memory revision cards


coding, capacity and duration of memory

baddely - study on coding

  • tested people on acoustically and semantically similar and dissimilar words
  • recall worse with acoustically similar = STM, recall after 20 worse with semantic = LTM

jacobs - study on capacity of stm

  • digit span increased as they could remember all letters in order
  • particpants could remember between 9.3 and 7.3 letters 

peterson and peterson - study on duration of stm

  • given trigrams of letters to remember then had to count back in threes 
  • the longer they were counting back in threes, the less they were likely to remember

bahrick et al - duration of LTM

  • 392 americans to remember high school year book48 years after  were 70% accurate
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coding, capacity and duration of memory

evaluation points

baddely - not semantic

  • no personal meaning so they only have limited application to the memory 

jacobs - too old 

  • study was in 1887, so could be less well controlled and therefore have extraneous variables 

peterson and peterson - external valdity 

  • lacks external validity as it was artificial material with three letter words so may not remember in the same way as something more meaningful

bahrick at al - more valid

  • real life meaningful memories were used so that is a strength the other studies don't have 
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multi store memory model

atkinson and shiffrin (1968)

the multi store memory model was created to describe how memory flows through stores 

sensory register - stimulus from the environment. duration = a fraction of a second. coding = according to the senses. capacity = very high as it takes in everything that happens around you

transfer from sr to stm can only occour if attention is paid 

short term memory - quite limited in general. duration = 17 to 30 seconds. coding = acoustically meaning via sounds. capacity = 7+-2 e.g between 5 and 9 before forgetting occours 

transfer from stm to ltm means rehersal must happen 

long term memory - a permanent memory store. when we want to recall memories they are retrieved from the ltm to the stm via retrieval. duration = up to a lifetime. coding = semantic as they have meaning. capacity = infinite

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multi store memory model

evaluation points 

  • supporting research - baddely shows that stm (acoustic) and ltm (semantically) are different as different ways of coding in each store 
  • oversimplifies ltm - suggests that there is only one big store 'ltm' when other resarch suggest that it comes in three different stores - semantic, eposodic and procedural 
  • artifical research - many studies that supprot it use lists, numbers ect which dont accuratrely represent what you may have to remember irl so lacks external validity 
  • suggests only one type of stm - other explanations such as the working memory model make the stm much more complex, meaning the stm may also be oversimplified. theres also case studies to back this e.g KF who can remember visual better than audio 
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types of long term memory

episodic memory - like a diary 

  • stores events from your life e.g  your breakast you had today 
  • they are time stamped - you remember when they happened and came into your memory
  • they are complex and involve many people, places and senses 
  • you have to make a concious effort to recall them 

semantic memory - like wikipedia 

  • stores general knowlege of the world, e.g tastes of things and what words mean 
  • they arent time stamped as won't remember when you learnt what an exact word meant 
  • a lot less personal than episodic memory 

procedural memory 

  • stores memories of how we do things e.g ride a bike 
  • recall without awareness or effort e.g you can just walk without thinking how to 
  • usually hard to explain to people as we find them easy 
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types of long term memory

evaluation points

  • case studies support - studies of amnesia e.g clive wearing show that even if one part of their memory is affected such as eposodic they can still remember how to walk which is procedural 
  • brain scan support - tulving et al shows how there is physical reality to the concept of different stores as  different parts of the brain lit up when scanned which supports it's validity 
  • real life applications - studies can be used to help understand ways to help those with cognitive impairments as to what parts of their brain and memory need to be observed 
  • problems with clinical evidence - case studies such as clive wearing are not conrolled and only apply to one specific person so its hard to generalise them to others 
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the working memory model

baddely and hitch (1974) 

proposed the working memory model as an active memory store 

central executive - monitors incoming data and allocates what the slave systems do, very limited 

phonological loop - deals with auditory information. the phonological store stores the words you hear and the articulatory processes allow maintainance rehersal so you can remember what was said 

visio-spacial sketch pad - stores visual/spacial awareness as in where objects are in relation to other objects and remembering where e.g your house is. logie seperated it into a visual cache which stores and the inner scribe which records arrangements 

episodic buffer - added only in 2000, as a temporary store for information which maintains time sequencing and recording events 

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the working memory model

evaluation points 

  • supporting case study - KF could recall visual information but not verbal which suggests his phonological loop was damaged, however is an individual case so cannot be generalised.
  • dual task performance - baddely also found that it was harder to do two visual tasks than a visual and verbal, which suggets there are two different stores that can be used at the same time.
  • brain scanning studies - activity was seen in the prefrontal cortex that increased as participants had to focus and do more, suggests there is a physical reality to the central executive
  • central executive - lack of clarity about if it even explains anything, as it isnt specified as more than paying attention, cognitive psychologists suggest needs to be explained further
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forgetting: inference

inference = when two peices of information are in conflict so its hard to acess them 

proactive inference - when an older memory disrupts a new one, e.g knowing your old phone number rather than your new one 

retroactive inference - when a newer memory disrupts an old one, e.g a teacher can't remember the names of an older class because they now have a newer one.

mcgeoch and mcdonald (1931) 

