Presentation on theme: "How reliable is eyewitness testimony? Concept - Leading questions can cause false or distorted recall…"— Presentation transcript:
How reliable is eyewitness testimony? Concept - Leading questions can cause false or distorted recall…
How reliable is eyewitness testimony? - Describe the issue An important issue because of the number of cases where people are found guilty of crimes with no other evidence except for eyewitness testimonies. An eyewitness is a witness to a crime, who must give their account of the event, and possibly identify the criminal from an identity parade or appear in court. This can lead to a conviction, so if the eyewitness testimony is wrong, someone has been wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit.
How reliable is eyewitness testimony? Elizabeth Loftus is a leading expert in the area and has done a lot of research into the reliability of eyewitness testimonies. She has identified many useful factors. For example, eyewitnesses can be swayed by identity parades (this is likely to be because they want to help so feel they must answer, or might assume that the criminal has to be in the line-up). They will be looking to find the nearest match to the person they saw, not the actual person: this can lead to wrongful convictions.
Wrongful Convictions Cornelius Dupree Convicted of rape and robbery Exactly one week after the attack Dupree & Anthony Massingill were stopped by police as they walked along a street near the site of the incident. Police claimed they stopped them because they fit the general description of two other black men who were suspected in a separate sexual assault case. Both men were searched and although Dupree was unarmed, Massingill had a handgun roughly similar to the one described in the recent attack.
Wrongful Convictions Both Dupree and Massingill were taken into custody and their photos were submitted for an identification lineup. Although the male victim did not identify them in the photo array, the female victim picked both Dupree and Massingill when presented with the same photos. Later in the investigation, police showed the photos to two women who worked at the store where the perpetrators tried to sell the fur coat, and both women did not identify either Massingill or Dupree.
Wrongful Convictions On July 30, 2010, the lab issued a report on the evidence which conclusively excluded both Dupree and Massingill as possible sources of the DNA found on the victim’s pubic hair samples.
Wrongful Convictions Jean Charles de Menezes Brazilian man shot dead by the London Metropolitan police at Stockwell tube station on the London Underground after he was misidentified as one of the fugitives involved in the previous day's failed bombing attempts. These events took place two weeks after the London bombings of 7 July 2005, in which 52 people were killed. Later police and media accounts contradicted each other, specifically regarding Menezes's manner and clothing as he entered the station, and whether there had been any police warnings before they fired.
Wrongful Convictions Jean Charles de Menezes Brazilian man shot dead by the London Metropolitan police at Stockwell tube station on the London Underground after he was misidentified as one of the fugitives involved in the previous day's failed bombing attempts. These events took place two weeks after the London bombings of 7 July 2005, in which 52 people were killed. Later police and media accounts contradicted each other, specifically regarding Menezes's manner and clothing as he entered the station, and whether there had been any police warnings before they fired. He was misidentified and eyewitness testimony of shootings were incoherent
The issue with EWT Witnessing a crime, etc will be emotional. If you saw a shooting would you think about yours or others life's? An eyewitness testimony will not be exact like a video recording. So how reliable is it? Witnesses can be swayed in line ups as they assume the perpetrator is there. Loftus and Ketcham (1991) found that innocent individuals were wrongly convicted 45% of the time by eyewitness testimonies from the police cases they studied
Application Loftus and Palmer (1974) Study Aim: To test their hypothesis that the language used in eyewitness testimony can alter memory. They aimed to show that leading questions could distort eyewitness testimony accounts and so have a confabulating effect, as the account would become distorted by cues provided in the question
Procedure – Experiment 1: Forty-five American students/ opportunity sample. Laboratory experiment with five conditions, only one of which was experienced by each participant (an independent measures experimental design). 7 films of traffic accidents, ranging in duration from 5 to 30 seconds, were presented in a random order to each group. After watching the film participants were asked to describe what had happened as if they were eyewitnesses. They were then asked specific questions, including the question “About how fast were the cars going when they (smashed / collided / bumped / hit / contacted) each other?” Thus, the IV was the wording of the question and the DV was the speed reported by the participants
Procedure – Experiment 2: 150 students were shown a one minute film which featured a car driving through the countryside followed by four seconds of a multiple traffic accident. Afterwards the students were questioned about the film. The independent variable was the type of question asked. It was manipulated by asking 50 students 'how fast were the car going when they hit each other?', another 50 'how fast were the car going when they smashed each other?', and the remaining 50 participants were not asked a question at all (i.e. the control group). One week later the dependent variable was measured - without seeing the film again they answered ten questions, one of which was a critical one randomly placed in the list: “Did you see any broken glass? Yes or no?" There was no broken glass on the original film.
EWT can be affected! Juries tend to pay close attention to eyewitness testimony and generally find it a reliable source of information. However, research into this area has found that eyewitness testimony can be affected by many psychological factors: Anxiety / Stress Reconstructive Memory Weapon Focus
However, a study by Yuille and Cutshall (1986) contradicts the importance of stress in influencing eyewitness memory. They showed that witnesses of a real life incident (a gun shooting outside a gun shop in Canada) had remarkable accurate memories of a stressful event involving weapons. A thief stole guns and money, but was shot six times and died.
