Memory - Experiments

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  • Created by: Sonal
  • Created on: 11-01-14 15:03

Primacy/ Recency Effect – Glanzer and Cunitz

Aim: Recall of words is affected by order


Method: Participants heard a long list of words and were asked to recall them in any order


Results: Recall was best for the first and last words


Shows: There are 2 separate stores in memory. The primacy effect occurs because participants rehearsed the words thus it is in the LTM and the recency effect happens becayse the words are fresh in the STM

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Evaluation - Glazner and Cunitz

Name: Strength because it is a lab experiment and shows cause and effect

Apply: High control over extraneous variable so you can be confident that the IV affects the DV

Elaborate: Strength because high control means the study can be repeated to show reliability


Name: Limitation because it has low ecological validity and doesn’t test memory in a useful way

Apply: It is an artificial task and doesn’t test the true complexity of memory

Elaborate: Limitation because cannot be generalised to real life thus may not show valid evidence

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Evaluation of Capacity of STM

Name: Strength as it has practical applications

Apply: Baddeley found that letters of a postcode is meaningful, its easier to remember than being random

Elaborate: Strength because it demonstrates that psychology has contributions to the real world


Name: Limitation because there are differences between participants

Apply: Jacobs found that recall (digit span) increases with age

Elaborate: Limitation as it cant be generalised to everyone


Name: Limitation is that it is contradictory 

Apply: Miller claimed the capacity for STM is 7+/-2 whereas Cowen says its 4 chunks

Elaborate: Limitation because it shows that the capacity isnt clear 

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STM Duration - Peterson and Peterson

Aim: Test how long STM lasts when rehearsal is prevented


Method: Presented with consonant trigrams, rehearsal was prevented and they had to count back in three's each time then repeat the trigram. (3,6,9,12) the percentage of correctly recalled trigrams were recorded


Results: Participants recalled 80% of them after 3 sec but fewer than 10% after 18 sec


Shows: If rehearsal is prevented, info vanishes quickly from STM and STM duration is 18 seconds or less

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Evaluation - Peterson and Peterson

Name: Strength as it is a lab experiment and shows cause and effect

Apply: High control over extraneous variables

Elaborate: Strength because the study can be repeated to check for reliability to show that STM is 18- 30 sec


Name: Limitation because it has low ecological validity

Apply: The task is artificial and doesnt test the true complexity of memory

Elaborate: Limitation because it cannot be generalised to real life- not valid support

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LTM Duration- Bahrick Et Al

Aim: Investigate length of time memories in LTM can be retained for


Method:392 graduates were shown a set of photos from a yearbook. They were split into two groups:

1. Recognition - Asked to select a name and match it to the photo

2. Recall - Asked to simply name the people with no list of names


Results: Recognition - 90% correct after 14 years, 80% after 25, 75% after 34, 60% after 47 years

Recall: 60% after 7 years, 20% after 47


Shows: LTM is lifelong and people can remember certain info for nearly a lifetime

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Evaluation - Bahrick Et Al

Name: Strength because it is a natural experiment and has high ecological validity

Apply: Study has a meaningful stimulus and tests real use of memory

Elaborate: Strength because it provides valuable info on how memory works in an everyday conext


Name: Limitation because there is low control of extraneous variables, we cannot be sure the IV affects the DV

Apply: Participants identification could be due to other factors eg they stayed in contact with the classmates

Elaborate: Limitation because we cant be confident that it is reliable

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Acoustic Encoding in STM - Conrad

Aim: To investigate encoding in STM


Method: Participants were visually shown a series of letters then asked to recall it immediatly. There were 2 conditions: Acoustically similar words and acoustically different (sounded the same and didnt sound the same)


Results: Participants found it harder to recall letters that sounded similar


Shows: STM codes info acoustically because participants get confused if words sound the same

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Evaluation - Conrad

Name: Strength as it is a lab experiment and shows cause and effect

Apply: High control over extraneous variables 

Elaborate: Strength because the study can be repeated and is shown to be reliable


