Psychology Unit 1

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  • Created by: Raeesa
  • Created on: 08-01-13 15:00

Levels of Processing Description

The Levels of Processing model of memory was put forward by Craik and Lockhart in 1972.

They proposed that memory is just a by-product of the depth of processing of information and there is no clear distinction between short term memory and long term memory.

The theory says if info is relevant, distictive, or difficult to process, we process it at a deeper level. If it is irrelevant and meaningless it is processed at a shallow level.

Shallow processing only involves maintenance rehearsal (repetition to help us hold something in STM) and leads to fairly short-term retention of information. This is the only type of rehearsal to take place within the multi-store model.

Deep processing involves elaboration rehearsal which involves a more meaningful analysis of information and leads to better recall.

Of the three types of processing (semantic, phonetic and structural) semantic processing produces the most durable memories.

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Levels of Processing Evaluation

  • It can explain real-life situations like when we remember things we dont mean to as memory is a by-product of processing, not a conscious thing.
  • It is supported by craik and Tulvings experiment, who found that wordsd processed semantically were processed best
  • It is contradicted by Morris who found that phnoestically processed words were remembered best.
  • Many of the studies used to support this theory involve PPs remembering lists of unrelated wors in artificial settings. Lacks support in real-life context.
  • It can explain real-life situations - like why similar topics at school can get confused and forgotten.
  • It can only be used to explain improved recall in explicit memory. It does not really affect recall from implicit memory.
  • It does not account for all learning. Giving something meaning isnt the only way we can leave a durable memory trace. Imagery and emotionality can also leave longstanding memories.
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Craik and Tulving Description

Aim: To test the LoP theory to see if the level of processing affect the recognition of words.

Procedure: 24 PPs were asked to look into a tachistoscope where 60 words were flashed for a fraction of a second, one at a time. Before each word, a question was asked about the word and PPs had to respond with a yes of no using a clicker.

The Qs elicited either semantic processing, phonetic processing, or structural processing of the words.

Then, 120 new words were added to the original 50 and there 180 words were randomly flashed at the PPs through the tachistoscop one at a time. PPs had to indicate whether or not they recognised each othe 180 words from the previous list of 60.

Results: 65% of words processed semantically were recognised. 36% of words processed phoentically were recognised and 17% of words processed structurally were recognised.

Conclusion: The level of processing does affect recognition, with deeper (semantic) processing leading to better recognition.

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Craik and Tulving Evaluation

  • Low internal validity, learning list of unrelated words not a true test of everyday memory.
  • Results contradicted by morris who found phonetically processed words were remembered better.
  • The test was a recognition test not a recall test so PPs were given cues to help them remember and they could have guessed. This reduces validity.
  • Lab exp had high control over extraneous variables so likely that the IV effected the DV.
  • Standardised procedure replicable so reliable
  • PPs were not told they were going to have a recognition test so they weren't deliberately trying to remember. valid way of testing memory.
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Multi-Store Model Description

Atkinson and Shiffrin's Multistore Model of Memory suggests that there are three separate memory stores, Sensory Memory (sometimes called the 'sensory store'), Short Term Memory (STM) and Long Term Memory (LTM). Each store has a different duration, capacity and mode of encoding (the way that information is stored.

Info comes in from environment through senses into our sensory memory, lasts 2-5 seconds.

If it is attended to, info passes in to STM lasts 18-30 seconds. 5-9 unrelated items.

If it is rehearsed info passes into the LTM, can last for minutes to many years. Capacity limit has not been found yet.

Displacement: New info pushes out old info due to limited capacity.

Decay: chemical trace fades over time. 

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Multi Store Model Evaluation

  • Primary-recency effect is evidence that STM and LTM are seperate and distinct stores. Middle words are displaced.
  • The MSM can explain anterograde amnesia, where a person can still have their STM intact but be unanle to make new long term memories. 
  • Peterson and Peterson supports the MSN as it showed how trigrams were forgotten quickly if rehearsal was interupted. This suggests you do need rehearsal to put inifo into the LTM
  • Sperling gives support to the MSM as he found evidence for sensory memory existing - PPs could recall cetain numbers flashed at them for a fraction of a second even though they didnt know which ones they were going to have to recall.
  • The MSM is thought to be too simplistic - there may be several types of LTM. eg. memory for places, ability to play music ect.
  • The MSM uses vague terms like rehearsal but doesnt explain what this really involves, which is a weakness of the theory.
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Cue-Dependent Forgetting Description

This is based on Tulvings Encoding Specificity principle, which says that the more similar the encoding and retrieval events are the better we remember the encoded information.

For example, if we encode a childhood memory when we are happywe are more likely to recall it again when we are happy.

Tulving said that we need 2 things to retrive a memory. A cue and a chemical trace. If a cue isn't present we will forget. So Cue-Dependant forgetting is an accessibility problem.

A common everyday experience is cure dependant forgetting is Brown and McNeill's "Tip of the Tongue". Whhen you know you have information in your memory but you can't access it at the time due to the lack of a correct cue.