The police interviewed witnesses, and thirteen of them were re- interviewed five months later. Recall was found to be accurate, even after a long time, and two misleading questions inserted by the research team had no effect on recall accuracy. One weakness of this study was that the witnesses who experienced the highest levels of stress where actually closer to the event, and this may have helped with the accuracy of their memory recall. The Yuille and Cutshall study illustrates two important points: 1. There are cases of real-life recall where memory for an anxious / stressful event is accurate, even some months later. 2. Misleading questions need not have the same effect as has been found in laboratory studies (e.g. Loftus & Palmer).
The participants were all students; they may not be representative of the population as a whole – Generalisability The findings show that memory is easily distorted, which has implications for eyewitness testimony in police statements and courts. The evidence shows that leading questions can bias the eyewitnesses’ answers. - Application
Order effects controlled by random sequence of presentation of films to each group. Demand characteristics: student participants may work out the aim of the research – confounding variables Low ecological validity as it was conducted in a laboratory. There would be differences between seeing a car accident on film and seeing it in real life (e.g., other distractions, high emotional involvement) – Low ecological validity
This study was very well controlled. For example, in experiment 2, one group of participants were not asked the critical ‘broken glass’ question. Good control over variables is possible as it was conducted in a laboratory; doing this study outside would lack control over all variables (but increase ecological validity) – Controls What about the methodology?
Cue-dependent theory of forgetting: Tulving 1975 This theory of forgetting applies to long-term memory, not the short-term store. It states that forgetting occurs when the right cues are not available for memory retrieval. Tulving put forward this theory in 1975, stating that memory is dependent on the right cues being available, and forgetting occurs when they are absent.
Tulving’s theory states that there are two events necessary for recall: 1) a memory trace (information is laid down and retained in a store as a result of the original perception of an event) 2) a retrieval cue (information present in the individual’s cognitive environment at the time of retrieval that matches the environment at the time of recall)
For Tulving, forgetting is about the memory trace being intact, but memory failing because the cognitive environment has changed. There is no appropriate cue to activate the trace. The most noticeable experience of this cue- dependent forgetting is the Tip of the Tongue Phenomenon (Brown and McNeill, 1966). This refers to knowing a memory exists but being temporarily unable to recall it.
Cues have been differentiated into: 1)context-dependent cues – the situation or context (Godden and Baddeley, 1975) 2)state-dependent cues – the person’s state or mood
Evaluaiton The theory is supported by much anecdotal evidence (personal experiences – most people have experienced the “Tip of the Tongue Phenomenon” where you cannot quite recall what you know exists). There is also a great deal of experimental evidence (provided by studies) which support the theory. A further strength is that the theory has practical applications, which are related to cognition and improving memory and ability to recall information. Also, the theory can be tested, unlike theories such as trace-decay theory. Experiments can test the importance of cues as they are tangible and measurable, unlike memory traces.
Evaluaiton However, one major weakness is that the tasks from all studies supporting the theory are artificial: most often learning words lists. Also, it is only an explanation for forgetting from long-term memory, it does not include anything about the short-term store. The theory may not be a complete explanation either, as it cannot explain why emotionally-charged memories can be really vivid – even without a cue (such as posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD). It is also hard to prove whether a memory has been revived from the cue or from the memory trace simply being activated, therefore it makes the theory hard to refute.
Applying this to the cognitive practical: Procedure 20 participants were asked to arrive at a classroom. At this point they were all given the right to withdraw. They were randomly allocated to cued and non cued groups by drawing names from a hat. Both groups were briefed about the aims and the procedure (given the right to withdraw, assured confidentiality and anonymity).
Both groups were seated in the classroom and shown a list of 20 words one at a time via powerpoint. Each word was shown for 3 seconds. Non-cued group asked to go to the library and the cued group asked to remain seated. After 5 minutes the groups were given a blank piece of paper and a pen top recall all the words they could remember in 5 minutes. Both groups were debriefed, told the aims again and thanked. They were given the right to withdraw a final time and told the results of the experiments would be made available.
Variable and hypothesis This experiment is investigating a cause and effect relationship between context and recall IV – environment DV – ability to recall Hypothesis – participants will recall fewer words when they recall in an environment that is different from the learning environment, than when learning and recall take place in the same environment. So here the direction has been clearly stated so this is a one-tailed/ directional hypothesis.
Why have we used a one-tailed hypothesis? This experiment is based upon an established psychological theory. If it was not what then we would use a…? The null hypothesis (required for every experiment) states that any difference is likely due to chance: There will be no difference in recall of a word list recalled in the same of different environment and any difference found is due to chance.
Controls What variables must we consider? Participants asked to refrain from talking to each other throughout the study Mobile phones switched off Participants seated away from each other so not to copy Used a booked room which was quiet and posters put up on door explain there was an experiment going on All times the same
Selecting participants Cue-dependent is a common way of forgetting so no specific selection is required. 20 students, opportunity sampling from around the school/college
Design Independent measures design used. Why choose this over repeat measures?
Results Consider the results on page 65 – 66 of big brain.
