AQA AS Psychology

Covers most but not all

  • Created by: Gemma
  • Created on: 05-01-13 16:39

MSM structure

Environmental Stimuli

Sensory Memory (SM)


Short-term memory (STM) - (top) Maintence Rehearsal - (bottom) Information Retrieval

Elaborative Rehearsal (forwards) Retrieval (backwards) Long-term memory (LTM)

(draw out below)

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  • Based on three seperate memory stores and how information is transferred between them
  • Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) - SM, STM and LTM
  • No rehearsal = decays, new info enters = displacement
  • Case study of HM supports MSM - ability to form new memories in LTM impaired when hippocampus removed

Evaluation: Strengths - HM & produces testable predictions

Limitations - STM and LTM not unitary stores, rehearsal involves elaboration (processing) as well as maintenance

SM - info collected by senses, retained for few seconds, capacity = large, encoding depends on: visual for eyes, acoustic for ears. Transfers to STM via attention. Sperling - conducted a lab experiment: asked to recall letters = information decays rapidly in the sensory store.

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WMM - Baddeley and Hitch (1974) : Explanation of STM

Central Executive - Monitors and coordinates all mental functions in WMM

Episodic Buffer - Receives, temporarily stores this info

Phonological loop - Encodes speech sounds, involved in maintence rehearsal (constant repeating) - divided into phonological store (inner ear) and articulatory process (inner voice)

Visuo - spatial sketchpad - Encodes visual info - divides in visual cache (stores info) and inner scribe (spatial relations)

Reseach supporting - Dual task performance (Hitch and Baddeley) conducted lab experiment. Performance slower when given task involving CE and 2nd involving CE and another instead of one alone.

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Evaluation: Strengths - Explains word-length effect with patients e.g. KF, comparison to MSM - expands understanding of MSM shoring different stores within STM

Limitations - CE isn't fully defined, evidence from brain-damaged patients may be false

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Effect of misleading info on EWT

Experiment 1 - Lab exp, 45 students, 'smashed, collided, bumped or contacted' SHOWED: 'smashed = higher speed than group of heard word 'contacted' - leading Q has big impact.

Experiment 2 - different group showed a film of accident and week later asked if they'd seen broken glass. SHOWED: group who heard 'smashed' were more likely to recall a broken headlight

Evaluation - Loftus et al supported original findings with further lab exp: 'STOP' & 'YIELD' may lack VALIDITY - lab exp = not real life. Foster et al showed recall more accurate in real life. Real-world application and individual differences

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Effect of anxiety on EWT

Christianson & Hubinette - Anxiety enhances recall: 58 witnesses.

Johnson & Scott - Weapon focus effect: Lab exp

Explanations - YERKES - DODSON law = medium ^ high decreases = contradictory findings

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Effect of age on EWT

Parker and Carranza = Children as witnesses

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Cognitive Interview

Fisher and Gieselman, 1992

1. Report everything

2. Mental reinstatement of original context

3. Changing the order

4. Changing the perspective

Real-world application: Stein and Memon - females cleaners in brazil - better recall

Difficulties in establishing effectiveness: Kebbell and Wagstaff - different forces different components

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Memory Improvement

Verbal techniques:

Acronyms - ROYGBIV, Acroustics - Big Elephants...., Rhymes, Chunking

Evaluation: Role of organisation - Bower et al. Reseach evidence - Glidden et al - learning difficulties however not long term

Visual techniques:

Method of Loci - areas

Keyword method - images

Mindmapping - visual appearance

Evaluation: Dual codeing hypothesis - Pavio - words and images processed seperately, concrete words are double-encoded (image and word) Reseach evidence - O'Hara et al - MoL has long term benefits for older adults

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Learning theory

Classical conditioning Food = UCS, happy = UCR. New response is learned when neutral stimulus (NS) associated with UCS then produces a UCR. Learning through association

Operant conditioning - Dollard and Miller = reinforcement. Attachement occurs as infant seeks person who gives reward (food)

Strength - LT can explain attachment

Limiations - Contact comfort is more important

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Bowlby's theory of attachment

  • Born with social releasers - innate drive to become attached
  • Develops during sensitive period - 3-6 months
  • One special emotional bond (monotropy) with PAF
  • Many bonds with SAF
  • Mother-infant relationship creates expectations - internal working model
  • Continuity hypothesis - continues into later life

