January 2013


Explain what is meant by encoding

Encoding is the way in which information is stored/processed into memory, e.g. acoustic, visual, semantic

Outline one difference between the capacity of short term memory and the capacity of long term memory

The capacity of LTM is much larger than STM. Unlimited capacity in LTM, 7+/- 2 in STM

Briefly outline each of the components:

Central Executive: the central executive has a supervisory function and controls the slave systems. It has limited capacity but can process information from any sensory modality.

Phonological loop: the phonological loop is a limited capacity, temporary storage system for holding verbal information in a speech based form

Visuo-spatial sketchpad: the visuo-spatial sketchpad is a limited capacity, temporary storage system for holding visual and spatial information

Performing 2 tasks at 1 time: working memory model

Participants would find it hard to do two tasks at the same time because they would be competing for the same limited resources of the visuo-spatial sketchpad. However, a visual task and a verbal task would use different components

Recruitment from a newspaper advert

Volunteer or self selecting sample

Limitation of a self selecting sample

A limitation would be that the sample is biased/not representative, this is because some people are more likely to volunteer than others or the findings cannot be generalised to a population

Identify the independent variable and the dependent variable

IV: The method of interview

DV: The number of items which were recalled

One advantage of using an independent group design for this experiment

There is better control because the same film can be used in both conditions. The participants are less likely to show demand characteristics because they take part in only one condition. There are no order effects such as practice or fatigue, because participants take part in one condition

Did the psychologist show awareness of ethics when recruiting participants

There was no deception. Participants knew they would be watching a film of a violent crime and that they would be interviewed about the content by a male police officer before they volunteered. This gave them the opportunity to give informed consent

Other techniques, not report everything, used during cognitive interview

Recall in reverse order; tell me what you saw on the film in a different order to how it actually happened

Conclusion of the effectiveness of the cognitive interview

The researcher might conclude that the cognitive interview was effective because more correct items were recalled, but it did no affect the number of incorrect items recalled

Outline and evaluate research into the effects of misleading information on eyewitness testimony.

Psychologists were interested in eyewitness testimony. In particular they were interested in the effect that misleading questions could produce false memories which often got people wrongly convicted. Elizabeth Loftus found that vocabulary used in questioning can influence the answer given. Loftus carried out a study in which she asked 45 students to answer questions on a car crash and they were split into 4 groups, all being asked the…


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