Jan 2011 – 5 marks As part of the course requirements for cognitive psychology you will have conducted a practical using an experiment. Evaluate your experiment. You may wish to look at: your sample how you controlled variables your research design decisions any ethical issues
Evaluative points: Because the sample was opportunity we could have deliberately picked people we knew had the desired characteristics We all used the same standardised instructions which increases the reliability of our study It was carried out in a quiet classroom, which is a natural setting for the participant so increasing ecological validity Some participants may have told others about the study so they may have tried to give us the results they thought we wanted All participants were 16 to 18 so we cannot generalise the results to older people As it was an experiment so we don't know if the participant’s behaviour was natural or a result of demand characteristics
Level 3 – 5 marks A thorough answer, giving very good strengths and/or weaknesses, comprehensively communicated. The candidate has referred to their own study in some way at least once. Given time constraints and limited number of marks, full marks must be given when the answer is reasonably detailed even if not all the information is present.
Jan 2009 Explain why it might be preferable to use a research method that produces qualitative rather than quantitative data (4) - If candidate explains why quantitative methods are better than qualitative methods then zero marks. Candidate can gain credit for applying question to their own study (but does not have to). -Qualitative methods conducted in more natural circumstances tend to produce more ecologically valid data as they are real life situations/eq; (2 marks) - Quantitative data produces narrow, unrealistic information which only focuses on small fragments of behaviour/eq; - Qualitative methods produces more rich detailed type of information/eq; - Qualitative methods enables the researcher to delve into the reasons behind their quantitative findings/eq; - Qualitative data can be broken down to quantitative data but not vice versa/eq; Look for other reasonable marking points.
May 2009 A field experiment was carried out to see if environmental cues can aid recall. A student ice hockey team learned a list of 20 unrelated words in an ice rink. Half the group were then taken to a library (control group) whilst the other half (experimental group) stayed in the ice rink. Both groups then had to recall as many of the 20 words as possible. The results are shown in the table below: Which design is being used in this study? Control group (Library) Experimental group (Ice rink) Mean Number of Words Recalled (out of 20) 1016
Explain why this design is appropriate for this study. (2)
Explain why this design is appropriate for this study. -2 marks for a complete answer, 1 mark for a partial answer. If more than one advantage given mark all and credit the best. -There is no practice/fatigue effect/eq; 1 mark As the participants either went to the library or the ice rink/eq; 1 mark -No order effects/eq; 1 mark No order effects as different participants are used in each condition/eq; 2 marks -Need two groups to compare the results/eq; 1 mark A comparison group is required to see if the change in environment had an effect on recall/eq; 2 marks -Look for other reasonable ways of expressing this answer
Which measure of central tendency is being used in the table below? Control group (Library) Experimental group (Ice rink) Mean Number of Words Recalled (out of 20) 1016
Which measure of central tendency is being used in the table below? Control group (Library) Experimental group (Ice rink) Mean Number of Words Recalled (out of 20) 1016 The Mean
Would this study have high or low validity? Explain your answer.
Would this study have high or low validity? Explain your answer. (2) 2 marks for a complete answer, 1 mark for a partial answer. A suitable example would serve as elaboration. MAX 1 mark if no reference made to the actual study. High validity as it was in a natural setting for the hockey team (ice rink)/eq; 1 mark Even the students in the library were in their natural setting as well as those in the ice rink which would be high validity/eq; 1 mark Low validity as learning a wordlist is an artificial task which is not carried out in everyday life/eq; 1 mark Low (construct) validity as a task such as learning a list of words may not be testing how memory normally works/eq; 1 mark Look for other reasonable ways of expressing this answer
The researchers would have followed ethical guidelines. With reference to this study, explain two ethical guidelines they would have to consider.
1 mark for each guideline (ID mark) + 1 for each explanation NB: 1 mark for ID, second mark in each case must relate the study to the ethical guideline to gain credit There are many guidelines that could be chosen. If more than two are given mark all and credit the best. Right to withdraw; ID mark The ice hockey team/players had to know that they could pull out from the memory experiment at any time and withdraw the data they had recalled/eq; Debriefing; ID mark The ice hockey team should be told all about the purpose of the experiment on cue dependent memory so they know what they have participated in/eq; Informed consent; ID mark The ice hockey team/student team must give their permission to take part in the memory experiment after they are told what is involved/eq; Confidentiality; ID mark The results and personal details of the ice hockey team/‘group’ should not in any way be made public to anyone without their permission/eq;
Outline one weakness of field experiments in general. (2) 2 marks for a complete answer, 1 mark for a partial answer. If more than one weakness mark all and credit the best E.g. Lack of full control over variables/eq; 1 mark Difficult to replicate due to lack of full control over extraneous variables /eq; 2 marks E.g.Could be lack of informed consent/eq; 1 mark Informed consent is difficult to obtain as informing the participants they are being studied would disrupt natural behaviour/eq; 2 marks E.g.May be more expensive and time consuming/eq; 1 mark The researcher may require additional skills in arranging and setting up a field experiment compared to the skills required for a lab experiment/eq; 2 marks
Jan 2010 Identify one study from the Cognitive Approach Craik and Tulving (1975) Godden and Baddeley / deep sea divers
Jan 2010 Describe the findings (results and/or conclusions) of the study you identified in (a). Credit should be given for results and/or conclusions drawn from the study only. No marks should be given for procedure or aims. 1 mark per point/elaboration of findings. TE: If (a) is blank/insufficient for identification but findings in (b) are clearly identifiable as an appropriate study from the Cognitive Approach full marks can be given e.g. Loftus and Zanni. If the findings described do not relate to a study stated in (a) but are clearly identifiable as a study from the Cognitive Approach then max 2 marks. If (a) is incorrect e.g. from a different approach and the findings refer to (a) then 0 marks.
