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1. GCE – AQA PSYCHOLOGY A – AS Award 1181 UNIT 1 – PSYA1 – 1 hour 30 minutes Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research Methods UNIT 1 - Contents…
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  • 1. GCE – AQA PSYCHOLOGY A – AS Award 1181 UNIT 1 – PSYA1 – 1 hour 30 minutes Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research Methods UNIT 1 - Contents COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY – MEMORY Models of Memory 1. Encoding, capacity and duration 03 2. The capacity of human memory 03 3. STM and LTM compared and contrasted 03 - 04 4. A Multi-store Model of Memory 04 - 05 5. A Working Memory Model 05 - 06 Memory in Everyday Life 1. Research into eyewitness testimony 07 - 08 2. A study of eyewitness testimony 08 3. The accuracy of eyewitness testimony 09 - 10 4. Use of the Cognitive Interview 10 - 11 5. Strategies for improving memory 11 - 12 6. Effects of age on eyewitness testimony 13 DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY – EARLY SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Attachment 1. Attachment, Privation, and Deprivation 14 2. Ainsworth’s Strange Situation 14 - 15 3. Secure and insecure attachment 15 4. Cross-cultural variations in attachment 15 - 16 5. An investigation into cross-cultural variations in attachment 16 6. How learning theory explains attachment 16 - 17 7. The evolutionary explanation of attachment 17 - 18 8. Disruption of attachment 18 9. The effects of privation – Tizard and Hodges (1989) 18 - 19 10. The effects of institutionalisation 19 - 20
  • 2. Attachment in everyday life 1. The effects of day care on social development 21 2. The effects of day care on cognitive development 22 - 23 3. The effects of day care on aggression and peer relations 23 - 26 4. Implications of research into attachment and day care 26 - 27 for child care practices RESEARCH METHODS & DESIGN 28 - 39 2
  • 3. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY - MEMORY Models of memory  The multi-store model, including the concepts of encoding, capacity and duration. Strengths and weaknesses of the model.  The working memory model, including its strengths and weaknesses 1. ENCODING, CAPACITY and DURATION Encoding refers to the form in which information can be stored in STM and LTM. Encoding is not usually an automatic process; attention must be paid to information for it to be encoded though some traumatic experiences may be encoded automatically, e.g. witnessing a car crash. On the other hand, our ability to encode information may be reduced when we are in a state of panic. Sometimes, however, a very unexpected event may ‘stick’ in our memory in considerable detail. Expectation may also affect our ability to encode information; we remember information more easily if the information fits our expectations. Capacity refers to the amount of information that can be held and worked on in memory. The capacity of STM is 7 plus or minus 2 items while the capacity of LTM is unlimited. Duration refers to the length of time information can be retained in memory: about 20 seconds without rehearsal for STM, and a lifetime for LTM. 2. INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAPACITY OF HUMAN MEMORY George Miller investigated the capacity of STM. He found that STM can retain 7 plus or minus 2 items. He found the capacity of STM can be increased by ‘chunking’, i.e. grouping the information into similar chunks. Miller concluded that STM has a limited capacity that we can describe as the ‘Magical Seven plus or minus Two’. 3. SHORT-TERM MEMORY (STM) and LONG-TERM MEMORY (LTM) COMPARED and CONTRASTED STM has a limited capacity. Miller measured it as between 5 and 9 items of information – “the magical number seven plus or minus two”. The actual amount of information in the STM can be expanded by chunking, i.e. organising information into chunks or groups. The duration of STM is around 20 seconds. After that, we forget things if we don’t rehearse/repeat the information. Rehearsal can increase duration, which is the amount of time we can hold information in the STM. 3
  • 4. The main method of encoding information in STM is acoustic – by sound, but other forms of encoding are also used. The main method in LTM is semantic. Data stored in STM is vulnerable to loss, through either rapid decay of the memory trace (20-30 seconds) or displacement by new data entering STM. The main method in LTM is semantic, i.e. we remember things more easily when they have meaning for us. LTM seems to have unlimited capacity. The duration of LTM can be a lifetime. Rehearsal is not needed to retain information in LTM. Data stored in LTM is not lost, but is subject to retrieval failure, which means we may need cue to help as access the information. 4. A MULTI-STORE MODEL OF MEMORY OUTLINED and EVALUATED Atkinson and Shiffrin proposed that human memory has 3 distinct stores: sensory memory, STM and LTM. Information reaches Sensory Memory through our senses, for example, vision and hearing. When we pay attention to this memory, it is temporarily stored in STM. If we rehearse this information sufficiently, for example, by repeating it again and again, the information is transferred to LTM. 4
