MEMORY

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COGNITIVE APPROACH

Also known as the information processing approach as computer/ computer models are sometimes used to explain how we think and behave. Humans are treated as information processors and behaviour is explained in terms of information processing.

CASE STUDIES TO SUPPORT COGNITIVE APPROACH

MILNER ET AL (1957) CASE STUDY OF HM

DIAGNOSIS: HM was a patient with severe and frequent epilepsy. His seizures were based in a brain structure called the hippocampus. In 1953, doctors surgically removed part of the brain round this area

RESULTS: Reduced his epilepsy but led to severe memory loss. He could still form (STM) but was unable to form LTM. EG. He could read something over and over again without realising he had read it before. He also moved house and had difficulty recalling the route home. However, he could still talk and recall previous skills (PROCEDURAL MEMORY). From tests, they found HM's EPISODIC MEMORY (for past events) and SEMATIC MEMORY (for knowledge- word meanings) was affected more than PROCEDURAL MEMORY.

BRAIN DAMAGED patients are often used to observe differences in behaviour but this mean GENERALISATION is difficult as results cannot be compared to 'normal' people. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES means that different people may respond in complete different ways to someone else.

COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGISTS believe that the different types of memory are SEPERATE SYSTEMS. THE STUDY ABOVE SUPPORTED THIS AS HM SHOWED THE STM AND LTM MUST BE BASED IN DIFFERENT BRAIN STRUCTURES.

COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGISTS APPLY ANIMAL RESARCH TO HUMANS

Results of non-human studies can be applied to human cognitive abilities. EG if chipanzees can learn language helps psychologists develop theories about how humans learn language.

DIFFERENCES between humans and animals means that results can be explained wrong. Might conclude that chimpanzee's can't learn a spoken language because lack of cognitive abilities but it could actually be due to lack of PSYIOLOGICAL ATTRIBUTES such as; a voice box.

GARDNER AND GARDNER (1969)- TEACHING ASL TO A CHIMP

METHOD: Washoe a chimpanzee was raised like a human child and taught ASL (AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE)

RESULTS: END OF 22ND MONTH of the project WASHOE had learnt 34 signs.

CONCLUSION: DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE seemed to follow the same pattern as language development in a human child both speaking children and those who use ASL. WASHOE learnt language at similar rates to children at the same age. Additionally, LANGUAGE AQUISITIONS seemed to require INTERACTION with caregives and COMMUNICATION in everyday situations. However, she DID NOT learn GRAMMAR.

EVALUATION: ETHICAL considerations in that Washoe was taken from the wild and deprived of other chimpanzees companionship. issues with EXTERNAL VALIDITY- NOT possible to accurately generalise results from a chimp to a human child.

PRACTICE QUESTIONS:

WHY IS COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY SOMETIMES CALLED THE INFORMATION PROCCESSING APPROACH?

WHY ARE LAB EXPERIMENTS MORE RELIABLE THAN FIELD EXPERIMENTS?

EXAM QUESTIONS:

EXPLAIN HOW THE STUDY OF HM PROVIDED SUPPORT FOR COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL THINKING [4 MARKS]

EXPLAIN WHY ANIMAL STUDIES HAVE BEEN CRITISIED FOR LACKING VALIDITY [3 MARKS]

SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM MEMORY

Memory is a PROCESS in which…

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