Godden and Baddeley (1975) Recall was about 50% higher than when it took place in the same environment as learning. Mean number of words recalled in the dry land learning and recall condition was 13.5 and 11.4 for underwater learning and recall/eq; [figures can be more or less similar and appropriately paired]) This contrasted with 8.4 mean recall in the underwater learning and dry land recall and 8.6 for dry land learning and underwater recall/eq; The study thus demonstrates how the environment can act as a contextual cue that helps recall and prevent forgetting/eq;
Craik and Tulving – 80% semantic 50% phonemic and 18% of structurally processed words were recalled/recognised. [percentages can be more or less similar and appropriately paired]) – The researchers had found that the deeper the processing the more durable the memory/eq; – This demonstrates elaborative rehearsal is more effective than pure maintenance rehearsal in improving memory recall/eq; – Semantic processing involves the most cognitive work so thinking about the meaning of the words leads to them being remembered best/eq;
Outline one strength of the study you identified (a). Must be a strength not a weakness. If more than one strength given mark all and credit the best. 2 marks for a complete answer, 1 mark for a partial answer. 1 mark per point / elaboration. Study must be referred to at least once to access both marks. T.E. - If study in (a) is incorrect / non cognitive study then no marks for strength in (c). If (a) is blank but answer in (c) focuses on an identifiable Cognitive study then full marks available. If a strength of a cognitive study but a different one from the one given in (a), or if a ‘generic’ strength, then max 1 if the answer is appropriate.
Outline one strength of the study you identified (a). E.g. Godden and Baddeley (1975) Strength The study can help students with their revision by getting them to use cues to help learning/eq; (1st mark) Students can make use of contextual cues by learning and recalling in the same environment (2nd mark) The experiment was conducted in a realistic open water environment for divers (1st mark) so has higher ecological validity and results relate to real life situations/eq; (2nd mark)
Outline one strength of the study you identified (a). E.g. Craik and Tulving Strength – The study does have a practical application to real life; giving meaning to material is one way of improving your memory/eq; (1 st mark) Students can be taught to make notes which have meaning rather than just reading information that makes no sense to help them revise/eq; (2 nd mark) – As a laboratory experiment the study has tight control of extraneous variables/eq; (1 st mark) which also makes it more likely that the IV influenced the DV/eq; (2 nd mark)
Jan 2010 (5) There are three types of experiments (natural, field and laboratory). Compare field experiments and laboratory experiments. Comparisons involve looking at similarities and differences. You may wish to include strengths and weaknesses such as: validity reliability ethics.
There are three types of experiments (natural, field and laboratory). Compare field experiments and laboratory experiments. Marking points are indicative, not comprehensive and other points should be credited. In each consider Or Words To That Effect (OWTTE). 1 mark per point / elaboration. Credit use of appropriate examples which illustrate comparison e.g. Milgram and Hofling Credit can be given for similarities and / or differences do not need both
There are three types of experiments (natural, field and laboratory). Compare field experiments and laboratory experiments. Lab carried out in an artificial setting field is in a realistic environment/eq; Lab has low ecological validity field has high/eq; Both involve manipulation of IV by the experimenter/eq; Both aim to measure cause and effect /eq; Lab has greater control than field over extraneous variables/eq; Lab are easier to replicate and test for reliability of results as conditions are controlled (1st mark), field less able to replicate due to lack of control over extraneous variables/eq (2nd mark) Demand characteristics are more likely to occur in lab due to the artificial environment (1st mark) less likely in field due to more natural environment where participants are less likely to know they are part of a study /eq (2 marks); For example in Milgrams lab exp pps were more likely to be influenced by cues around them than the nurses in Hofling’s field experiment/eq;
Tests of difference Participant design Level of measurement Nominal dataOrdinal dataInterval/ratio data Repeated measures or matched pairs Sign testWilcoxon MatchedRelated t test* Independent groupschi-squared testMann-WhitneyUnrelated t test* Tests for relationship (correlations) Ordinal dataNominalInterval/ratio data Spearman’s Rank Correlation Co-efficient chi-squared test Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Co-efficient* e.g. if you have ordinal data with independent measures design and you’re looking for a difference, you will use Mann-Whitney ‘U.’
