Cognitive and social core studies

  • Created by: Han11
  • Created on: 19-06-19 15:55

Cognitive psychology – Study of mental processes. E.G. memory, attention, language, ‘tries to explain our behaviour in terms of how the mind processes stores and recalls information. It assumes our behaviour is determined by internal mental processes such as our memory and interpretation of previous events’. 

Loftus and Palmer

·     Aim: To investigate the effect of leading questions on the accuracy of witness memory of a car accident. 

·     Research method: Lab experiment 

·     Experimental design: Independent measures design. 

·     Participants: 45 student participants split into 5 groups of 9. 

·     IV: Verb used in the critical question, smashed collided bumped hit contacted. 

·     DV: Estimated speed mph.

·     Method: Participants were shown 7 short clips of car crashes. Write a short account of what they had seen. Completed a questionnaire all but one question were filler questions. Used critical question ‘About how fast were the cars going when they …. each other?’  

·     Results: Mean estimate speed mph, smashed 40.8 

                                                                          Contacted 31.8

·     Conclusions: Response bias factors, critical word influences or biases a person’s response, type of demand characteristic. Memory representation is altered, critical word changes a person’s memory so they ‘see’ something differently. 

·     Aim: To investigate if the results in experiment 1 were due to memory distortion. 

·     Research method: Lab experiment 

·     Experimental design: Independent measures design

·     Participants: 150 students, 3 groups 50. 

·     IV: Verb used in the critical question, hit + smashed

·     DV: If broken glass was recalled

·     Method: Shown one multi vehicle car accident, write an account of what they had seen. Answer questionnaire. Group one asked, ‘How fast were the cars going when they hit each other?’ Group two was asked ‘How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?’ Group three weren’t asked about speed of the vehicles. One week later participants asked ‘Did you see any broken glass?’ 

·     Results: Smashed 16 

                          Hit 7 

                          Control 6 

·     Conclusions: Suggested a reconstructive hypothesis, two kinds of information go into our memory. Persons own perception and information supplied after the event.   

·     Evaluation: Research method, controlled timing of films order of questions eliminated extraneous variables. Data type collected, quantitative data allows comparison of using different verbs. 

Low ecological validity, lab experiment doesn’t represent real life, watching car crash doesn’t give same emotions as experiencing real life crash. Ethics, could cause issue with participants who experienced a real car crash. 

·     Link approach: Loftus and Palmer’s study falls within the cognitive approach because it is investigating the cognitive process of memory. Specifically, it aimed to investigate the reconstructive nature of memory, showing that information that is supplied after an event in the form of leading questions may have an effect on the eye witness memory of the event and lead them to remember…


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