Psychology (AS) Memory

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Describe sensory memory.
Sensory memory gathers information from our environment and stores it temporarily due to limited capacity and limited duration. Unless it's given attention it will be displaced through spontaneous decay.
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Describe short-term memory.
Short-term memory has a limited duration and capacity and is encoded acoustically.
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Describe long-term memory.
Long-term memory has an unlimited capacity and potentially limitless duration and is encoded semantically.
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Explain Peterson and Peterson's (1959) method of their experiment into duration of STM.
Participants were shown nonsense trigrams and asked to recall them either after 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 or 18 seconds. In order to prevent internal rehearsal they had to do an interference task where they counted backwards in three's from a given number.
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Explain Peterson and Peterson's (1959) results of their experiment into duration of STM.
After 3 seconds only 80% of information was recalled correctly whereas after 18 only 10% was recalled correctly.
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Explain Peterson and Peterson's (1959) conclusion of their experiment into duration of STM.
If you prevent rehearsal, minuscule amounts of information will remain in the STM for about 18 seconds.
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Evaluate Peterson and Peterson's (1959) experiment into duration of STM.
It's a lab experiment so it's more likely to be reliable as variables are controlled strictly. However, a nonsense trigram is considered artificial which decreases ecological validity. Meaningful information may last longer in STM.
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Explain Bahrick et al's (1975) method into their investigation of Very long-term memories (VLTM).
392 people were asked to recall the name of ex-classmates in a free-recall test. They were also either shown photos and asked to recall names in a photo-recognition test or given names and asked to match them to photos.
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Explain Bahrick et al's (1975) results of their investigation into Very long-term memories (VLTM).
After 15 yrs, pp's could recognise 90% of names and faces and 60% accurate on free recall. After 30 yrs, free recall was 30% accurate. After 48 yrs; name-recognition was 80% accurate and photo-recognition was 40%.
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Explain Bahrick et al's (1975) conclusion of their investigation into Very long-term memories (VLTM).
The study is evidence of VLTM's in a real life setting. Recognition is better than recall, so there may be a huge store of information, but it's difficult to access all of it.
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Evaluate Bahrick et al's (1975) investigation into Very long-term memories (VLTM.)
It's a field experiment so high ecological validity but it's hard to control variables; therefore less reliable. Information is more meaningful and is rehearsed regularly throughout school therefore cannot be generalised to other LTM information.
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Explain Jacobs's (1887) method of his investigation into the capacity of STM.
Pp's were presented with a string of letters or digits. They had to repeat them back in the same order. The number of digits or letters increased until the pp's failed to recall the sequence correctly.
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Explain Jacobs's (1887) results of his investigation into the capacity of STM.
The majority of pp's recalled about 9 digits and around 7 letters. The capacity increased with age during childhood.
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Explain Jacobs's (1887) conclusion of his investigation into the capacity of STM.
Overall, he concluded that STM has a limited storage capacity of 5-9 items. Individual differences were found, like STM increasing with age, maybe due to techniques. Digits may be easier to recall because there are only 10 digits but 26 letters.
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Evaluate Jacobs's (1887) investigation into the capacity of STM.
His research is artificial and lacks ecological validity as it is not something you'd do in real life. Also, meaningful information may be recalled better perhaps showing greater capacity in STM.
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Explain Miller's (1965) review of research into the capacity of STM.
Miller found that people can remember about 7 items. He also argued that the capacity of STM is 7-+2 and suggested that we use chunking to combine individual letters into larger and more meaningful units.
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What is coding?
Coding is about the way information is stored in memory.
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What is acoustic coding?
This is usually about how the information sounds.
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What is semantic coding?
This is usually about the meaning of the information.
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Explain Baddeley's (1966) method of his experiment into coding in STM and LTM.
Pp's were given 4 sets of words that were either acoustically similar or dissimilar and semantically similar and dissimilar. The experiment used an independent groups design where pp's were asked to recall words immediately or after a 20 minute task.
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Explain Baddely's (1966) results of his experiment into coding in STM and LTM.
Pp's had problems recalling acoustically similar words when recalling the word list immediately from STM. If recalling after an interval from LTM, they had problems with semantically similar words.