May 2010 Each of the approaches in psychology has main features (underlying concepts) that define it. Describe one or more main features of the Cognitive Approach in psychology. (4)
Possible features include: Information processing; understanding of memory; understanding forgetting; experiments; computer analogy; There are others [including not on the spec such as perception, which are creditable if correct]
Information processing; (possible ID mark) Similar to a computer we input information, process and provide an output/eq; E.g. The multi-store model of memory receives, retains and recalls information from the memory stores/eq; We received information directly from our senses/bottom-up processing/eq;
Understanding memory; (possible ID mark) We encode, store and retrieve information which makes up our memory/eq;
[The following are not features as such but can be used as examples of features: Multi store model, levels of processing, eye witness testimony, cue dependency, interference, trace decay, reconstruction, repression and so on.]
Describe the Levels of Processing model of memory. (5) Memory is a consequence of how we process information/eq; Information that is attended to on basis of how it looks is not very durable/eq; Most durable information is that which has been attended to semantically/eq; The theory distinguishes between maintenance rehearsal which simply retains items for the time being and elaborative rehearsal which expands upon material and creates more lasting memories/eq; (2 marks) Deep processing which is a form of elaborative rehearsal produces longer lasting memory traces/eq; The 3 levels of processing are: Structural what something looks like Phonemic/phonetic what something sounds like Semantic what something means/eq; (2 marks)
Jan 2011 What is meant by a survey? (2) Surveys are questionnaires and/or interviews to find out what people think about an issue/eq; There are two types of questionnaire using open questions or closed questions/eq; There are also two types of interview using a structured or unstructured set of questions/eq; A survey gathers information by asking questions of a large number of people, using written questionnaires and/or through face to face interviews/eq; (2 marks)
Jan 2011 Write an open question you might ask participants in this survey about healthy eating. (1)
Jan 2011 Write an open question you might ask participants in this survey about healthy eating. (1) How do you think the media /your parents can help reduce the amount of junk food eaten?/eq; What advice would you give to a friend who was eating too much junk food?/eq; Why do you think some teenagers prefer junk food to more healthy food?/eq;
Jan 2011 Write a closed question you might ask participants in this survey about healthy eating (1) How many times a week do you eat chips / burgers / junk food?/eq; Eating junk food is to blame for the obesity epidemic: yes or no?/eq; Parents should take responsibility for educating children about healthy eating: strongly agree; agree; don’t know; disagree; strongly disagree/eq; Do you eat five portions of fruit/veg daily?/eq;
Jan 2011 Outline two weaknesses of surveys in general. (4)
Jan 2011 Outline two weaknesses of surveys in general. (4) Participants may not answer honestly because they do not take it seriously/do not want the researchers to know their true beliefs/eq; Participants may give socially desirable answers based on what society expects them to say, that are more favourable, acceptable good/eq; (2 marks) Answers may be a result of demand characteristics where the interviewee tries to please the interviewer (1st mark) as it may be possibl guess from the questions the desired answer/eq: (2nd mark) Open ended questions are difficult and time consuming to interpret /eq; Closed ended questions offer little opportunity for explaining the response/eq; Qualitative data obtained from unstructured interviews may not be easy to analyse (1st mark) and may be subjective and open to misinterpretation (2nd mark) People who return questionnaires may be only those who have time to do so which can lead to a biased sample (1st mark), which is not representative of the general population. (2 marks)
Jan 2011 Evaluate the study you have used in (a). You might want to consider issues of: -reliability - validity - application to real life. -This is a possible question you could be asked so remember…
Reliability Refers to whether if the study were to be done again, the same results would be found (how easy is it to replicate the study).
Reliability of studies - Godden and Baddely (1975) – The situation is set up clearly and the context cues are clear making the study replicable and the results reliable. This included strong controls such as the times of the learning and the recall and the intervals between the conditions. You can always talk about reliability being a strength when there is an experiment with high controls.
Reliability of studies - Craik and Tulving (1975) – Experiments designed carefully with control and clear operationalisation of variables. For example time of the words. The study can therefore be replicated and the findings are likely to be reliable.
Reliability of experiments (Lab) Laboratory experiments are replicable which means they can be repeated. This is because controls such as standardised instructions. It is often said that experiments are reliable when what is mean is that they are replicable. They are only reliable if they have been repeated and the same resukts have been obtained. Craik and Tulvings study is reliable as it was successfully repeated and the same results were found (this is what true reliability is). What about Godden and Baddely? Experiments are replicable so can be tested for reliability.
Reliability of experiments (field) Difficult to stay that a field study is reliable if we can not replicate (unless such as Godden and Baddely they do so and the results were reliable).
Validity test is valid if it measures what it claims to measure. For example a test of intelligence should measure intelligence and not something else (such as memory).
Validity in the studies Godden and Baddely – The environment chosen by G&B was a deliberate choice, it was not unfamiliar to the divers and therefore has some ecological validity. But were the results valid? The two environments are very different and the task unnatural. We do not normally perform such tasks in different environments so the conclusions may not be valid. Although high in ecological validity to an extent the study may not be valid.
Validity in the studies Craik and Tulving – These were artificial tasks so could lack validity.
Validity of Lab experiments Lack ecological validity and conclusions lack validity
Validity of field experiments High ecological validity as in real setting therefore conclusions are more valid than that of lab experiments.