Name: Limitation as it has low ecological validity

Apply: Artificial way of testing memory and doesnt test the true complexity of memory

Elaborate: Limitation because it cannot be genearlised to real life and may not be valid

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Semantic Encoding LTM - Baddeley

Aim: To investigate encoding in LTM


Method: There were 4 groups who were shown a list of 10 words from one of these categories:

A- Acoustically similar words (man, mad)

B- Acoustically different words (pen, day)

C- Semantically similar (great, big, large)

D- Semantically different (hot, old, late)

After 20 min they were given another task then asked to recall the words in the right order 


Results: Recall was worse for semantically similar words compared to emantically different


Shows: Encoding in LTM is mainly semantic as they recalled more words with different meanings

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Evaluation - Baddeley

Name: Strength because it is a lab experiment and shows cause and effect

Apply: High control over extraneous variables so we know the IV affects the DV

Elaborate: Strength because it means the study can be repeated to check the reliabilty


Name: Limitation because it has low ecological validity

Apply: It is an artificial task and does not test the true complexity of memory

Elaborate: Limitation because it cannot be generalised to real life thus may not be valid

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Capacity, Duration and Encoding in STM & LTM

STM  

Capacity Miller 7+/-2  

Duration 18-30 seconds 

Encoding Acoustic 


LTM

Capacity Unlimited

Duration Almost a lifetime

Encoding Semantic

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Multi Store Memory Model

Information reaches us from the environment through the sensory memory

Some of the info is passed from the sensory memory into STM through attention

Info can be kept in the STM through maintenance rehearsal

Through elaborative rehearsal the infro can be passed to the LTM

Info can be stored in the LTM for up to a liftime


If not used the info can decay at any of the points

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Key Features of the MSM

STM and LTM stores are unitary

STM and LRM stores are seperate

It has a structural model which suggests it moves in a linear way

Each store has its own characteristics eg encoding, capacity and duration


Maintenance rehearsal - Is used by repeating info to allow it to remain in the STM

Elaborative Rehearsal - By processing the info by its meaning allows the info to be transferred into the LTM 

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Strengths of the MSM

Name: Strength because it is supoorted by real life case Clive Wearing

Apply: He developed anterograde amnesia and the part of his brain needed to form new memories (pass from STM to LTM) was damaged

Elaborate: Strength because it supports the model saying that STM and LTM are seperate stores


Name: Strength because it is supported by primacy/recency effect 

Apply: Its believed the primacy effect occured because participants could rehearse and the recency effect happened because the words were fresh in the LTM

Elaborate: Strength because it suggests STM and LTM are seperate stores and rehearsal transfers info from the STM to LTM

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Limitations of MSM

Name: Limitation because it over emphasises the tole of rehearsal

Apply: Sometimes info from STM can go to LTM without rehearsal. Like flashbub memories which are detailed but havent been rehearsed

Elaborate: Limitation because material doesnt just pass though rehearsal like the MSM shows


Name: Limitation as STM is no longer regarded as a single store

Apply: The WMM shows that the STM has at least 3 components

Elaborate: Limitation because the STM is seen to be more complex than the MSM says

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Working Memory Model

It contains 3 components:

1. The Central Executive- Its in charge of the other 2 slave systems and is involved in attention and high mental processes. It has limited capacity but can process any type of info. It decides which info should be attended of. 

Calls info from LTM, problem solving, switches attention from tasks, starts rehearsal process

2. Phonological Loop- Consists of phonological store (inner ear) and articulatory loop (inner voice). It is responsible for holding speech based info and is active during verbal tasks. 

Articulatory Loop- Holds verbal infor in auditory code and silently repeats words until they are heard or seen

Phonological Store- It stores sound but without meaning. It stores acoustically coded items for a short time

3. Visuo Spatial Scratchpad- Stores/ manipulates visual and perception info. It is involved in pattern recognition and perception of movement. It has a limited capacity and is like a writing pad. 

