June 2012

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Explain two differences between short term memory and long term memory

The capacity of STM is limited to 7+/- 2 items whereas the capacity of LTM is unlimited. The duration of STM is up to 30 seconds whereas the duration of LTM is a lifetime.

Outline the main features of the working memory model

There are three main components to the original 1974 version of the working memory model. These are the central executive which acts like a manager allocating, processing resources and coordinating the activity of the two slave systems; the phonological loop and the visuo-spatial sketchpad. The phonological loop is the inner loop and inner voice and is responsible for processing phonological information. The visuo-spatial sketchpad is the inner eye and process visual and spatial information. Having separate slave systems explains how people are able to perform two tasks at the same time.

Outline the strengths and limitations of the working memory model

There are practical applications of the model. The phonological loop plays a key role in the development of reading, and working memory capacity might be used as a measure of suitability for certain jobs. There is little known about how the central executive works and there is evidence from brain studies suggesting the central executive is not unitary. The central executive is too simple/vague. The central executive is an important/vital part of the model but its exact role is unclear.

Identify one aim of this experiment

One aim is to see if age of participants affects eyewitness testimony, i.e. their ability to identify someone

Using field experiment rather than a laboratory experiment

Participants are less likely to show demand characteristics because in the first part of the study they were unaware they are taking part and so are likely to respond more genuinely. In real life settings research has high validity because the findings can be generalised to other similar situations. 

Sampling technique: opportunity sample

Evaluation: one limitation is a lack of target population. This means that the sample is not representative of any population so there are problems in generalising the findings. However, selecting participants for availability is an appropriate way to select a sample when no names are avaliable.

Identify one extraneous variable. Explain how it affects results of experiements

One possible extraneous variable is the length of time the researcher spend with each participant. This might have affected the results of this study because old people are more likely to have time to stop and chat than younger participants. They therefore spend longer giving directions and would therefore find it easy to identify the researcher

Describe what research has shown about age of witness and EWT

Children who are older where more likely to be influenced by leading questions than adults- shown in Warnen et al's study. Anastasi and Rhodes used participants aged 18-78 years old. They found young and middle aged participants were more accurate at recognising photographs than other participants. Yarmey and Cohen and Faulkner found older peopler made more…


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