PSYA1 essay plans

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  • Created on: 15-05-14 14:06

Psychology essay plans


1.       Outline and evaluate the MSM of memory



·         Atkinson and Shiffrin 1968; three memory stores – sensory STM and LTM

·         Linear fashion; information is perceived by the sensory memory; if attention is paid then the info will go into the STM and if information is rehearsed then it will go into LTM

·         STM; encoding = acoustic, capacity  =  limited to 7 +/- 2 items, duration = limited to 18 seconds

·         LTM; encoding = semantic, capacity = potentially unlimited, duration = potentially unlimited

+ Studies tend to confirm that memory does have distinctive stores. Clive Wearing (case study) has a STM but no LTM thus suggesting that the two are different stores

+ Brain scanning shows that different parts of the brain are used when information is being processed in STM and LTM

+ Primary and recency effect shows that rehearsal does move information into the LTM (supports the rehearsal loop)

- MSM is an oversimplification. Research has shown that LTM uses different kinds of memory; semantic and procedural memory (e.g. riding a bike or tying your shoe laces)

- A lot of the research to support MSM is from lab based studies; lacks ecological validity and lacks mundane realism and therefore results may not be able to be generalised

2.       Describe and evaluate the WMM of memory



·         Baddeley and Hitch 1974

·         Explain how you can do two different things at the same time but not two similar tasks

·         Consists of the central executive, phonological loop, visuo-spatial sketchpad and episodic buffer

·         Central executive: resource allocation, small capacity

·         Phonological loop: receives and stores auditory information for a short period

·         Visuo-spatial sketchpad: stores visual and spatial information

·         Episodic buffer: general store and integrates info from other stores and also from LTM

+ more detailed than the MSM

+ supported by Robbins et al. this study aimed to demonstrate the role of the central executive; chess players had to memorize the positions of chess pieces; dual tasking is bad task switching is good; demonstrates that the central executive and phonological loop are separate components and also that the central executive is important for attention and planning

- doesn’t focus on the LTM

- lack of information on the CE

- a lot of the research that supports WMM are case studies; good for in depth information but you cannot generalise all the information found as it could be unique to the individual

3.       Discuss research investigating factors that affect EWT



·         Anxiety – the weapon focus effect; Johnson and Scott 1976: condition one neutral conversation in next room and man emerged holding a pen with grease on his hands, condition two the discussion was more heated and a man emerged with a paperknife with blood on his hands. When asked to identify the man after the event there…


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