It deals with what items look like and the physical relationship between them. It is active during visual tasks.

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Articulatory Supression Task - Baddeley and Hitch

Aim: To see if its possible to complete 2 tasks using different slave systems together

Method: Participants were given a task that used the CE (true/false) Then at the same time participants were asked to do one of 3 conditions as well as the true/ false task. 

Condition 1: Complete the task and a task using the articulatory loop (repeating the,the,the)

Condition 2: Complete the task and a task using the articulatory loop and the CE (saying random numbers)

Condition 3: Given no additional task

Results: Task 1 was completed more slowly when given antoher task using the CE and articulatory loop (condition 2) but the other 2 conditions were slower but done in the same time

Shows: Completing 2 tasks using the same slave system is harder but if a tasks needs two different slave systems then nothing is affected

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Evaluation of Baddeley and Hitch

Name: Strength because its a lab experiment and shows cause and effect

Apply: Has high control over extraneous variable eg distractions so we know the IV affected the DV

Elaborate: Strength because it can be repeated to check in the results are reliable to say that the STM is not a unitary store


Name: Limitation as it has low ecological validity 

Apply: Doesnt test the true complexity of STM as it is an artificial task

Elaborate: Limitation because it cannot be generalised to real life and may not provide vaild support

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Strengths of the WMM

Name: Strength because its the best current explanation of how the STM works

Apply: It explains why its possible to do things simultanously that use different slave systems 

Elaborate: Strength because its a significant advance from MSM to understand how the STM works


Name: Strength is it has support from case studies like KF

Apply: KF had brain damage and a digit span of 1/2 but had no problems with his short term visual memory or processing everyday sounds

Elaborate: Strength because it provides evidence that the different components exist as it shows that the articulatory loop can be damaged without damaging the other 2 systems

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Limitations of WMM

Name: Limitations is that STM is hard to study

Apply: STM has limited duration and it may not be possible to make an experiment that works fast enough to test the STM

Elaborate: Limitation because any evidence from experiments may not be vaild


Name: Limitation because psychologist knows very little about the CE

Apply: The CE is hard to study and we cannot be sure that it does control the slave systems 

Elaborate: Limitation becaise the CE is believed to be the most important part of the WMM but we know the least about it

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Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitness Testimony is an area of memory that looks at:

- Accuracy of memory following an accident

- Types of error made in those situations

There are three factors that affect the accuracy of EWT:

1. Misleading information

2. Anxiety

3. Age of witness

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Misleading Info - Loftus and Palmer

Aim: To investigate whether misleading info distorts accuracy of EWT

Method 1: 45 students watched 7 traffic accident films and were asked to describe the accident & answer specific questions including 'How fast were the cars going when they ____ each other?' Then the words smashed, collided, bumped, hit and contacted where put in. 

Results: The mean speeds were recorded and saw the more 'violent' the word the faster they thought the car was going

Shows: The form of questioning can have an effect on EW memory


Experiment 2 Method: A new set of 150 participants were shown a minute clip of an accident and asked similar questions using the words smashed, hit and not asked about the speed. They then were asked back a week later and and asked 'If they saw broken glass?'

Results: Showed the more 'violent' the words the more likely they thought glass was seen although it wasnt

Show: Misleading post event info changes the way info is stored

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Evaluation - Loftus and Palmer

Name: Strength because its a lab experiment and shows cause and effect

Apply: Have high control over extraneous variables eg weather so we know the IV affects the DV

Elaborate: Strength because high control means it can be repeated to test reliability to support that leading questions reduce the accuracy of testimonies


Name: Limitation is that it has low ecological validity

Apply: As they watched a video it would not replicate the same response if it was real

Elaborate: Limitation because it shows that it may not be generalised to real life and may not be valid support

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Accuracy of EWT: Anxiety

Many people say that anxiety badly affects EWT but there is contradictory evidence.