Strengths - Evidence that it is innate process (Lorenz), Harlow's exp. Continuity

Limitations - Multiple attachments and monotrophy - not clear how many is needed (Rutter), Alternative exp. temperament hyp (Kagan)

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Secure and Insecure

Ainsworth et al (1978) - strange situation

  • 66% secure - willing to explore, high stranger anx, enthusaistic reunion
  • 22% insecure-avoidant -willing to explore, low stranger anx, not bothered
  • 12% insecure-resistant - not willing, high stranger anx

Research evidence - results could be exp be Bowlby's theory (caregiver sensitivity)

Evaluation - Validity - what is being measured?, Sensitivity/maternal reflexive thinking

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Distrubtion of attachment

Bowlby predicted DofA had negative effect on children's social and emotional development

Spitz and Wolf - 100 'normal' children in instituion became severely depressed within a few months

Robertson and Robertson (1963-1973) 6 children (less 3) studied during brief seperation from PAF. Laura = hospital, John = residential nursery, Jane,Lucy,Thomas and Kate looked after by Robinsons in their home = high level of substitute emotional care


  • Laura and John = depressed and withdrawn
  • Other children coped well

Validity: Case studies = unique = lack generalisability, however data was v detailed

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Failure to form attachment = privation

Hodges and Tizard (1989) - 65 children, institutional care when less than 4 months old, caregivers told not to form attachments. SHOWED: Problems with peers

Case study Genie was privation but not IC (Rymer)

Evaluation - Poor parenting (Quinton et al) privation cycle, Privation is only one factor (some Romanian orphans did recover), Privation or rejection - Hodges and Tizard may be due to rejection.

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Impact of day care on aggressiveness

Negative effects - NICHD study is longtitudinal study in US - 30+ hours = arguing, temper tantrums, lying and hitting compared with those cared at home by their mother.

EPPE study similar results in the UK. More aggressive when longer hours/before the age of 2

Evaluation - Reinterpretating NICHD results (Friedman) less than 30 hours per week didn't show high levels of agression, Other factors affect aggression (sensitivity)

Mediating factors - Quality of care, Lack of commitment, Individual differences, Child's age, Number of hours

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Impact of day care on peer relations

  • Attachment - secure attachement is better for PR
  • Social development - Greater at daycare compared to stay at home kids

Evaluation - Other factors. Day care isn't the only factor.

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Influence of attachment research

  • Improving quality of day care
  • Institutional care (hospitals and adoption centres) substitute emotional care
  • Adoption - before sensitive/critical period
  • Help for parents that suffered themselves.


  • Improving QofDC - supported by Bowlby's theory with importance of SAF
  • Substitute care (IC) supported by Robertson and Robertson
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Influence of day care research

  • Importance of high quality DC
  • NICHD 1:3
  • Minimal staff turnover
  • Qualified/exp staff


Importance of hihg quality DC supported by Bowlby and Ainsworth

Problems associated with DC may be due to low Q

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Key Facts RM

  • Aim, conclusions
  • Interview & questionnaire design - closed Q, interviewer bias, leading Q, open Q, social desirability bias
  • Experimental design - Control condition, control group, experimenter bias/effects, random allocation, repeated measures, matched pairs, order E
  • Research methods - CS, Content analysis, study using correlational analysis (No RM), experiement (lab/field/natural)
  • Observation, questionnaire, self-report (questionnaire/interview)
  • Sampling - opportunity, random, stratified - according to # in population, systematic, target population, volunteer
  • Validity - demand characterisitics, ecological V, ext V, int V, pop V
  • Reliability - ext. R, int. R
  • Single blind - PPs doesn't know aim of study
  • Double blind - exp or PPs don't know aim of study
  • Directional hyp, Non directional hyp
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Key Facts RM

Quantitative Data

Measure of Central Tendency = Mean, mode, median

Measures of Dispersion = Range and Standard deviation (variation)

Visual Display = Bar chart, scattergram

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Key Facts RM

Ethical issues:

  • Informed Consent - pps given proper info
  • Deception - PPs not told true aim
  • Right to withdraw
  • Protection from harm
  • Confidentiality
  • Privacy


  • Extraneous V = variable that cam affect the DV (not the IV)
  • Eco V = enviroment/setting
  • Pop V = Generalise or not
  • In V = intended measure
  • Ex V = how much research can be generalised
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