  • 5. Research has shown that STM has a limited capacity and limited duration. LTM has unlimited capacity and unlimited duration. STM prefers acoustic coding (sound) while LTM prefers semantic coding (meaning). Information from STM can be lost through displacement and decay. Information in LTM cannot be lost but may be difficult to retrieve unless we have a cue to trigger the memory. Evaluation + Studies tend to confirm that memory does have distinct stores. Baddeley demonstrated that STM prefers acoustic coding while LTM prefers semantic coding. + Brain scanning shows that different parts of the brain are used when information is being processed in STM and LTM. - However, Atkinson and Shiffrin’s multi-store model is an over-simplification. Research has shown that LTM uses different kinds of memory (e.g. semantic and procedural memory). - In addition, rehearsal is not the only way we can transfer information from STM to LTM, e.g. flash bulb memories. 5. A WORKING MEMORY MODEL OUTLINED and EVALUATED The Working Memory Model, as proposed by Baddeley and Hitch, is a multi-store model of memory in which the STM is far more active than in the model proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin. 5
  • 6. This system sees the STM as much more than a passing-through point for information going in and out of the long-term memory (LTM). The WMM sees the short-term memory as being divided into four parts: the central executive, that controls the system, the articulatory loop, that stores information in acoustic form for a short time, (muttering a phone number to remember it while searching for a pen), the primary acoustic store, that holds and receives auditory information, (storing what as last said by your teacher as you write down your notes), and the visuo-spatial scratch pad that deals with visual and spatial information, (driving along a familiar road and imagining the next bend). Within the WMM, short-term memory varies depending on the type of information (for example visual or acoustic), and that task that memory is required for. This model explains how individuals are able to perform two tasks as the same time (such as driving a car and talking). Evaluation + Psychologists generally accept that STM comprises a number of different processing systems because it is a more realistic way of explaining how memory works in everyday life. + Baddeley has shown that we are capable of doing dual tasks at the same time. + PET scans show that four different areas of the brain are active during different STM processing tasks. These areas seems to correspond to the model’s components. However… - The model is limited because we know so little about the Central Executive and its function. In addition, the capacity of the CE has never been measured. - The model does not explain changes in our ability to process information that occur as the result of practice or time. - Finally, much of the evidence to support WM has come from laboratory experiments rather than real life-settings, so it may lack ecological validity. 6
  • 7. Memory in everyday life  Eyewitness testimony (EWT) and factors affecting the accuracy of EWT, including anxiety, age of witness  Misleading information and the use of the cognitive interview  Strategies for memory improvement 1. RESEARCH INTO EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY Research has shown that information can be added to a particular memory after the event itself, and that this information can be recalled as part of the original memory. Of course, this is critical in eyewitness testimony where the witness may mix the new information with the original memory. Research has shown that people’s memories of events can be affected by leading questions and misleading information which direct them to give a particular interpretation of the event. A leading question directs a person towards the response the questioner desires; a misleading question leads a person towards a response which the questioner knows does not fit the facts. Elizabeth Loftus is a leading researcher in the field of eyewitness testimony. In one study, 150 students were shown a three-minute film of a car driving in the countryside, followed by an accident. Afterwards the students were questioned about the film. Half were asked misleading questions such as ‘How fast was the car travelling when it passed the barn?’ (There was no barn in the film.) A week later the group who’d been asked the misleading questions were more likely to recall a barn in the film. This demonstrated that misleading information after an event can be recalled later as part of the original event. In a second study, participants were shown a film of a car accident. Later the participants were asked questions about the events, but different words such as ‘contacted’, ‘hit’, ‘collided’ and ‘smashed’ were used in the questions about the speed the car was going. Participants varied their estimation of the speed depending upon the particular word used in their question. The word ‘smashed’ elicited the highest estimates of speed. We can conclude that misleading questions immediately after an event can influence later recall of the event. It has also been found that delaying the misleading information has an even stronger effect on the memory because participants are less confident about the original event. It is clear that the way in which a question is asked can influence the recall of an event. Misleading questions (or leading ones) can affect a person’s memory: obviously this might be crucial in a court case. 7