Yerkes Dodson Law says that moderate anxiety is associated better with good recall than very high or low anxiety


Weapon Focus: This is another source of anxiety and can affect recall. This is because when in an incident with a weapon the victim is transfixed on the weapon instead of everything that is happening around them. 

'Weapon Focus' reduces the ability of the witness to provide accurate identification

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Anxiety - Loftus Et Al

Aim: Investigate the effect of weapon focus on EWT


Method: Participants watch the video of a robbery. In condition 1 the thief had a gun and in condition 2 no weapon was used. The researchers monitored the eye movement


Results: Participants in condition 1 were generally more fixated on the gun than perpetrator thus the recall was a lot less accurate than condition 2


Shows: Weapon focus leads to less accurate recall as the anxierty distracts the individual

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Evaluation - Loftus Et Al

Name: Strength because its done in a lab and shows cause and effect

Apply: Has high control over extraneous variables eg environment thus we know the IV affects the DV

Elaborate: Strength because it can be repeated to check the reliability and show it supports the theory that anxiety (weapon focus) reduces accuracy


Name: Limitation has low ecological validity

Apply: They are unlikely to respond in the same way to a video than in real life

Elaborate: Limitation because it may not be generalised to real life thus may not be valid support

Also Yuille and Cutshall contradicts saying people with more anxiety has more accurate and genuine EWT

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Accuracy of EWT: Age of Witness - Poole and Lindsa

Aim: Investigate effect of age on accuracy of recall


Method: Children aged 3-8 took part in a demonstration, and their parents read them a story with false info as well as real info from the demonstration.


Results: When questioned they found that the children incorporated the new false information from the story into a description of the demonstration. Then they were asked where they got the info from, they found the older children found this easier


Shows: Young children are easilt mislead by post-event info but this is less true for older children

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Evaluation - Poole and Lindsay

Name: Strength because it is a lab experiment and shows cause and effect

Apply: High control over the extraneous variables eg time of day which means we know the IV affects the DV directly

Elaborate: Strength because the experiment can be repeated to check the reliability to check if the theory that young children are less accurate in recall then older


Name: Limitation because it has low ecological validity

Apply: Its observing a science experiment so is not something that happens daily 

Elaborate: Limitation because it cannot be generalised to real life

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Evaluation - Poole and Lindsay 2

Practical Implications:

Name: Strength because it has important implications for the legal system for police when interviewing kids

Apply: Suggests that small children are poor at source monitoring and may not be good witnesses

Elaborate: Limitation because professionals should be cautious when using a child


Validity of Results:

Name: Limitation is the results might not be valid

Apply: The children were young so may not have paid attention in the experiment

Elaborate: Limitation because results may show lack of understanding not ability to recall info

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Age - Anastsi & Rhodes

Aim: Investigate age of accuracy of recall


Method: 3 age groups of participants and they were shown 24 photos which they rated in attractiveness then after a filler activity they were presented with 48 photos then had to recall the photos they'd seen.


Results: Young and middle age people had better recognition and all age groups were more accurate in recalling their own age


Shows: Old age has an effect on accuracyof recall 

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Evaluation - Anastsi & Rhodes

Name: Strength because its a lab experiment and shows cause and effect

Apply: High control over extraneous variables eg weather thus we know the IV affected the DV

Elaborate: Strength because the experiment can be repeated to test reliability to show that older adults have less accurate recall


Name: Limitation because it has low ecological validity

Apply: Artificial task and doesnt test the true complexity of memory

Elaborate: Limitation because it cannot be necessarily generalised to realy life

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Cognitive Interview

The cognitive interview was developed by psychologists working with police to try and ensure that eyewitnesses are interviewed in a way to maximize accuracy in recall. 


It is based on the theory that info is organised into schemas in LTM. Recall is cue-dependent as they have questions relating to how the witness felt and noticed. These help cue triggers off more accurate memories.   


It is thought that one or more of these schemas will provide a route into the memory to trigger it.