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Explain Baddely's (1966) conclusion of his experiment into coding in STM and LTM.
The patterns of confusion between similar words suggest that LTM is more likely to rely on semantic coding whereas STM on acoustic coding.
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Evaluate Baddely's (1966) experiment into coding in STM and LTM.
It lacks ecological validity. Also, there are other types of LTM like episodic and also other methods of coding like visual which this experiment doesn't consider. The experiment uses independent groups design so there is no control of pp variables.
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Describe Atkinson and Shiffrin's (1968) Multi-Store Model.
The MSM insists that there are 3 stores : sensory store, short-term store and long-term store and that they have to move through these stores to become a memory. If you pay attention to information in sensory store it will go to ST store.
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Describe the Primacy Effect.
Pp's are able to recall the first few items of a list better than those in the middle. The MSM explains this because earlier items will have been rehearsed better and transferred to LTM. However, an interference task prevents this effect.
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Describe the Recency Effect.
Pp's tend to remember the last few items better than those in the middle. As the STM has a capacity of 7 items, the words in the middle, if not rehearsed, get displaced by the last few words heard. The last few words can be recalled.
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Explain how Korsakoff's Syndrome supports the MSM.
They can recall the last items in a list (unimpaired recency effect), suggesting an unaffected STM. However, their LTM is very poor. This the model by showing LTM and STM as separate stores.
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Explain Milner et al's (1957) case study into the patient HM who had suffered from severe and frequent epilepsy.
HM's seizures were based in the hippocampus. Doctors decided to surgically remove that part of the brain which reduced his epilepsy but made him suffer from memory loss. HM could still form STM's but not LTM's and so showing that they're separate.
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State and Explain the limitations of the MSM.
In the model, information is transferred through rehearsal but you don't always need to rehearse information for it to be transferred to LTM e.g. smells. Also, it's oversimplified because it only assumed there is only one LTM store and one STM store.
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Describe Baddely and Hitch's (1974) Working Memory Model.
It is a MSM of STM. It contains different stores; the central executive, phonological loop, visuospatial sketchpad and episodic buffer.
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Describe the role of the Central Executive.
It's a key-component within the model and is known to be described as attention. It has a limited capacity and controls slave systems which also have a limited capacity.
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Describe the role of the Phonological Loop.`
It holds speech-based information and it is made up of a phonological store (inner ear) and an articulatory process (inner voice) which rehearses information by repeating it.
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Describe the role of the Visouspatial Sketchpad.
It deals with temporary storage of visual and spatial information.
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Describe the role of the Episodic Buffer.
It briefly stores information from the other subsystems and integrates it together, along with information from LTM, to make complete scenes or 'episodes'.
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From what did the WMM originate from. (Pt.1)
It was based off results from studies using interference tasks. If pp's are asked to perform two tasks simultaneously that use the same system their performance is affected. It's the PL that deals with it. Due to limited capacity it can't cope.
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From what did the WMM orginate from. (Pt.2)
It couldn't cope with both tasks so either one or both tasks were affected. However, if the two tasks used different systems neither performance is affected on the separate tasks.
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Propose one strength of the WMM. [ Shallice and Warrington (1974) ]
KF, a brain-damaged patient had an impaired STM. He couldn't immediately recall verbal information but could with visual. So, he had an impaired articulatory loop but a working VSSP. The MSM couldn't explain this so the WMM proved STM was one system.
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Propose a second strength of the WMM. [ Gathercole and Baddely (1993) ] (Pt.1)
Pp's split into two groups. All pp's had to do a task where they follow a moving spot of light (using the VSSP). At the same time one group of pp's also had to describe the angles on a letter (also VSSP).
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Propose a second strength of the WMM. (Pt.2)
The other group of pp's were given a second task using the phonological loop, doing a verbal task while following a light. Performance was much better for those using separate systems.
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Propose one weakness of the WMM.
Psychologists consider the idea of a central executive to be too simple and vague as it doesn't explain what the central executive is apart from attention. However, designing tasks for the central executive is difficult.
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Propose a second weakness of the WMM.
It only explains how information in STM is dealt with and not how it is transferred into LTM.
