GCSE Psychology Memory

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  • Created on: 07-11-15 14:36

Multi Store Model- Peterson and Peterson (1959)

Aim: To see if rehearsal was necessary to hold information in short term store.

Method: Participants were given sets of three letters to remember (such as GYK, MTW), but were immediately asked to count backwards in threes out loud for different lengths of time. This was done to prevent rehearsal. Participants were then asked to recall the letters in the correct order.

Results: The results of the study showed that participants had forgotten virtually all of the information after 18 seconds.

Conclusion: It was concluded that we cannot hold information in the short term store unless we can rehearse it.


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Murdock (1962)

Aim: To provide evidence for the MSM

Method: Participants learn a list of words presented one at a time for 2 seconds per word. They were then asked to recall the words.

Results: Words at the end of the list were recalled the best (Regency effect), words at the beginning were recalled quite well also (primacy effect) however word in the middle were not recalled very well.

Conclusion: The regency effect proves the last word were in the short term store, the primacy effect proves the first few words entered into the long term store.

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Reconstructive Memory- Bartlett (1932)

Aim: To see if people alter unfamiliar information.

Method: Participants read the war of the ghosts and were asked to recall it accurately several times over the following weeks.

Results: The story changed each time participants retold it, especially the parts about spirits which the participants altered so that they made more sense to them.

Conclusion: Our memory is influenced by our beliefs.

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Levels of Processing- Craik and Lockhart

Aim: To see if the type of question asked has an effect on the number of words recalled

Method: Participants were given a list of words and were asked to answer 'yes' or 'no' to questions about the words. Some Q's required semantic processing & some phonetic and some structural. They were then asked to recall the words.

Results: 70% of the semantic words were recalled, 35% of the phonetic and 15% of the structural.

Conclusion: The deeper you process information, the easier you remember it.

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Forgetting- Underwood and Postman

Aim: To set the retroactive theory in an experimental set up

Method: Participants were given a list of pairs of words to learn (i.e. book-tractor, cat-tree). A control group was given the first list as well as a second list to learn. The first word in both lists was the same but the second word was not. Both groups were then asked to recall the first list.

Results: The first group recalls more words accurately than the second group.

Conclusion: The second group was more accurate as interference affected their recall. This suggests that learning the items in the second list interfered with the participants’ ability to recall information.

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Godden and Baddeley

AIM: To see if participants who learn and are tested in the same environment recall more info than participants who learn and are tested in different environments.

METHOD: Participants were deep sea divers and were split into 4 groups and were given the same list of words to learn.

- Group 1: learn underwater & recall underwater                  

- Group 2: learn underwater, recall on shore              

- Group 3: Learn on shore & recall on shore                        

- Group 4: learn on shore, recall underwater

RESULTS: Group 1+3 were 40% more accurate than group 2=4 

CONCLUSION: Recall of information is better if it happens in the same context it is learnt.

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Loftus and Palmer

AIM: To see if leading questions affect the accuracy of an eyewitness' immediate recall

METHOD: Participants watch 7 different films of traffic accidents. After, they were asked 'about how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?' One group was given this question. The other groups were given the same question but the verb 'hit' was replaced by either smashed, bumped, collided or contacted.

RESULTS: The mean speed was calculated for each group. The verb 'smashed' has the highest whilst the verb 'contacted' had the lowest average speed.

CONCLUSION: The type of questioning can have significant effect on the accuracy of an eyewitness' answer.

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Bruce and Young

AIM: To see if see if familiarity affects the accuracy of identifying faces

METHOD: Students were asked to identify lecturers' from pictures from a security tape

RESULTS: The student recognised their lecturers more than other students

CONCLSION: Familiarity helps when identifying faces

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