Memory 3


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Strengths of the working memory model

It effectively explains our ability to carry out tasks such as mental arithmetic by storing information briefly, while at the same time processing it

Evidience to support the phonological loop e.g. word length effect

Evidience supporting the visuo scratch pad e.g. Baddeley et al gave participants a simple tracking task that involved holding a pointer in contact with a moving spot light. At the same time participants were asked to perform an imagery task. They were required to imagine the block capital 'F' and then starting at the bottom left hand corner were to classify each angle as a 'yes' if it included the bottom line or top line of the letter and a 'no' if it did not. Participants found it very hard to both track the spot light and to classify accurately the angles in the letter imagery task. However they were able to carry out thetracking task whilist doing a verbal task

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Weaknesses of the working memory model

The componant we know least about (the central executive) is the most important. There are problems in specifying the precise functioning of the central executive. The terminology is vauge and can be used to explain any kind of results

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Eyewitness testimony

Eyewitness testimony is evidience suplied by people who witness a specific event or crime, relying on their memory. The evidience usually takes the form of personal identification or a verbal account of what happened

Factors affecting eyewitness testimony:

The evidence is based on the memory of the eyewitness and unfortunately witness memory is not always accurate. Problems can occur at any point in the memory process: in acquisition where there are poor viewing conditions, storage where there is misleading information and retrieval where people use 'best guesses' to line up identifcation

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The role of anixety

Jurors often place a considerable importance on the evdience provided by eyewitness. Baddeley has reported that 74% of suspects were convicted in 300 cases where eyewitness identification was the only evidence aganist them. Numerous studies have identified several problems with eyewitness testimony, including anxiety experienced by the witness at the time of the incident. Some crimes such as those involving violence, are associated with high levels of anxiety in victims or bystanders.

Research on the 'weapon focus' phenomenon

Loftus reported a laboratory study which demonstrated the powerful role that anxiety can play in undermining the acuracy of the eyewitness memory

Research on witnessing real life events

Evidence suggests that being a bystander to a crime scene is actually more reliable than being a victim as Yuille and Cutchall have proved

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Laboratory experiment by Glanzer and Cutiz (1966)

Aim: To see if they could find evdience for the existance of separate short term and long term memory stores

Procedure: P's were presented with a list of words, one at a time, and then asked to recall the words in any order (free recall). P's were divided into two groups: Immediate recall group - p's recalled the words immediately after they had been presented. Delayed recall group - participants counted backwards for 30 seconds before they recalled the words

Findings: The immediate recall group remembered the first and last words best. The delayed recall group remembered the words from the beginning of the list best. Both groups had difficulty in recalling the words in the middle of the list

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A laboratory experiment by Glanzer and Cutiz (1966

Conclusions: Both groups remembered the first words becasue they were in LTM. Words at the end were still in the STM, when the recall was delayed by a distraction task participants were unable to rehearse the words in STM so they were not maintained in STM or passed on to LTM. These finding support the concept of separate memory stores by showing that delayed recall interfered with STM store and caused the recency effect to disappear but had no effect on LTM store and left primary almmost unaltered

Evaluation: Other researchers have interpreted these findings differently. Crowder for example said that recency effects occur becasue the most recent items are the most distinctive, not becasue they are held in a separate STM store

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