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Propose a third weakness of the WMM.
Much of the research which has supported the WMM has been laboratory studies. This reduces ecological validity of the evidence, as highly controlled studies may not be representative of what occurs in the real world.
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What is forgetting.
This is when learnt information can't be retrieved.
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Describe the concept of forgetting. (Pt.1)
Experiments on memory assume that if you can't retrieve a memory it's forgotten. Forgetting is thought to be due to availability problems in terms of limited capacity or limited duration. So, information is displaced in STM and in LTM it decays.
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Describe the concept of forgetting. (Pt.2)
However, if information is stored, but is hard to retrieve; accessibility problem. If information is confused; interference problem.
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Explain interference and it's role in forgetting.
One theory about forgetting is that your ability to remember something you've learn can be altered by having learnt something before or since; known as interference.
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Describe Retroactive Interference. [ Underwood and Postman (1960) ] (Pt.1)
They carried out a study supporting it. In a lab experiment, pp's split into two groups. They were given a list of paired words to learn (cat-tree).
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Describe Retroactive Interference. (Pt.2)
The experimental group was given a second list in each par was the same as in the first list (cat-dirt). The control group wasn't given a second list. Both were tested on their recall of the first list.
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Describe Retroactive Interference. (Pt.3)
Recall was better in the control group, suggesting that retroactive interference of the second word list had affected recall for the second word list had affected recall for the experimental group.
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Describe Proactive Interference. [ Underwood (1957) ] (Pt.1)
He studied it by looking at the results of studies into forgetting over a 24-hr period. He found that if people had previously learnt 15+ word lists during the same experiment, next daytheir recall of the last word list was 20%.
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Describe Proactive Interference. (Pt.2)
If they hadn't learnt any earlier lists, recall a day later was around 80%. Underwood concluded that proactive interference from earlier lists had affected the pp's ability to remember later ones.
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What are the strengths of the Interference Theory?
Proactive and retroactive interference are supported by many studies controlled in labs. There is also evidence for interference existing in the real worlds. E.g., you may struggle to remember your french vocabulary if later start learning German.
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What are the weaknesses of the Interference Theory?
Interference effects seem much greater in artificial settings in comparison to the real world, so it may not be a strong enough theory. Also, the theory gives us explanation for why we forget but it doesn't go into cognitive or biological processes.
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Explain how Cues affect Recall. (Pt.1)
Another theory of memory says that you can recall information depending on the cue. Forgetting is considered 'retrieval failure', so the information is still there but you can't reach it.
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Explain how Cues affect Recall. (Pt.2)
We can recall more successfully if the cue is appropriate; internal (your mood) or external (context). We are more likely to remember if we're in the same context/mood we were in when we originally coded the info; cue-dependent learning (theory).
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Describe Tulving and Psotka's (1971) method of their investigation into 'Forgetting in LTM'. (Pt.1)
They compared both theories. Each pp was given either 1,2,3,4,5 or 6 lists of 24 words. Each list divided into 6 categories and 4 words. Words were presented in category order.
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Describe Tulving and Psotka's method. (Pt.2)
After lists were presented, in one condition, pp's were given all the category names and had to recall them (total free recall). In another, pp's were given all the category and names and had to recall from the list (free cued recall).
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Describe Tulving and Psotka's (1971) results of their investigation into 'Forgetting in LTM'. (Pt.1)
In the total free recall condition, there was evidence for retroactive interference. Pp's with 1 or 2 lists to remember had higher recall than those with more lists, suggesting the later lists were interfering with remembering earlier lists.
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Descrive Tulving and Psotka's results. (Pt.2)
However, in the cued recall test, the effects of retroactive interference disappeared. It didn't matter how many lists a participant had; recall was still the same for each list (around 70%).
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Describe Tulving and Psotka's (1971) conclusion of their investigation into 'Forgetting in LTM'.
The results suggest that interference had not caused forgetting because memories became accessible if a cue was used, showing that they were available, but inaccessible. So, the forgetting showed in the total free recall condition was cue-dependent.
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Evaluate Tulving and Psotka's (1971) investigation into 'Forgetting the LTM.'
