AS Psychology Unit 1: Cognitive Psychology - Memory Sample Exam Questions and Answers
1. `The number you require is 04963532146, thank you for calling.` When you call directory enquiries to request a telephone number you often forget to have a pen and paper handy.
Using what you have learned from the multi-store model of memory, how might you improve your chances of remembering the number correctly? (3 marks)
Ans). According to the MSM, the capacity of STM is 7+/-2 items. A telephone number longer than this is more than STM can hold. However, STM could hold more if the information was chunked. If the number was converted into three chunks - for example, 0496 3532 146 - then this would be within the capacity of 7+/-2 chunks and would be more easily remembered.
2. Kelly talks all the time. In fact, her friend Sophie wonders if she ever stops! Whenever they sit together in class Sophie has trouble following what the teacher is saying, or concentrating on her written work.
Use what you have learned about the working memory model to explain Sophie's problem. (3 marks)
Ans). Our working memory has difficulty performing two tasks successfully at the same time when they require the use of the same component. Listening to Kelly requires the phonological loop too. Unfortunately, attending to the teacher and doing written work also requires Sophie to use the phonological loop, which gives rise to her difficulties.
3. Sally struggles to cope with mental arithmetic of more than a few steps and digits. No matter how hard she tries she gets lost and has to start again.
Use ideas you have learned from the working memory model to explain Sally's problem with mental arithmetic. (4 marks)
Ans). Doing mental arithmetic is quite a complicated process needing a few components of working memory. She is probably using her articulatory loop to repent numbers and her visuo-spatial sketchpad to hold an image of the numbers in her mind. Sally is asking a lot of her working memory, given that it has a limited capacity. It could also be that particular components are required to do too much - for example, whilst verbally holding one sum in memory it would be very difficult for Sally to work verbally on the step.
4. It seemed like any other day for Kevin, working at the petrol station. That is, until a customer pulled out a shotgun and robbed his till. As Kevin told the police officer, he was terrified and thought he was going to die.
What has research told us about the effect that Kevin's anxiety during the robbery might have on his reliability as an eyewitness? (5 marks)
Ans). Research suggests that Kevin's recall may be affected by his anxiety. Loftus et al monitored the gaze of participants being shown a robbery and found that they tended to focus on the gun used. This is called `weapons focus`. The violence of an event can also cause anxiety and influence recall.…