GCSE Psychology: Perception studies

Edexcel GCSE Psychology: Perception and Dreaming - studies for perception and schemas, etc. ;)

  • Created by: Liata
  • Created on: 11-01-11 16:55




- a framework of knoweledge about an object, event or group of people

- can affect our perception

- helps usto organise and recall information

Perceptual Set

- the tendency to notice some things more than others

- can be caused by experience, context or expectations

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Brewer and Treyens' Study - 1981


  • Took participant to a room they said was an "office" and told them to wait
  • Left for 5 mins. then took them to another room and got them to recall what was in the office


  • They recalled traditional office objects, including books - there weren't any
  • Participants didn't remember the wine, skull or picnic hamper


  • Participants using "office" schema
  • Shows a certain context can lead to certain expectations/schemas
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Palmer's Study - 1975

AIM-to find out whether context would alter perception


  • Showed a context scene, eg. a kitchen, for 2 secs
  • Got people to identify objects that were appropriate(eg. loaf of bread); inappropriate, similar(eg.mailbox); inappropriate, different(drum)

Findings (% of correct identifications)

  • 83%-appropriate, 40%-similar, 49%-different
  • 64% identifications with no context


  • our expectations affect our perception
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Evaluation of Palmer's study


  • controlled the time each image was shown
  • participants all knew what to do
  • 2 sets of data not used because of lack of glasses
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Bartlett's Study - 1932

AIM-to find out why information changes after a series of reproductions


  • Serial - 1st participant read "War of The Ghosts" and after 10-15mins told a 2nd person, this continued over 10 people and many groups were tested
  • Repeated - participant read story and were asked to recall it at random intervals, eg. 15mins, 20hrs, 8dys, 6mths, 10yrs)


  • outline of events stick, names stereotyped, made less complex


  • unfamiliar stories are changed when recalled, possibly due to schemas
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Evaluation of Bartlett's Study


  • Tasks repeated many times to show patterns in changes clearly
  • Different stories were used to show the changes weren't due to that story


  • Only used unfamiliar stories - might not get the same results with familiar stories
  • Participants were not tested at equal time differences - cannot be compared
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Carmichael Et Al's Study - 1932

AIM-to see if words remind us of a schema and if it affects our memory


  • Participants split into 3 groups: list 1, list 2 and control
  • Shown 12 pictures with word label from list (control had none) and asked to draw what they saw

Findings (% of pictures representing word label, control from either list)

  • 73%-list 1, 74%-list 2, 45%-control


  • shows the words spoken affected the participants memories
  • memory is reconstructed, the word alters the way the picture was remembered
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Evaluation of Carmichael Et Al's Study


  • used a control group to check findings
  • the 2 different list showed the results clearly
  • a lot of participants and pictures to get clear results
  • supported by recent evidence


  • study wasn't life-like
  • labels affected recognition not recall
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