Unit 1 Psychology

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Psychology Unit 1 Revision:

The Cognitive Approach:
The cognitive approach began in the 1950s to challenge previous explanations on cognition and to try. Also, because psychologists became frustrated at the failure to explain human cognition and try to understand it more thoroughly through new technology coming forth by computers.
Cognitive refers to mental processes which are needed to make sense of information given to us- including perception, language, thinking, and problem solving.

Information processing model:
This can also be referred to as the ‘Computer Analogy’. Information processing model is used in the cognitive approach to explain how we receive and interpret information - flow of information is explained through terms input, process and output. Like a computer, the human mind can only withhold a certain amount of information and only a restricted type at any time.

Memory is an important cognitive function used to retain information and recall it when needed. Our memory holds information like faces, places, events, how to do spatial tasks, remembering and etc. To store new information we must first transfer it into a certain form which the brain is capable to withhold. The process of transforming new input to a memory trace is called encoding - This can be maintained when in storage into 3 storage systems: sensory, short-term and long-term.

‘Multi Store Model of memory’

In 1968, Atkinson and Shiffrin proposed that memory is made up from a series of stores:
Sensory Memory:
Duration = ¼ to ½ a second.
Capacity= nothing (only sensory materials)
Encoding= ‘modality specific’ - material stays in the saw structure.
Short Term Memory:
Duration= 18-30 seconds.
Capacity= 5/9 pieces of information.
Encoding= acoustic.
Long Term Memory:
Duration= potentially infinite.
Capacity= up to a life time.
Encoding= ‘Semantic’ - information is thought about fully when being processed

To explain the diagram to the right you INPUT ‘Sight and Sound’ which gives you a sensory memory, then by paying ATTENTION you develop a short term memory which can develop by REHEARSAL to a long term memory.

1) Brain scanning techniques such as PET scans show different areas of the brain being active in the retrieval of short term and long term memory which supports the this theory of being different stores.
2) Evidence - Case Study of Clive Wearing who is an amnesiac can remember his procedure skills which is a long term store. His STM is also unaffected which supports the Atkinson and Shiffrin's idea of there being different memory stores.
3) Application of this study could be to ‘rehearsal’ of revision to transfer STM to LTM as it may be more beneficial as encoding is semantic and the information processed is infinitely stored.

1) Too simplistic for rehearsal to account for memories transferring from ST to LT which contradicts the theory.
2) Alternative - LOP states that mere rehearsal is too simplistic to account for the transferring of ST to LT memory. They proposed the idea of the 2 rehearsal types maintenance (holding information and


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