Psychology GCSE Unit 1 Studies

All the studies you need to know in unit 1 Psychology

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Memory - Models of Memory

Murdock - Multi Store Model 

Aim: To investigate free recall and its effect on a persons memory

Method: Gave particiants a numbr of workds to remember and asked them to recall them in any order (free recal)

Results: The first set of words p's recalled where those they last heard (recency effect) This is because they were still stored in Short Term Memory. P's also recalled the first words they heard (primary effect) These words were in their Long Term Memory. 

Conclusion: People remembered the first and last words as they were in the LTM and STM. The middle words had not be rehearsed.

Evaluation:  + Evidence for the model  - low ecological validy (not asked to do this everyday) therefore can't generalise results. 

Applications: Revsion- Use reherseal in order for the information to transfer to LTM

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Memory - Models of Memory

Craig and Tulving - Levels of Processing

Aim: To see if the level in which info is processed has an effect on memory.

Method: P's asked to remember a list of words, but each word had a question next to it. This tests different levels of processing. 1. Structual- 'is the word in upper case?' 2. Phonetic- 'does the word rhyme with?' 3. Semantic- 'Does the word go with this sentance?'

Results: Structual Level (Apperance) - 18% words recalled. Phonetic Level (Sound) - 50% words recalled. Semantic Level (Meaning) - 80% words recalled

Conclusion: Shows more words are recalled if P's had to think about their meaning than if they had to look at apperance. Therefore, material had been more deeply processed.

Evaluation: - Low Ecological Validy - can't generalise results 

Applications: Study skills - more active = better recall

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Memory- Models of Memory

Barlette - Reconstuctive Memory 

Aim: To test if people use 'Schema's' (existing knowledge to understand new information)

Method: P's given story to read 'War of the Ghosts' Asked to recall story over a period of time (few hours to several months) 

Results: P's added own meaning to story, reconstucted their memories to make sense of new info. Eg. Changed arrows to bullets. Changed hunting seals to hunting fish. Also changed order of some incidents.

Conclusion: Used Schema's to help us fill gaps in our memories of things.

Evaluation: - unfamilar story (native american story) can't be generalised. + recalling a study = higher ecological validitiy.

Applications: Eye Witness Testimony 

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Memory - Eye Witness Testimony

Loftus and Palmer - Leading Questions 

Aim: To test the effect of leading questions on a persons memory.

Method: P's watched a video of a car crash, then asked to answer a question. Verb in question had been changed for different groups. 'How fast was the car going when it (verb) the other car?' 1. Hit 2. Bumped 3. Smashed.

Results: The p's that had the verb 'Smashed' estimated a much higher speed then the p's given the two other verbs. Mean estimated speed- Hit= 34mph Smashed= 41mph

Conclusion: Leading questions caused P's to have different thoughts on the speed of the car in the accident.

Evaluation: - P's felt no emotion, it was only a film. + well controlled, see cause and effect.

Application: Police should not use leading questions during interviews.

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Memory - Forgetting

Underwood and Postman - interferance

Aim: To test the retroactive theory (new info interferes with old)

Method: Group 1 learnt list A. Group 2 learnt list A + B. Both groups asked to recall list A.

Results: Group 1 had better recall, group 2 mixed up two lists.

Conclusion: Group 2 had interference between the two lists they were learning. Group 1 recalled better as they had no interference

Evaluation:  + well controlled, can see cause and effect. - artificial study, therefore low ecological validity and can't generalise findings.

Applications:  Learning Languages.

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Memory - Forgetting

Godden + Baddeley - Context

Aim: See the effect on Context on a persons memory.

Method: Deep sea divers. 4 Conditions. 1. Learnt words on the beach and asked to recall them in the water. 2. Learnt words in water and asked to recall them in water. 3. Learnt words on land and asked to recall them on land. 4. Learnt words in water and asked to recall on land. 

Results: Condition 2 and 3 (same context) had the best recall. This is because they had the same context, therefore had many cues to help them remember the words. Condition 1 and 4 had poor recall. 

Evaluation: - artificial study, therefore has a low ecological validity and can't generalise results + well controlled can see cause and effect

Applications: Revision- try to revise in similar conditions to the exam.

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Non Verbal Communication - Personal Space

Fisher and Byrne

Aim: to see if gender effects personal space.

Method: Confederate invaded a persons personal space while they where sitting alone in a library. Confederate either sat next to them or opposite them. Once the invader left, a student went and asked participant their impressions.

Results: Males did not mind invader sitting next to them, but didn't like the invader sitting opposite. Females didn't mind invader sitting opposite, but didn't like invader sitting next to them.

Conclusion: Different genders have different personal space.

Evaluation: - Can't study one aspect on NVC in isolation, as other aspects effect the results.

Implications: Different cultures = different personal space. Explain why foreign people might feel uncomfortable.