It was a lab experiment so highly controlled, less extraneous variables and more reliability. However, it's artificial and so lacks ecological validity. Also, it was only tested on memory of words and so can't be generalised to other types of info.
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What are the strength's of the cue-dependent theory.
Cue-dependent forgetting is thought to be the best explanation for forgetting in LTM, as it has the strongest evidence. Most forgetting is caused by retrieval failure, therefore all memory is available in LTM; we just need the right cue.
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What are the weaknesses of the cue-dependent theory.
Evidence is artificial (e.g. recalling word lists), lacking meaning in the real world. Also, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to test whether all memory we have in the LTM is available. It may not explain all types of memory.
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Describe Loftus and Palmer's (1974) method of their first experiment into 'Eyewitness Testimony'.
Pp's were shown a film of multiple car crashes. They were then asked questions including "How fast do you think the cars went before they HIT?" In other conditions, the words were replaced with; smashed, contacted, bumped or collided.
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Describe Loftus and Palmer's (1974) results of their first experiment into 'Eyewitness Testimony'.
Pp's given the word 'smashed' estimated the highest speed (average 41 mph); those given the word ' contacted' estimated the lowest speed (average 32 mph).
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Describe Loftus and Palmer's (1974) method of their second experiment into 'Eyewitness Testimony'.
The pp's were split into 3 groups. One group was given the verb 'smashed', another 'hit', and the 3rd control group wasn't given any indication of the vehicles speed. A weak later they were asked "Did you see any broken glass?".
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Describe Loftus and Palmer's (1974) results of their second experiment into 'Eyewitness Testimony'.
Although there was no broken glass in the film, pp's were more likely to say they'd seen broken glass in the 'smashed' condition than any other.
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Describe Loftus and Palmer's (1974) conclusion of their second experiment into 'Eyewitness Testiomny'.
Leading questions can affect the accuracy of people's memories of an event.
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Evaluate Loftus and Palmer's (1974) study into 'Eyewitness Testimony'. (Pt.1)
There are implications for questions in police interviews. But, it's artificial because watching a video will not emotionally affect you like in real life, affecting recall.
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Evaluate Loftus and Palmer's study. (Pt.2)
E.g., pp's who witnessed a real robbery gave more detailed descriptions. The experimental design may lead to demand characteristics. For instance, leading questions may give pp's clues to unravel the real purpose of the study.
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Describe Loftus and Zanni's (1975) method of their study into 'Leading Questions'.
Pp's were show a film of a car crash. They were then asked either 'Did you see the broken headlight?' or 'Did you see a broken headlight?'. There was no broken headlight shown in the film.
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Describe Loftus and Zanni's (1975) results of their study into 'Leading Questions'.
17% of those asked about 'the' broken headlight claimed they saw one, compared to 7% in the group asked about 'a' broken headlight.
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Describe Loftus and Zanni's (1975) conclusion of their study into 'Leading Questions'.
The simple use of the word 'the' is enough to affect the accuracy of people's memories of an event.
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Evaluate Loftus and Zanni's (1975) study into 'Leading Questions'.
This study has implications for eyewitness testimony. Also, it's a lab study and so there is control over extraneous variables. So, it's possible to establish a 'cause and effect'. The film made it artificial and so it lacks ecological validity.
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How does Post-Event Discussion affect the accuracy of recall?
Studies where a confederate has been used to feed other pp's with misleading post-event information have shown that this can affect recall.
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Describe Shaw et al's (1997) post-even discussion study. (Pt.1)
He paired pp's with a confederate pretending to be another pp. The pairs were shown videos of a staged robbery and interviewed afterwards. Pp's and the confederate alternated who answered the question first.
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Describe Shaw et al's (1997) post event discussion study. (Pt.2)
When the pp answered first, recall was 58% accurate. However, when the confederate answered first and gave correct answers, the recall of pp was 67%. If the confederate gave inaccurate answers the recall was 42% correct.
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Describe Gabbert et al's (2004) post event discussion study. (Pt.1)
Two groups of pp's (17-33 yrs) and (58-80 yrs). Both watched a staged crime and were then exposed to misleading information in two ways. First, through conversation with a confederate pretending to be a pp.