  • 8. Loftus also demonstrated that not all memories are distorted. Her study involving a red purse being stolen from a handbag demonstrates that the memory for major facts is not easily misled. It is the minor details of an event that are likely to be mis-remembered. Almost all of Loftus’s conclusions are based on experiments in laboratories, usually with students watching a short film followed by questions. Do these conclusions hold true for real-life situations and real-life witnesses? For example, in a Canadian study, the researchers made use of a local shooting and robbery in Vancouver. They found that the accuracy of recall by eyewitnesses to the shooting did not decline even after five months. Perhaps when witnesses are deeply affected by an event, for example, a violent robbery, their memories are most accurate. So when an event is meaningful to the witness, rather than simply an experimental video, then eye-witness memory is at its best. 2: A STUDY OF EYE-WITNESS TESTIMONY (Aims) Elizabeth Loftus aimed to investigate whether misleading information after an event (post-event information) can be recalled as part of the event. (Procedures) A total of 150 students were shown a three-minute film of a car driving in the countryside, followed by an accident. Afterwards, the students were questioned about the film. Half of the students were asked misleading questions, for example, “How fast was the car travelling when it passed the barn?” (there was no barn in the film). One week later, all the students were questioned again about the film. (Findings) The group who had been asked the misleading questions were more likely to recall a barn in the film compared with the group who had not been asked the misleading question. In other words, the experimental group had built the ‘barn’ into their recall of the film. (Conclusions) Elizabeth Loftus has shown that information can be added to a particular memory after the event itself, and later recalled as part of the event itself. This is clearly a crucial factor to consider in evaluating eyewitness testimony. Loftus demonstrated that, at least in laboratory settings, misleading information, leading questions and misleading questions after the event can significantly influence later recall of the event. However, Loftus also demonstrated that misleading questions do not always influence memory. For example, memory will remain unaffected if the misleading information or misleading question is blatantly misleading. It is easier to mislead the memory about minor details rather than major details in an event. 8
  • 9. 3: FACTORS AFFECTING THE ACCURACY OF EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY, INCLUDING ANXIETY, and AGE OF WITNESS Research has revealed that a number of factors can affect the accuracy of testimony given by eyewitnesses to an event. These factors include obvious ones such as the physical condition of the witness (drunk), the viewing conditions (clear or misty), the time between the event and its recall, the significance of the event to the witness at the time (didn’t realise it was a bank robbery). Others factors that may affect the accuracy of the testimony include the state of mind of the witness, and even the age of the witness. Anxiety When we are in a state of anxiety, we tend to focus on whatever is making us feel anxious or fearful, and we exclude other information about the situation. After all, if we see a lion coming towards us, we are not going to pay much attention to those chimps gathering fruit in the nearby trees. In 1979 Elizabeth Loftus set up a fascinating experiment to see how anxiety affected the recall of an incident. Volunteers were invited to take part in an experiment at the psychology laboratory. As each individual arrived, he was asked to wait in a room outside the laboratory for a few minutes. The first group of participants heard a quiet discussion about equipment failure coming from the laboratory. Then a man emerged from the room holding a pen in his greasy hands. This person uttered a single comment, then walked past the participant out of the room. The second group of participants, also asked to wait when they arrived on their own, heard something quite different. They heard a very heated, angry argument coming from the laboratory. Then they heard breaking glass and crashing chairs. A man emerged from the laboratory holding a paper-knife covered in blood. This man, too, made a single comment before leaving the room. Participants were then given 