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Non Verbal Communication - Facial Expression


Aim: Relationship between facial expression and hemispheres of the brain. 

Method: Pictures of peoples faces showing different emotions were cut down the middle. New pictures were made with half face and its mirror image. Pairs of pictures were showing to participants and p's were asked which picture they liked better.

Results: Majority of p's chose the left side as it looked warmer. Left side of face is controlled off right hemisphere where emotions are kept.

Conclusion: Left side of face expresses more emotion

Evaluation: - artifical study, therefore can't generalise results. + high control.

Implications: Facial expressions are inherited, they are understood all over the world. 

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Non Verbal Communication - Eye Contact


Aim: Investigate if interrupting eye contact affects a conversation.

Method: Pairs of participants were observed having conversions. Half of the pairs 1 person wore dark sunglasses, so no eye contact could be received. 

Results: When one person wore dark sunglasses, there was more pauses in the conversation. 

Conclusion: Eye contact is needed to ensure a easy flowing converstaion.

Evaluation: - Cant study one aspect of NVC, other aspects effect results. - talking to strangers, might act differently if talking to people you know. 

Implication: Understand why people might feel uncomfortable talking to new people. 

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Non Verbal Communication - Tone of Voice

Argyle, Alkema and Gilmour.

Aim: To investigate how non-verbal communication influences friendly and hostile verbal signals.

Method: 3 verbal statements given in 3 ways: 1. Friendly - open posture, smiling. 2. Hostile - closed posture, harsh tone, frowning. 3. Neutral - Not friendly or hostile. p's asked to rate how friendly or hostile they perceived the message to be.

Results: non verbal message was more important than the verbal message. Non verbal communication decided how the message was perceived

Conclusion: Non verbal information was 12.5 times more powerful than spoken language.

Evaluation: - demand characteristics. - facial expression could of effected results. 

Implications: shows how important NVC is. 

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Non Verbal Communication - Body Language


Aim: Investigate the effects of postural echo.

Method: P's met confederate. Confederate either 1. mirrored p's body language 2. didn't mirror body language.

Results: P's asked about confederate. If confederate mirror their body language, p's where more likely to say they liked him/her and encounter was successful.

Conclusion: Postural Echo has effect on first meetings.

Evaluation: - can't study one feature on NVC is isolation

Implications: Shows how important posture is while meeting someone. 

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Personality - Temperament

Thomas, Chess and Birch 

Aim: To discover whether ways of responding to the environment remain stable throughout life.

Method: Studied 133 children from infancy to early childhood. Childrens behaviour was observed and parents interviewed. Parents asked about childs routine and reaction to change

Results: Children were either 1. Easy- children were happy, flexible in their habits. 2. Difficult- children were demanding, inflexible and cried a lot. 3. Slow to warm up- Didn't respond well to change but adapted.

Conclusion: Three ways of responding to environment stayed with the children as they aged.

Evaluation: + longitudinal study = can see change over time. - all children middle class = can't generalise findings.

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Personality - Measuring Personality

Eysencks - The Eyseneck Personality Inventory

A scale used to measure Extroversion-Introversion and Neutrotiscim-Stability. It is made up of a series of yes/no questions. The answer given identifies the individuals personality. Extroversion- loud, open. Introversion- closed, thoughtful. Neurotics- highly emotional. 

Eyseneck tested this on 700 servicemen with a questionnaire. He concluded that everyone can be placed along these two dimensions of personality. Most people lie in the middle. 

Evaluation: - Limited types. - Biased sample- can't generalise. - Personality could change. 

EPQ: Another dimension is added, known as psychoticism which is aggressive and cruel. 

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Personality - Anti Social Personality Disorder

Raine - Biological Causes

Aim: To investigate whether criminals' brains were any different from law-abiding brains. 

Methods: MRI scan of 21 APD sufferers' and 34 normal people. 

Results: Less grey matter in Pre frontal Cortex of those with APD (11% less) compared to normal brains. Grey matter is where planning and consequences is stored. Abnormal asymmetries in Amygdala. 

Conculsion: APD cause have a biological cause , as there is less grey matter in Pre frontal Cortex. 

Evaluation: + evidence for biological approach. - ignores other factors. - all male = cant generalise. - unrepresentative sample = have disorders. 

Implications: As researchers cannot agree on causes of APD, it is difficult to know how to treat it. 

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Personality - Anti Social Personality Disorder

Farrington - Situational Explanations

Aim: To investigate the development of offending and antisocial behaviour in males studied from childhood to age of 50.

Method: Longitudinal study on 411 males. All lived in a deprived, inner-city of London.First studied at 8, and followed up until age of 50. Their parents and teachers were interviewed. Searched through criminal records office to discover if they or members of their family had been convicted for a crime.