E.g. Craik and Tulving – The study does have a practical application to real life; giving – meaning to material is one way of improving your memory (1 st mark). E.g. students can be taught to make notes which have meaning rather than just reading to help them revise/eq; (2nd mark) – As a laboratory experiment the study has tight control of extraneous variables which also makes it more likely that the IV influenced the DV/eq; – Even shallow processing could lead to better processing if the material was distinctive/eq; (1 st mark) E.g. you may see something so distinctive that it creates a mental image/eq; (2 nd mark) – There are too many problems with actually defining deep processing and why it is effective/eq; (1 st mark) i.e. material which has been deeply processed will be remembered better BUT you could say material is well remembered because it must have been processed deeply/eq; (2 nd mark)
May 2011 Describe one theory of forgetting you have studied within cognitive psychology other than the cue dependent theory. (4) (Trace Decay)
Trace Decay answer (4) Learning causes a physical change in the neural network of the memory system creating a memory trace or engram/eq; This neural path gives the memory a structural quality/eq; Without rehearsal this will decay so it must be reinforced, repetition strengthens it/eq; Trace decay explains forgetting as a problem of availability information is forgotten through disuse and passage of time This is inevitable in STM due to its limited duration but require a significant structural change in LTM/eq;
Outline one strength and one weakness of the theory described in (a). (4)
Strength Peterson and Peterson argued that the forgetting they found over their 3 – 18 second time delay occurred through trace decay showing that preventing rehearsal caused information to decay/eq; (2 marks) Studies tend to be lab based with good controls so replicable and tested for reliability/eq; Biological evidence shows that traces are created over a period of days as memories are formed/eq;
Weakness It could be that information has been interfered with than just simply decayed. Waugh and Norman who set out to support trace decay actually concluded interference is the most likely cause of forgetting/eq; (2 marks) The information may actually just not be accessible due to lack of cues/eq; The theory is difficult to test as participants who are tested after different time periods could actually be rehearsing and strengthening the trace/eq;
May 2011 Mrs Smith is to take over Mrs Jones’s Psychology class in January, as Mrs Jones is going on maternity leave. Mr Brown’s class is not affected by staff change. Researchers have decided to use this as a natural experiment to discover whether attendance is affected by staff change part way through the year. Define what is meant by natural experiment. (2)
Natural experiment: It is a naturally occurring IV/ is not manipulated by the researcher/eq; (adding natural environment gets an elaboration mark – 2 marks) A cause and effect relationship is looked for between the IV and the DV/eq; The researcher takes advantage of a naturally/real life occurring situation (an event in the natural environment) as the IV - where the variable is changed for one group but not another/eq (2 marks);
Identify both the independent variable (IV) and the dependent (DV) variable in this experiment (2) Mrs Smith is to take over Mrs Jones’s Psychology class in January, as Mrs Jones is going on maternity leave. Mr Brown’s class is not affected by staff change. Researchers have decided to use this as a natural experiment to discover whether attendance is affected by staff change part way through the year.
Identify both the independent variable (IV) and the dependent (DV) variable in this experiment (2) independent variable – must have an element of change in class so no credit for “Mrs. Jones going on maternity leave” or “the classes used” e.g. Change of staff/eq; Having a new teacher/eq; One class having the same teacher the other changing teacher/eq; dependent variable – must have an element of measurement e.g. – Level of attendance/eq; – Students amount of attendance/eq; – Difference in attendance/eq;
Write a suitable null hypothesis for this experiment. (2)
e.g. There will be no difference in level of attendance/eq; (1 mark) e.g. There will be no difference in level of attendance between the two classes, (any difference is due to chance)/eq; (2 marks) e.g. A change in teacher will make no difference to students level of attendance, (any difference is due to chance)/eq; (2 marks)
Using the table in Figure 1, describe the results of this experiment. (3) Mrs Smith’s and Mrs Jones’s class Mr Brown’s class Class attendance (%) before January 80%95% Class attendance (%) from January onwards 92%93%
There was a 12% increase in attendance in Mrs. Smith/Jones class since a change in teacher/eq; There was a 15% difference in attendance between Mrs. Smith’s class and Mr. Brown’s class before the change in teacher/eq; This changed to a 1% difference in attendance from when Mrs. Smith took over/eq; Attendance to Mr. Browns class dropped 2% from January onwards compared to before January/eq; Mrs Smith’s and Mrs Jones’s class Mr Brown’s class Class attendance (%) before January 80%95% Class attendance (%) from January onwards 92%93%
Identify one participant or situational (extraneous) variable in this experiment and suggest how it may have affected the results. (2) Suitable examples: time of lesson changes illness accounting for increase or decrease in attendance homework set or not holidays booked or not other winter exams accounting for increase or decrease in attendance
e.g. time of lesson changes before xmas to the new year (ID mark) if the lesson was first thing in the morning before xmas and is now last thing on a Friday in the new year attendance levels may be lower/eq; if the lesson is now during the middle of the day but wasn’t before xmas attendance may naturally be higher as most students are in college at that time/eq;
individual differences such as students’ health (ID mark) – Students who were unwell before xmas may now have much better levels of attendance after xmas as they are much better now/eq; – Students who were well before xmas may now have much worse levels of attendance as they are unwell after xmas /eq;