50 photographs and asked to identify the man who had come out of the laboratory. Participants who had witnessed the man holding the pen accurately identified the man 49% of the time. Participants who had witnessed the man carrying the bloody paper-knife identified the man only 33% of the time. Loftus concluded that the second group had concentrated on the ‘weapon’ – the bloody paper-knife – and had excluded other information from what they had witnessed, including what the man carrying the knife looked like. Their focus on the weapon had distracted their attention from the man himself. This finding has come to be known as ‘the weapon focus’. It suggests that fear or anxiety causes an individual to narrow the focus of his attention and to concentrate on whatever 9
  • 10. is causing the anxiety. This means we may have very accurate recall of the central details of what we witness, but less accurate recall of details on the periphery. Human beings tend to become anxious in the presence of violence. Loftus and Burns (1982) conducted an experiment showing how witnessing violence can reduce the accuracy of memory. Participants were shown two filmed versions of a crime. The second version included a violent incident. The inclusion of the violent incident impaired the memory of the participants for details they had seen only two minutes earlier. Our recall of information is likely to be impaired even more when we witness real-life violence. Because we, too, may be under threat, our anxiety levels are likely to be higher, and we will narrow the focus of our attention on what we perceive as the greatest danger, again excluding peripheral details. We don’t pay much attention to the cute chimps when the lion is heading our way! 4: THE USE OF THE COGNITIVE INTERVIEW Eyewitness accounts are often fallible and incomplete. Psychologists have developed a number of ways to help eyewitnesses retrieve information from their memories that is more accurate and detailed. One of these ways is the Cognitive Interview Schedule devised by Geiselman et al. (1985). The Cognitive Interview is designed for use by police investigators when they are interviewing eyewitnesses. The interview technique is based on four instructions:  Eyewitnesses are encouraged to recall and describe the events in different orders. For example, they may describe the events in reverse or order, or start from a point in the event that seems most memorable, working backwards or forwards from that point.  Eyewitnesses are instructed to describe the event from different perspectives, that is from the perspectives of other people who were present during the event.  Eyewitnesses are asked to describe the context of the event by recalling an image of the scene during the event. This description can include the weather, the lighting, distinctive smells and sounds, the people nearby, and even how they, the witnesses, were feeling at the time.  Eyewitnesses are encouraged to recall and report every detail they can remember whether or not it seems to have any bearing on the crime itself. Geiselman et al. tested the effectiveness of the Cognitive interview by comparing it with standard police interviewing techniques. Participants (89 students) were shown police training videos of violent crimes. About 48 hours later, participants were interviewed by interviewers who had been trained in either standard police techniques or in the Cognitive Interview technique. Each interview was taped and analysed for recall. 10
  • 11. Cognitive interviewees scored 41.15 items correct while Standard interviewees scored 29.4 items correct. Clearly people recalled considerably more items correct in cognitive interviews than in standard police interviews (error rates were very similar). Fisher et al. (1989) confirmed the effectiveness of the Cognitive Interview in a study involving a group of detectives in Florida. The detectives were trained in the use of the Cognitive Interview. Their performance was then assessed when interviewing genuine witnesses to crime. It was found that they gained as much as 47% in accuracy when using the Cognitive Interview as they had when using standard police interviewing techniques. 5: STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING MEMORY There are a number of strategies we can use to help us recall information with greater accuracy and detail. However, none of these works unless we practise and persevere using them. Strategies and techniques used to commit information to memory and to recall that information later are known as mnemonics, from the Greek ‘mneme’ meaning ‘memory’. And these techniques must be active to be effective. Visual imagery A common technique of committing information to memory is to associate the items with a visual memory. For example, if you wish to memorise the key items in the Working Memory Model (Baddeley and Hitch), imagine you are walking home from school carrying a handful of Post-It stickers, each one bearing the name of an item such as the central executive, the articulatory loop, the primary
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