Results: 41% of males were convicted of at least one ofence between ages of 10 and 50. Most important risk factors were family, low school achievement, poverty and poor parenting. 

Conclusion: Situational factors lead to APD.

Evaluation: - large sample = representative. - all males, london = can't generalise.

Implications: Reducing childhood problems should reduce risk of APD. 

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Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination - Preju

Adorno - Authoritarian Personality

Aim: Investigate relationship between personality and prejudice. 

Method: F Scale (obedience, attitude, tolerance of minorities) questionnaire to 100's of people.

Results: higher scores = more prejudice. People with high scores mostly had a strict upbringing. They are rigid, inflexible and intolerant. 

Conclusion: High authoritarian personality = more prejudice. 

Evaluation: - not all prejudice people have had a strict upbringing. - cant explain why only prejudice to some groups and not all.

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Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination - Preju

Tajfel - Social Identity Theory

Aim: Investigate the effects of placing people in in-groups and out-groups.

Method: Two groups of boys, all know eachother 14-15 year olds. Given pairs of numbers to chose, and whoever got the highest number of points wins the prize. Pairs of numbers were such as 15.8. the group who chose this would of got 15 points, and the other group would of got 8 points.

Results: Groups were choosing 6.1 so they could get 6 points and the other group to get 1 point instead of choosing 10.10 even though they would of got more points, they didn't want the other team to get  a high number of points.

Conclusion: Disrimination can quickly be made.

Evaluation: + large sample = more generalisation. - all school boys = can't generalise.

Implications: Teachers should be careful when placing students in groups.

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Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination - Preju

Sherif - Intergroup Conflict

Aim: Is prejudice caused by competition for resources?

Method: 22 boys at summer camp. Placed into two groups and competed for a trophy. When a group lost, they were delayed on going to the picknik and once they got there, the food was gone.

Results: Aggressive boys became leaders, groups turned against each other. Groups became aggressive for each other as they battled over resources. 

Conclusion: Prejudice and Discrimination happened very quickly, over battle for resources.

Evaluation: - can't generalise findings = all school boys. - boys are very different to girls. - study lacks ecological validity. 

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Personality - Temperament

Thomas, Chess and Birch 

Aim: To discover whether ways of responding to the environment remain stable throughout life.

Method: Studied 133 children from infancy to early childhood. Childrens behaviour was observed and parents interviewed. Parents asked about childs routine and reaction to change

Results: Children were either 1. Easy- children were happy, flexible in their habits. 2. Difficult- children were demanding, inflexible and cried a lot. 3. Slow to warm up- Didn't respond well to change but adapted.

Conclusion: Three ways of responding to environment stayed with the children as they aged.

Evaluation: + longitudinal study = can see change over time. - all children middle class = can't generalise findings.

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Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination - Reduc

Elliott - Creating Empathy. 

Aim: To investigate if creating empathy would reduce prejudice. 

Method: School children split into 2 groups depending on their eye colour. One day Blue/Green eyes were more intelligent. The next day there had been a mix up and Brown eyed children were better. On the 3rd day the teacher told them the truth and asked them how it felt.

Result: On the day the children were told they where better, they produced better work and where horrible towards other children. Other children produced poor work and accepted that they where not as smart. Children said it felt horrible as they could not change their eye colour

Conclusion: 18 years later the same students were more tolerant and more opposed to fight against prejudice.

Evaluation: - ethical problems = caused children distress. + effective in the long term. 

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Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination - Reduc

Sherif - Cooperation

Aim: To see if increasing cooperation will reduce prejudice.

Method: Two groups of boys who had previously been in competition where forced to work together when bus broke down.

Results: Prejudice decreased, boys learnt to work together.

Conclusion: Effective- but it was forced cooperation. 

Evaluation: - similar background = can't generalise. - all the boys knew each other - can't force everyone to work together/

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Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination - Reduc

Aronson - Increased contact

Aim: Increase the contact between groups it will reduce the prejudice. 

Method: Coloured children were paired with white children to complete jigsaws. 

Results: Children got on, managed to complete all the jigsaws and had a greater perception of the other races. 

Conclusion: Increasing contact between races can reduce prejudice.

Evaluation: - only applied to classmates, saw them as exceptions. - can not generalise as it was all american schoolchildren.  - would only work in schools. 

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Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination - Reduc

Harwood - Children views on elderly.

Aim: More contact with grandparents = more positive views on elderly 

Method: Children and Grandparents asked to describe relationship with each other. Then children were given a questionnaire on elderly.

Results: Positive relationship with grandparents = more positive view on grandparents.

 Conclusion: Better realtionship with other groups leads to a more positive view on them groups. 

Evaluation: - unreliable study.

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LOTS of spelling mistakes



Thank you SO MUCH!



A lot of spelling mistakes but all together it is excellent. Thank you so much! *-*



is there no study for Bower and Springston? 

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