Edexcel Psychology Unit 1 and 2 Revision

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Psychology Revision|
Unit 1 and Unit 2|
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Damien Edwards|
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Cognitive Approach
Craik and Tulving (1975)
Aim – To test the Levels of Processing theory, and see if words processed semantically had better recall than words processed phonetically or structurally. Results – 17% recall for structural, 36% for phonetic and 65% for semantic processing. Conclusion – The deeper the level of processing, the stronger the memory, while shallow processing produces weak memory, supporting the Level of Processing theory of memory. Godden and Baddeley (1975)

Aim – To see if forgetting is caused by the change of context (environment) from when you learnt a list of words to that of recalling the words. Results – Recall was about 50% higher when it took place in the same environment as learning. 40% more words were forgotten if recall was in a different environment from where it was learned. Conclusion – That environment/context does act as a cue for recall, and backs up the Cue Dependent Theory of Forgetting; that we forget more readily if we do not have contextual cues. Key Issue: Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony

It is a key issue because anyone can be stopped and questioned by the police. Judges and jury tend to believe what an eyewitness says as being truthful, and believe eyewitness testimonies over forensic evidence, mainly because scientific evidence can be difficult to understand. The cue dependency theory says that forgetting can occur when the person is recalling a memory in a different state or context than when they learnt it. This therefore means that details may be forgotten when it comes to recalling information, such as a car accident, as the person will be in a different environment, and a different mental and emotional state. Cognitive interviewing technique is used by police to try and get the eyewitness into the same state and context as when they witnessed the incident. This has been shown to improve their memory, but is still not fool proof. Leading questions can also influence the eyewitness, with studies showing this. One study is Loftus and Palmer (1974), where they showed people a clip of a car accident, and then asked the people “how fast was the car going when they ****?”. They then said the word “smashed” for some people and the word “bump” for others. They found that the people that were asked with the aggressive verb (smashed) said the car was travelling faster than the people asked with the word bumped. The same people were also asked a week later the leading question, “Did you see the broken glass?”. The people who were asked the original question with the word “smashed” tended to say yes, with the others said no, while in fact there was no broken glass. This shows that eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. Another reason which lowers the reliability of eyewitness is the theory of repression. Repression is a defence mechanism, which pushes a traumatic memory into the unconscious, in order to protect the person from those distressing feelings. As a car accident or crime is traumatic, it may lead to the eyewitness repressing certain details of the incident. Also, with repression, false memories can occur. Beth Rutherford is an example of this, where, during therapy, uncovered apparent childhood memories of child abuse from her father, which led to her becoming pregnant and having an abortion. It was later revealed that Beth was a virgin, and that her father had had a vasectomy before the alleged abuse happened. This shows that eyewitness testimony can be unreliable.

Assumptions:
* We receive information through our senses; we deal with and process this information in a certain way. There is bottom-up processing, and top-down processing. Bottom-up processing is where the senses pick up a stimulus and sends the message to the brain. Top-down processing is where our brain checks the message against past experience, and sends an appropriate response to the stimulus....
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