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Key Features of the Cognitive Interview

Context Reinstatement: This where you try to mentally recreate the situation including emotional state. It works because it provides cues for the memory of the crime.


Report Everything: The interviewer encourages the person to report  all the details of the event no matter how unimportant they seem. It works because the details may help them recall significent info as the small details may act as a cue.


Recall in Reverse Order: They are asked to recall the scene in a different cronological order. It works because it provides different routes into memory.


Recall from a Changed Perspective: They are asked to recreate the situation from a different view point. It works because it provides different routes into memory.

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Differences between Cognitive and Standard Intervi

- A standard interview involves free recall followed by specific questions

- It usually just asks witnesses to recall the event but a cognitive asks them to recall the context

- Cognitive have been shown to be more effective

- Cognitive takes a lot more time to do that standard

Cognitive are more expensive 

- Individuals doing cognitive requires more training

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Strengths of Cognitive Interview (plus contradicto

Name: Strength is its effectiveness

Apply: The interview is more effective eg Geiselman et al found using it more effective on average

Elaborate: Strength because it produces more accurate recall than standard interviews

However

Name: Contradictory evidence has said its equally as effective

Apply: Memon et al found they produced as many right answers as standard

Elaborate: Limitation because its difficult to establish how successful the interview is

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Limitations of Cognitive Interviews

Name: Limitation is that it takes longer to complete than a standard interview

Apply: Researchers found that police didnt use it as it didnt have the time

Elaborate: Limitation because even though it may be more accurate it is less practical for police 


Name: Limitation because not all police use the same procedure

Apply: Thames Valley police doesnt use the 'change perspective' while others may use only a few of the features

Elaborate: Limitation because it makes real life research to test effectiveness limited as there isnt one in operation 

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Memory Improvement - Organising Info

When info enters the LTM its stored in a way to make it easy to find. 

The more organised the info is the easier it is to remember, it increases retrieval cues and the cues trigger the memory to get the info.

Random info is harder to memorise thus we try to organise it so its more likely we remember it for longer.


Examples:

Acronyms, Mind maps, Diagrams, Tables

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Organising Info - Bower

Aim: Investigate the effect of organising info on recall


Method: He split participants into 2 groups:

1. Participants learnt a set of words in a logical heirarchy 

2. Participants learnt a set of words without a logical heirarchy


Results: The first group had more than 3 times better recall


Shows: Using categories and organisation can improve memory

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Evaluation - Organising Info

Name: Strength because research from lab experiments suggest its effective

Apply: Eg Bowers experiment shows it as the people with the hierarchy remembered more than those without

Elaborate: Strength because its got high control which means it can be repeated to check reliability to suggest organising info is effective in remembering


Name: Limitation because it was a lab experiment and the test was artificial

Apply: Bower asked his participants to learn words which doesnt test the complexity of memory

Elaborate: Limitation because it cannot be generalised to real life so may not have valid support

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Memory Improvement - Semantic Processing

We remember things better if they are processed and given meaning. This means they have been processed semantically.


This works because it creates a stronger and longer lasting memory and the info is more deeply processed.


Examples:

Mind maps, Role Play, Posters, Story Boards, Acrostics

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Semantic Processing - Craik and Tulving

Aim: See if material that is processed for meaning is better than material that hasnt been processed 


Method: They showed participants words and asked them to answer questions about each one, each differed in depth eg some required semantic processing and some didnt.


Results: They found participants were more likely to remember them if they were precessed for its meaning


Conclusion: Giving meaning to things improves memory

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Evaluation - Semantic Processing

Name: Strength because its from a lab experiment thus shows cause and effect

Apply: Craik and Tulving showed it was easier to remember things when it had meaning

Elaborate: Strength because it has high control meaning it can be repeated to test the reliabily ro say giving meaning to material helps recall


Name: Limitation because its a lab experiment and is an atrificial task

Apply: They asked people to recall words which doesnt test the true complexity of memory

Elaborate: Limitation because it cannot be generalised to real life 

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