their participation
  • All results were collected, and results were put together
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