whether any homework was due in (ID mark) – A piece of homework due in for one class may put some students off attending if they have not yet done it/eq; – Whereas those students who have not had homework – set may expect attend more/eq;
Describe and evaluate the Levels of Processing model of memory. (12)
No credit for pure description of Craik and Tulving’s procedure. Craik and Lockhart argued LOP is necessary to explain the transfer of information into LTM without rehearsal Memory is a consequence of how we process information the deeper we process it the easier it will be remembered Deep processing which is a form of elaborative rehearsal produces longer lasting memory traces The deepest level is semantic processing, and the shallowest is structural processing Information that is attended to on the basis of how it looks (structural processing) is not very durable Semantic analysis (understanding the meaning) results in deeper processing and deeper processing results in a more durable memory It distinguishes between maintenance rehearsal which simply retains items for the time being and elaborative rehearsal which expands upon material and creates more lasting memories
Describe and evaluate the Levels of Processing model of memory. (12) It must be the LOP model that is being evaluated e.g. cannot gain marks by exclusively evaluating Craik and Tulving’s study. However problems with research that undermine its legitimacy can be used if these then show that the theory lacks empirical support. Students can be taught to make notes which have meaning rather than just reading information that makes no sense to help them revise so the model does have applications to real life The model has support from Craik and Tulving’s study which demonstrated that semantically processed words were more deeply processed and therefore better recalled than other shallow information However this empirical support is laboratory based and therefore lacks ecological validity as both task and setting are artificial There are too many problems with actually defining deep processing and why it is effective. E.g. Baddeley (1978) criticises it for being circular i.e. Material which has been deeply processed will be remembered better BUT you could say material is well remembered because it must have been processed deeply Eysenck and Eysenck (1980) argue even shallow processing could lead to better processing IF the material was distinctive. E.g. you may see something so distinctive that it creates a mental image
Level 4 10-12 marks Candidate has attempted and answered both injunctions in the question very well. Description includes all 3 levels of processing defined well - and appropriate elaboration/very good explanation of process Very good evaluation e.g. refers to methodological, supporting studies and practical points in relation to actual theory The skills needed to produce convincing extended writing are in place. Very few syntactical and /or spelling errors may be found. Very good organisation and planning. Given time constraints and limited number of marks, full marks must be given when the answer is reasonably detailed even if not all the information is present.
Jan 2012 Describe the aim of Godden and Baddeley’s (1975) study. (2)
Jan 2012 Describe the aim of Godden and Baddeley’s (1975) study. (2) To see whether words would be recalled better in the same environment or in a very different environment (1st mark) in this case the environments were on dry land and underwater (2nd mark)/eq; To investigate whether a natural environment can act as a cue for recall/eq;
Jan 2012 Using figures/data, outline the results of Godden and Baddeley’s (1975) study. (2)
Jan 2012 Using figures/data, outline the results of Godden and Baddeley’s (1975) study. (2) Recall was (about) 50% higher when it took place in the same environment as learning/eq; 40% more words were forgotten if recall took place in a different environment to original learning/eq; Mean number of words recalled in the dry land learning and recall condition was 13.5 mean / 37% and 11.4 mean / 32% for underwater learning and recall/eq; This contrasted with 8.4 mean/ 23% in the underwater learning and dry land recall and 8.6 mean / 24% for dry land learning and underwater recall/eq;
Jan 2012 Outline one strength and one weakness of Godden and Baddeley’s (1975) study. (4)
The study has practical applications for education advising students to improve recall by reinstating the learning context for exams/eq; It can also be used to help police investigations by getting them to interview witnesses in the same environment to the event they saw/eq; The study can help students with their revision by getting them to use cues to help learning/eq; (1 st mark) Students can make use of contextual cues by learning and recalling in the same environment (2nd mark) The study took place in a real life setting and so has greater ecological validity than laboratory research/eq; The experiment was conducted in a realistic open water environment for divers (1st mark) so has higher ecological validity and results relate to real life situations/eq; (2nd mark) The study had practical applications as it was used to advise divers working on North Sea oil rigs how to develop strategies to recall information collected on the seabed when they got back on the rigs (1st mark)/eq; by using the same context when having to recall, for example (2nd mark)/eq;
Outline one strength and one weakness of Godden and Baddeley’s (1975) study. (4) The procedure in learning unrelated words is not an everyday task and so lacks ecological validity/eq; There was a lack of control over some of the procedure including lack of standardisation and equipment failure (1st mark) which makes it improbable the study could be replicated and get the same results/eq; (2nd mark) It’s possible that participants who did not have to change environments (conditions 1 and 2)were able to rehearse the word list more/eq; The procedure in learning unrelated words using all this technology is not an everyday task and so lacks (mundane) realism/eq; The sample was small (18) which may not be/is not representative of the population as a whole so cannot be generalised/eq;
Jan 2012 As part of the course requirements for cognitive psychology you will have conducted an experiment. State the experimental/alternative hypothesis of your experiment and whether it is directional (one tailed) or non- directional (two tailed). (3) We did this yesterday!
