Memory Key Studies - Psychology

All of the Key Studies linked to the Cognitive Psychology Topic of Memory

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Baddeley Et Al - The F Task

Purpose - to show the existence of the visuo-spatial sketchpad.

Design - repeated measures.

Procedure - participants had to complete two tasks simultaneously. In both conditions one of the tasks was to track a spot of light with a pointer as it moved around a circular path. Condition 1- an iamgery task involving imagining an angular capital letter (F) and, starting from bottom left, classify whether the angle touches the bottom/top line. Condition 2- A verbal task such as times tables or singing a song.

Results- Visual Interference Task - found it difficult to do both at once. Verbal Interference Task - found it simple to do both tasks at once.

Conclusion - the tracking task and verbal task were making use of the visuo-spatial sketchpad and the phonological loop. The tracking task and imagery task were making use of only the visuo-spatial sketchpad. This shows that each slave system cannot focus on two tasks simulatenously but seperate ones can function at the same time.









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Loftus & Palmer - Car Crash Study

Purpose - to see if leading questions affect participant answers in EWT.

Design- Independent Measures, Opportunity Sampling, Lab Experiment

Participants- 45 students

Procedure- 45 students all shown same film clip of car crash. They were split into five groups and given questionnaires to fill out. Each group had a different verb in their critical question. Pps were unaware of which question was the critical question. Results were then collated and averaged to give findings.

Findings (mph) - Contacted, 31.8    Hit, 34   Bumped, 38.1   Collided, 39.3     Smashed, 40.8

Conclusion- leading questions can affect the answer given and therefore this can mean EWT may be tampered by leading questions.

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Flin Et Al - Feet Study

Purpose- to see how age affects memory recall.

Design- Independent Measures, Highly Ecological

Participants- 5-6 year olds      9-10 year olds     Adults

Procedure- each group were given the same talk given by a nurse about foot care and during this a scene took place in which the projector slides were knocked over. An argument took place between the two helpers who then left the room. One helper returned at the end to apologise to the nurse. The event was staged although pps didn't know this. Interviews then took place after one day and five months.

Results-  After 1 day    5-6 66% accurate 5% inaccurate,     9-10 74% 5%,  Adults 70% 7%

                After 5 months    5-6 36% 8%        9-10 61% 10%       Adults 54% 7% 

Conclusion- Young children, although almost equally as accurate as adults after one day, after passage of time forget significantly more than adults, sugesting EWT's with children sould be done ASAP after the event.                                    

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Peterson & Peterson Trigrams

Purpose - to find how many items would remain in STM without rehearsal.

Design of Study- Repeated Measures, Lab Experiment

Procedure- Materials Used: trigrams e.g. FRP, GJS Time Intervals: 3,6,9,12,15,18 Interference Task: counting down in 3s from a given number.

Reason for Interference Task - to prevent rehearsal.

Results- after 3 secs: 80% remembered after 18 secs: less than 10% remembered

Conclusion- without rehearsal information decays very quickly in the STM.

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Yuille & Cutshall Armed Robbery

Purpose- to see how anxiety affects EWT.

Participants- 13 (aged between 15-32)

Event- armed robbery to steal guns and money. 6 shots fired at the robber who died from his injuries outside the shop. Shop keeper was also badly injured. All participants interviewed by police after the incident. Re-interviewed by researchers five months after the event. 2 misleading questions were introduced.

Results-  Accuracy of Recall: very high, especially amongst those highly aroused.            Effect of Misleading Questions: had no effect on EWT                                        Comparison to findings of laboratory resultslab studies did mislead

Conclusion- findings show that in real life situations anxiety helps EWT to be more accurate.

Other Explanation- those with higher arousal were closer to the scene and therefore had a better view.                                             

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Bahrick Et Al Yearbooks

Purpose- to see how long a person's VLTM lasts in certain conditions.

Design- Repeated Measures 

Participants- 17 to 74 year olds who had left High School.

Procedure- Materials Used: yearbook photos, lists of names. Two Experimental Conditions: 1.) without retrieval cue. 2.) with retrieval cue ie yearbook photos + list of names. What they are asked to do: identify the names of their High School classmates.

Results- Recognition Condition - 15 yrs 90%,  25yrs 80%,  47yrs 60% Recall Condition- 7yrs 60%,  47yrs 20%

Conclusion- suggests that out memory for faces lasts a very long time and supports the idea that LTM can potentially last a lifetime.

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