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Describe Gabbert et al's (2004) post event discussion study. (Pt.2)
The second way was by reading a report of the crime, supposedly written buy another pp. The pp's were then given a recall test about what they witnessed. Both groups reported more inaccurate information after a conversation rather than the report.
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Describe Valentine and Coxon's (1997) method of their investigation into 'the effect of age into EWT'.
3 Groups of pp's watched a video of a kidnapping (kids to elderly). They were then asked a series of leading and non-leading questions about what they had seen.
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Describe Valentine and Coxon's (1997) results of their investigation into 'the effect of age on EWT.'
Both the elderly people and the children gave more incorrect answers to non-leading questions. Children were misled more by leading questions than adults or the elderly.
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Describe Valentine and Coxon's (1997) conclusion of their investigation into 'the effect of age on EWT'.
Age has an effect on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.
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Evaluate Valentine and Coxon's (1997) investigation into 'the effect of age on EWT'.
This has implications in law when children and elderly are questioned. But, the experiment was artificial and so it lacks ecological validity. Also, the results may only show how well they remember things from TV rather than real life.
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How does anxiety affect focus?
Psychologists believe that small increases in anxiety may increase accuracy of memory. But, high levels have a negative effect on accuracy. In violent crimes, witness is more anxious so focus on central details and ignore other peripheral details.
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Describe Loftus (1979) method of her study into 'Weapon focus in EWT'.
Independent groups design. Pp's heard a discussion in a nearby room. In one condition, a man came out with a pen and grease on his hand. In another, a man came out with a knife and covered in blood. Pp's had to identify them from 50 photos.
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Describe Loftus (1979) results of ther study into 'Weapon focus in EWT'.
Pp's in condition 1 were 49% accurate. Pp's in condition 2 were only 33% accurate.
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How did Yullie and Cutshall's (1986) study disregard the effect misleading questions affecting eyewitness testimony. (Pt.1)
They showed that witnesses of a real incident had remarkably accurate memories. A thief was shot and killed by police and witnessed were interviewed. 13 of them were invited to be re-interviewed 5 months later.
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How did Yullie and Cutshall (1986) disregard the effect of misleading questions. (Pt.2)
Recall was highly accurate, even after this period of time. The researchers included 2 misleading questions in the study but these had no effect.
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Evaluate Yullie and Cutshall's (1986) study.
It had high ecological validity as it was based on a real life event. However, witnesses who felt the highest levels of stress were closest to the event. It's difficult to determine where proximity or stress affected the accuracy.
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State the steps of the 'Cognitive Interview'. (Pt.1)
1) Make the witness relaxed and tailor language to suit the witness. 2) Mentally recreate the environment context (sounds) and internal context (mood) of the crime scene. 3) The witness reports everything about the crime, even if irrelevant.
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State the steps of the 'Cognitive Interview'. (Pt.2)
4) Ask them to recall details of the crime in different orders. 5) Ask them to recall the event from various different perspectives. 6) Avoid judgemental or personal comments.
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Describe Geiselman et al's (1986) method of their investigation into 'the effect of the cognitive interview'. (Pt.1)
In a staged situation, an intruder with a blue bag has entered a classroom and stolen a slide projector. 2 days later, pp's were questioned about the event. It used an independent groups design, so; standard interview or cognitive interview.
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Describe Geiselman et al's (1986) method. (Pt.2)
Early in the questioning, pp's were asked "was the guy with the green backpack nervous?". Later in the interview, pp's were asked about the colour of the man's bag.
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Describe Geiselman et al's (1986) results of their investigation into 'the effect of the cognitive interview'.
Pp's in the cognitive interview condition were less likely to recall the rucksack as been green than those in the standard interview condition.
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Describe Geiselman et al's (1986) conclusion of their investigation into 'the effect of the cognitive interview'.
The cognitive interview technique reduces the effect of leading questions.
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Evaluate Geiselman et al's (1986) investigation into 'the effect of the cognitive interview'.
It was conducted as though a real crime had taken place in the classroom, so high ecological validity. Independent groups design. The pp's in the cognitive interview could have been naturally susceptible to misleading questions than the other group.
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