Cognitive Psychology

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Sperling, 1960

Aim: To find evidence for sensory memory.

Method: 

  • Whole report technique- "How many do you remember?".
  • Partial report technique- A cue for recall.
  • CV- Pps didnt know which row they'd have to recall.

Findings:

  • Iconic memory evidence - duration= 1/4sec.

Conclusion:

  • Primacy and recency effect show evidence for sensory memory.

Evaluation:

  • Lacks ecological validity; experiment doesn'r resemble real life. Recalling rows.
  • Lab experiment means high level of control over variables.
  • Extraneous variable - familiarity of words to pps.
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Peterson & Peterson, 1959

Aim: Find evidence for the duration of the STM.

Method:

  • Pps presented with consonant trigrams i.e. CDK, LHY
  • Recall tested after varying intervals
  • Immediate interference task to prevent rehearsal in STM

Findings:

  • After 18secs, recall was fewer than 10% trigrams
  • Evidence of decay when rehearsal is prevented
  • Interence may have caused displacement.
  • Loss of info could be down to capacity rather than duration

Evaluation:

  • Lacks ecological validity
  • Trigrams are a proactive interface
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Conrad, 1964

Aim: To find evidence for encoding in STM.

Method:

  • Rapid sequence of 6 random consonants on a screen.
  • C1: letters were acoustically similar
  • C2: letters were acousticallt disimilar
  • PPS had to write serial order (Digit-span=7)

Findings:

  • Errors in recall- substitutung simialr sounding letters (Acoustic confusion)

Conclusion: Encoding in STM is mainly acoustic.

Evaluation:

  • Lacks ecological valididty- Sample of students is not representative of whole population
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Glanzer & Cunitz, 1966

Aim: To find a distinction between STM and LTM.

Method:

  • Pps presented with list of words then tested on free recall
  • C1: recall immediately after presentation
  • C2: recall after distractor task

Findings:

  • C1: serial position curve
  • C2: distractor task disrupoted recency effect
  • Counting backwards displaced last letters in STM 

Evaluation:

  • Lacks e-v
  • Functional dissociation; age, familiarity etc
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Baddeley, 1966

Aim: To find evidence for encoding in LTM

Method:

  • 5 words for each category are presented. Pps immediatley write down serial order.
  • 4 categories: acoustically similar&disimilar, semantically similar&disimilar
  • MODIFICATIONS:
  • 10 words per category (exceeds capacity of STM)
  • Prevention of rehearsal & list is presented 4 times
  • Recall after 20mins

Findings:

  • Same results as Conrad
  • Semantically similar words= harder to recall

Evaluation:

  • Lacks e-v
  • Familair words not consonants
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Baddeley et al. 1973

Aim: To find evidence for the visuo-spatial sketchpad

Method:

  • Pps follow dot of light in cicular motions and visualise either H, F, T or E
  • Starting at bottom left-hand corner, pps reply 'yes' or 'no' if the lights was at any of the angles at the top or bottom of the letter

Findings:

  • Tasks compete for the same limited resources of VSS

Evaluation:

  • Highly controlled
  • Repeated measures design eliminates individual differences
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Baddeley, Thomson & Buchanan, 1975

Aim: Find evidence for phonological loop.

Method:

  • Visual presentations of word lists. Brief exposure.
  • Pps recall in serial order.
  • C1: 5 monosyllabic, familiar words. 
  • C2: 5 polysyllabic words

Findings:

  • 'Word length effect'
  • Capacity of loop is determined by time taken to say the word

Evaluation:

  • Long word=less familiar?
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Loftus & Palmer, 1974

Aim: Effects of misleading information of EWT.

Method:

  • 45 students shown film of car accident
  • They were asked leading questions, including a critical one about speed
  • The verb was manipulated; 'hit', 'smashed', 'collide', 'bumped', 'contacted'.

Findings:

  • Group with 'smashed' said a faster speed
  • Group with 'contacted' said a slower speed
  • People alter their estimates depending on verb used in leading question

Evaluation:

  • Not cross-cultural
  • Independant measures design
  • Low in mundane realism; not like real life. In real life, there is an element of surprise.
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List, 1986

Aim: To apply the idea of schemas to EWT. (reconstructive memory)

Method:

  • Made a list of elements that could occur in shoplifting scenario
  • People rated the likelihood of the occurance of elements
  • Video showed to new pps, 8 different shoplifting incidnets with some of the highest and lowest rated elements
  • A week later they had to recall what they saw

Findings:

  • Pps are more liekly to recall high probablility events
  • Pps often recalled high probablility elements that weren't in the video

Evaluation:

  • Pilot study
  • Low in mundane realism
  • Unable to obtain informed consent
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Poole & Lindsay, 2001

Aim: Test the effects of age on EWT.

Method:

  • 3-8 year olds shown a science experiment
  • Their parents then read them a story containing elements of demonstration
  • Children questions on demonstartion

Findings:

  • Children incorporated much of the new information into their original memory
  • Younger children have poor source monitoring- older children revised their answers

Evaluation:

  • Difficult to eliminate extraneous variables
  • Young children have to understand and pay attention
  • Children less susceptible to investigator effects due to parents involvement
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