Context dependant forgetting is where you cannot recall something due to the lack of context cues, eg. Smell, a song, your location/

State dependant forgetting is where your emotional or physical sate that were there are the time of encoding is not present at the time of retrieval attempt, so you forget.

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Cue-Dependent Forgetting Evaluation

  • Support from godden and baddely. More words were forgotten when recall was in a different context to learning. (eg. underwater and dry land)
  • Support frmo Smith - showed that more words were remembered when recalled in the same room to learning.
  • Support from Schab who found that not reinstating the smell of chocolate at recall resulted in fewer words being recalled compared with when the smell was reinstated.
  • Practical application to improve education. Abernathy found students test scores improved when they sat exams in their usual classrooms.
  • Giving a PP cues may result in them guessing or confabulating so it is hard to know if true memories are recalled ir just reconstructions.
  • Many of the studies used to test inteference use lists of unrelated words and are set in an artificial setting so there is a lack of support for the theory in real-life contexts.
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Inteference Description

Inteference causes forgetting from LTM where similar infor is confused. The more similar the information is the more likely it is to be confused. Eg. A spanish lesson followed by a french lesson causes more inteference than a spanish lesson followed bt a geography lesson.

Sometimes information we have learned previously becomes confused with information we have learnt recelntly. We therefore forget recent information. This is called Proactive inteference. Eg. if we moved our belongings from a drawer to a cupboard. The next time we want them we go to the drawer still as that is where they used to be and we forget they had been moved.

Sometimes information we have learnt recently becomes confused with info we learned previously this could cause us to forget the old info. This is called Retroactive inteference. Eg. If we get a new mobile number and have learnt it, this may result in us forgetting the old mole number, as it is similar to the new one.

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Interference Evaluation

  • Support from Baddeley and Hitch. They tested rugby players on their recall of names of teams they cad played, they found that the number of teams caused forgettnig rather than the passage of times.
  • Support from McGeoch and Macdonald - showed that leaning another word list caused forgetting of an earlier word list.
  • Support fro, Jenkins and Dellenbach - Showed it was inteference not trace decat that caused forgetting as those who just slept for 12 hours forgot less than those who were involved doing inteference exercises.
  • It can be used to explain real-life situations like why similar topics in school get confused.
  • Many of the studies used to test inteference use lists of unrelated words and are set in an artificial setting so there is lack of support for the theory in real-life settings.
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Godden and Baddeley Description

Aim: To see if a natural environment can act as a context cue to aid recall.

Procedure: 18 PPs, divers at uni diving club. Learn 38 unrelated words either on dry land or underwater. Thery were then asked to recall either on dry land or underwater. 4 conditions. Study conducted over 4 days. each PP took part in a diff condition each day. PPs wore diving gear for all conditions. Tested in pairs. PPs were played tape recording through a diving comcommunication device. Words were presented in blocks of three with 4 second intervals so breathing aparatas noice did not effect recall. PPs waited 4 mins so PPs moving enviroments had time. then had 2 minutes to write down the words in any order.

Results: Recall was 50% higher when in same context as the learning. Mean no words recalled on dry land/dry land 13.5, underwater/underwater 11.4. other conditions 8.4 & 8.6.

Conclusion: The context of a natural environment can act as a context cue to aid recall.

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Godden and Baddeley Evaluation

  • Lack of control over many aspects of the experiment eg. equipment failure, weather and noise conditions. Hard to replicae and test for reliability.
  • The PPs were tested in pairs so it is possible they may have cheated, this would have reduces the validity of the data.
  • It i s possible the divers who didnt have to move locations between learning and recall had more time to rehearse - so, it could hav ebeen rehearsal not context cue that improved recall.
  • It is possible that the divers ho did have to move location between learning and recall could have experienced more inteference.
  • However Godden and Baddeley conducted a later experiment and found no difference in recall between those PPs who had an inteference task and those that didnt.
  • High ecological validity - experiment in natural surrounding for PPs who were divers.
  • Not likely to cheat since PPs were research scientists.
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Is eye witness testimony reliable?

Leading questions: Loftus and Palmer. Video of car crashs, how fast cars going when they hit/bumped/contacted/collided/smashed? Group who heard smashed gave the fastest speed estimates. Group who heard contacted gave slowest speed estimates. 

Weapon Focus: EWs attention narrowed on a weapon so don't look at suspects face. Kerri Pickle hair salon holding either a raw chicken, a gun, a pair of scissors, a wallet and nothing. Raw chicken and gun were most distracting. Another experiment PPs more distracted by a man holding a gun at basketball game that at a shooting range. Suggests that unusualness that distracts more than threat but that it is also context the weapon is in that affects the amount of distraction caused.

Flashbulb memory: Vivid, durable memory. Emotion involved in such an event causes the memory trace to be encoded differently to regular memories. Eg. 9/11. However could be rehearsal. 

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