GCSE OCR Psychology -Memory


Key Terms

Accessibility Long-term memory Storage

Availibility Method of loci Structural processing

Brain damage Mindmaps

Cue dependency Organisation

Decay Phonemic /phonetic processing

Displacement Rehearsal

Encoding (input) Retrieval (output)

Hierachies Semantic processing

Imagery Sensory buffer

Levels of processing Short-term memory

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Accessibility and Availability

Accessibility problems:

Attempting to find information that has already been processed. A person may think they have forgotten the information completely but the real reason is that they simply cannot access it.

Availability problems:

Losing information that has already been processed in the brain. Therefore it is no longer available, as it has disappeared for good.

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Multi-store Model of Memory

Incoming information is sent to the Sensory Buffer via our senses.

If any attention is paid, information will enter the Short-term Memory, where it can be displaced or if it is rehearsed it will enter the Long-term Memory.

Once in the Long-term Memory you may experience Availability or Accessibility problems, or decay.

Decay: Where information simply gets fainter, or brain damage, where the memories that were physically stored in the brain are literally taken out.

Displacement: Items are replaced, FIFO- First in first out

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Levels of Processing

Craik and Lockhart (1974) staed that memories are a by-product of the way in which we process information. They proposed 3 different levels of processing:

1. Structural. This refers to processing things in relation to the way they look (e.g. the structure of things).

E.g. Is the following word in lowercase? GUITAR

2.Phonomic /phonetic. This refers to processing things in relation to how they sound

Does the follwing word rhyme with horse? force

3. Semantic. This refers to processing things in relation to what they mean

Does the follwing word fit into the sentence "Is ____ a type of vegetable"? carrot

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Core Study: Terry

AIM: To investigate whether the position of a tv advert in a block of commercials determines how well it will be recalled.

METHOD: 1) Four lists of 15 ads=60 advs. There were local and national brands, half of advertises lasted 15s and the other half 30s. Participants tested on recall 3 times- immediately after being presented with ads, after a 3min verbal assessment test and then after completion of their research participation form. 2) Adverts A, B and C asked to watch a comedy show that was paused 4, 8 and 15mins when ads were on. The programme was then stopped at 18 mins and the participants were asked to recall as many of the advertisements as possible. 3) The previous experiment was repeated with a separate sample of 23 students, but were given a recognition task instead of a recall task.

RESULTS: Primacy-recency effect: The adverts at the beginning and end were most recalled.

CONCLUSION: Adverts appearing in the 1st 3 or 4 positions in a list of 15 were recalled better so advertisers should want their products to be advertised at the start or end.

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Terry Limitations

- Small sample with slight gender balance in each experiment. This could affect the results, as Terry did not test whether females were more likely to have better recall for females, and vice verse for males.

- The initial experiment (i.e. just watching advertisements and nothing else) was not like how we watch ads when we watch our favourite television shows. However, he did attempt to change this in experiments 2 and 3 by making the adverts appear during a tv show.

- Low ecological validity


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Memory Aids





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Multi-store Model Evaluation

- Relies too heavily on the idea of rehersal.

- Simplifies decay and displacment.

- The Multi-store Model cannot explain how some distinctive information gets into long-term memory without going through the processes highlighted in it.

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