  • asked to learn a list of words to 100% accuracy, then given a new list  
  • each group given a type of list e.g words that mean the same thing, words that mean the opposite, unrelated words, numbers, ect 
  • the onest that had similar were the worst at recall, ones that had numbers hadt the best 
  • inference is greatest when material is similar
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forgetting: inference

evaluation points

  • supporting evidence - many lab studies e.g mcgeoch and mcdonald are consistent in showing the same results, these are controlled so can have more validity than others
  • real life applications - baddely and hitch asked rubgy players the names of the teams they had played over period of time, depended on how many games inbetween so can apply to everyday situations 
  • artifical materials - often use word lists which doesnt relate to how people remember things in real life, such as faces. lab studies make it a lot easier for inference to occour to support their study 
  • time allowed between learning - usually in lab studies they are quite quick such as learning two lists within half an hour, which is shorter than may be in real life - cannot generalise inference that occours in the lab to real life
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forgetting: retrieval failure

cues - associated cues are places in your memory with the memory, but if these arent available, it can be forgotten. they can be linked in a meaningful way e.g someone saying stm may help you remember information about the short term memory 

encoding specificity princple - proposed by tulving et al suggests that cues need to be present at coding and retrieval to aid properly, especially if they are similar 

types of forgetting - there is context dependent forgetting when you can remmeber if in that environent and state dependent forgetting e.g if you were drunk or upset may alter your memory

godden and baddely (1975) 

  • wanted to investigate context dependent cues - underwater or on land 
  • each deep sea diver learned/recalled underwater or vice versa 
  • when the context was differnet from learning/recall the amounth they remembered was much less (40% lower
  • therefore supports context dependent forgetting 
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forgetting: retrieval failure

evaluation points

  • supporting evidence - godden and baddelys research with deep sea divers increases the validity especially when it is controlled 
  • real life application - context cues can be applied to real life such as when you go upstairs and forget and go down then remember again 
  • context cues not strong irl - argueable that they are only applicable if the contexts are very different, e.g on land vs water. different rooms or places wouldnt make this applicable and reduces validity 
  • only applicable when testing certain things - godden and baddely did their study again but instead used recongition of words rather than recall, and their was no context dependent effect. this means it is a limited explaination 
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eyewitness testimony: misleading information

two explanations - response bias explanation which says the wording has no effect on the memory but does effect the way the question is answered, and substitution explanation which suggests the wording of the question will effect the actual memory of the event 

loftus and palmer (1974) - hsbcc 

  • 45 student particpants asked to watch a video of a car crash then asked how fast the car was going but were each given a different verb, hit, smash, bump, contacted or collided
  • contacted had the lowest and smashed had the highest, so leading questions can effect the accuracy of the eyewitness 

post event discussion - memory contamination is when the crime is discussed and they mix what they/other person saw and memory conformity is when go along with other people 

gabbert et al (2003) 

  • particpants watched same video but from different angles then were allowed to discuss 
  • 71% mixed up details they didnt see in their video, control group had no errors 
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eyewitness testimony: misleading information

evaluation points 

  • real life applications - important for police officers conducting investigations as they now know they can distort the accuracy of recall, meaning research helps the legal system
  • artificial materials - particpants watched clips of accidents which is different from irl experiences as other factors such as anxiety may effect recall
  • demand characteristics - they might want to seem helpful and alter their answers to say yes even if the answer is no which challenges how valid and reliable the results are 
  • no irl complecations - in studies there wont be the consequences that apply in real life, such as being a witness to a car crash that resulted in murder will put a lot more pressure on the participant which means it lacks external validity
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eyewitness testimony: anxiety

johnson and scott (1976) - negative effect 

  • participants were sitting in a waiting room where they heard an arugment in the next room. either the low anxiety condition which walked through holding a pen or high anxiety which was more agressive and walked with a knife that had blood on it
  • only 50% could identify the man as they had weapon focus where they only stared at the knife

yuille and cutshall (1986) - positive effect 

  • a real life crime occoured when a theif was shot dead in a gun shop, witnesses' were interveiwed at the time and 5 months later and told to rate their stress
  • witness' were very accurate and barely changed their story over time and those who reported highest level of stress had the most accurate recall 

contradictory findings - the inverted u theory, proposed by yerkes and dobson (1908) aruge that the relationship between anxiety and accuracy is curvlinear, hence the name as it looks like an inverted u. meaning an average amount of anxiety is helpful but otherwise can effect recall.

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eyewitness testimony: anxiety

evaluation points 

  • johnson and scott may not test anxiety - but rather tests surprise as the participants were not expecting to see a knife, in another condition when someone held raw chicken there was stull poor EWT because of the unusualness 
  • lack control of variables - things can happen inbetween the incident and the interview which can effect the memory such as media, these extraneous variables may be responsible rather than a level of anxiety 
  • ethical issues - creating anxiety in people is unethical as it may subject them to harm, so better to study pre-exisiting events. raise questions about the way the research is conducted
  • inverted u is too simplistic -  anxiety has many psychological elements e.g cognitive, emotional, physical. the inverted u doesnt go into enough depth about how all of these aspects effect recall 
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cognitive interview

fisher and geiselman (1992) - claimed that EWT could be improved if the police used the cognitive interview which uses techniques that has psychological insights into how memory works.

1. report everything - include every single detail even if it seems irrelevant as small trivial memories may trigger more important memories associated with them 

2. reinstate the context - return to the original crime scene and imagine the weather, how they were feeling, ect. cues from context may trigger recall 

3. reverse the order - recalling events backward as they have to really think and prevents them from being dishonest or predicting what may have happend rather than true facts. 

4. change perspective - recalling events from how another person may have seen them prevents the influence of schemas effecting the honesty of their recall. 

enhanced cognitive interview - additional elements can be added such as a focus on social dynamics, reducing anxiety, minimisng distractions, asking open questions. 

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cognitive interview

evaluation points 

  • useful - found each element of the CI was individually useful but report everything and context were seen as the most important. so at least these two should be used even if it isnt possible to use them all. 
  • support for the effectiveness - a meta-analysis combined data which showed that the CI consistently had more correct information than the regular interview which shows the helpfulness of the CI
  • time consuming - many steps that take time to use which means police are reluctant to use, also need to have special training which means the proper version may not often be used. 
  • may not be done correctly - different reaserchers may have their own variations of the CI that may efffect its accuracy and draw general conclusions about the CI. 
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