Jan 2012 Outline one problem you came across when planning and/or carrying out your experiment. (2) What issues could you mention that you could further ellaborate on, moving rooms? Noise levels? Cheating? Demand characteristics is also a good one (students not working as hard in the library) 2 marks Answer clearly outlines one appropriate problem but candidate has also included some elaboration (which relates to (a) such as experiment may have suffered from demand characteristics and the candidate has explained what this means)
Jan 2012 Outline one problem you came across when planning and/or carrying out your experiment. (2) How could you deal with cheating? Or with demand characteristics? 2 marks Answer shows a clearly appropriate solution to the problem given in (b) with clear elaboration and explanation
Jan 2012 Explain why in psychology using a research method that produces quantitative rather than qualitative data might be preferable. (2)
Jan 2012 Explain why in psychology using a research method that produces quantitative rather than qualitative data might be preferable. (2) Easier to analyse than qualitative data because data is in numbers (1st mark); this enables comparisons to be made between groups much more easily (2nd mark)/eq; Produces more objective data than qualitative as involves little or no interpretation/eq; More likely to be tested for reliability which may lead to generalisability to other situations/eq; For example counting words in a memory experiment is more measurable than asking open questions in an interview/eq; Can be collected more quickly than qualitative data as tends to use closed rather than open questions/eq;
Jan 2012 You and a friend are queuing up at the local supermarket when you hear cries of ‘Thief! Stop! Help!’ and look around to see a man running off with a bag. The next day you and your friend go back to talk to the store manager and find that you recall things differently. Using theories of forgetting and/or memory, explain these differences in your recollections. (5)
Jan 2012 You and a friend are queuing up at the local supermarket when you hear cries of ‘Thief! Stop! Help!’ and look around to see a man running off with a bag. The next day you and your friend go back to talk to the store manager and find that you recall things differently. Using theories of forgetting and/or memory, explain these differences in your recollections. (5) Concepts, theories and research from cognitive psychology include: Key Issues (flashbulb memory; cognitive interview) Concepts (leading questions, weapon focus, stress and anxiety...) Methodology Theories of Memory / Forgetting
Some examples: e.g. Information processing There may be individual differences in the way witnesses input and process what they see based on schemas which in turn may lead to differences in recall/eq;
Some examples: e.g. Cue dependent Those interviewed in the queue itself will be aided by cues (context and state) and so may recall more detail than others questioned elsewhere/eq;
Some examples: e.g. LOP Those who used deeper processing are likely to remember more than those who used shallow processing/eq;
Some examples: e.g. Multi store Some may have though about and discussed what they saw (rehearsal) so transferred information into LTM and will be more able to recall detail than those who did not transfer information from STM to LTM/eq;
Some examples: e.g Reconstructive memory They were behind a barrier so did not see all the details and therefore confabulated some of their evidence
June 2012 The students used an opportunity sample in their Levels of Processing study. State one strength and one weakness of opportunity sampling in general. (2)
Allows large numbers of participants to be recruited quickly / conveniently /eq; Not as time consuming as other types e.g. stratified (as ps are available at any opportune moment)/eq; Likely to be ethical as researcher can judge if participant is too busy etc/eq;
State one strength and one weakness of opportunity sampling in general. (2) Unlikely to provide a representative sample as researcher may be biased in who is chosen/using who is available at the time/eq; More likely to suffer from demand characteristics as family and friends more likely to be chosen/eq; Only those available are used who may all share similar characteristics/eq;
Jan 2013 Your younger brother will be starting psychology at college soon and wants to know about the underlying concepts of the Cognitive Approach. Describe how the Cognitive Approach explains human behaviour. (4)
Cognitive approach Cognitive psychologists compare the human brain to a computer/eq; Information is taken in by the senses before being processed in the brain/eq; The major influence on human behaviour and emotion is how the mind processes information/eq; It is then stored and retrieved from storage during recall/eq; Information comes into a computer through a keyboard or software disk. Humans receive information through their senses/eq; The computer then runs programs to process the information. Humans process the information via the central nervous system and the brain/eq; The computer gives out output in terms of a printout and humans give a wide variety of outputs as behaviour/eq; We encode, store and retrieve information which makes up our memory/eq; Theories of forgetting can tell us that we forget things due to availability / accessibility problems/eq; Memory is not like a tape recorder and can be influenced by external events and internal mechanisms/eq;
Jan 2013 Your friend is helping you revise and wants to see if you can pick out the most important points from theories you have studied. Your friend has asked you to explain two features from the cue dependent theory of forgetting. Outline two features of the cue dependent theory of forgetting that you think are important.
Feature of cue dependent theory of forgetting e.g. cues When cues present at encoding are not present at retrieval then forgetting may occur/eq; Cues (or prompts) are like additional pieces of information that guide us to the information we are seeking a bit like the contents page of a book/eq; These memory cues may be necessary to access information that is available but not accessible/eq;
Feature of cue dependent theory of forgetting e.g. context cues – These are environmental cues such as your classroom/eq; – For example when someone goes upstairs to get something and – forgets what it was, they might remember again when they are back downstairs in the same place (context) they first thought about it/eq;
Feature of cue dependent theory of forgetting e.g. state cues – These are cues internal to the person such as being excited or – afraid/eq; – For example if you learn something when in a relaxed mood but – cannot recall it when in a tense mood/eq;