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Word count: Date: 20/04/2011

Li Chun Ho (Alvin) IB Psychology HL

Essay Question: Evaluate two models/theories of one cognitive process (memory) with reference to research studies. (22 marks) The cognitive process I look at will be memory with the Multi-Store Model and the Levels of Processing Model. Memory refers to the feature of preserving information processed. The two models offer different opinions of how memory is processed. This is important to understand and determine prognosis of patients with affected memory illnesses. The MSM by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) proposed memories are processed through a linear three step stage; sensory stores, short-term memory and long-term memory. Information enters sensory stores mainly from vision (iconic), hearing (echoic) and touch (haptic). The basic concept is that attention to the information moves it from sensory to STM. Rehearsal, that can be elaborative or maintenance, transfers it to the LTM. To recall the information, we retrieve it. It is suggested the model is linear so that information cannot be transferred back, however memory may be displaced or decay over time. Each model has different features of duration, capacity and coding, determined by research studies. One of the strengths is observations from brain-damaged patients with substantial memory loss. Milner (1966) observed a severe epileptic patient, HM who underwent psychosurgery to remove the hippocampus. Although the seizures significantly decreased, HMs memory was affected that information could not be transferred from SHM to LTM. This is confirmed by HMs repetitious actions, such as re-reading the same magazine numerously with a short recall of only 15 minutes and the constant reaction to news his uncle had died. This suggests processing of information involves stages. In HMs case, he could attend to information that entered the SHM but couldnt be transferred to the LTM. These reports suggest the existence of separate stores of memory that required attention and rehearsal in order to move to the next stage. Another case study is Clive Wearing; a musician suffered Anterograde Amnesia, leading to substantial damage of brain areas, including the hippocampus. This left Wearing unable to transfer information from SHM to LTM, resulting in a very short duration of SHM lasting to only a few seconds. His continuous belief in finally waking up is from the fact he has absolutely no recall of his past, with the exception of retaining his body-kinesthetic skills in music. Likewise, this study show there mustve been a store of LTM that was partially damaged, as Wearing can only retain his music skills and extremely short durations of STM. A different strength is the clear distinctive evidence between SHM and LTM that are different in duration. Duration is how long the memory lasts. STMs capacity is determined to be 72 items at

Word count: Date: 20/04/2011

Li Chun Ho (Alvin) IB Psychology HL

Essay Question: Evaluate two models/theories of one cognitive process (memory) with reference to research studies. (22 marks) anytime by Miller (1956) through chunking. Participants were asked to memorize a set of numbers and then another set that were separated by brackets fitting up to 3 in each. It was found most participants remembered 5-9 numbers from the set and improved their recall during chunking. In terms of LTM, it is suggested it has unlimited capacity. Linton (1982) conducted a longitudinal study on herself by noting two events on a daily basis for 6 years. She then used tried to recall them by looking at their date. It was found her memory recall was better for those the dates she had picked before compared to those that were new. In addition, she tended to forget negative events. This suggested LTM had a very large and perhaps unlimited capacity and also emphasizes the importance of rehearsal. Hence these findings show enormous differences between the stores capacities. The same can be said of the durations of STM and LTM; LTM measured at no more than 18 seconds by Peterson and Peterson (1959) using random constant triplets, and at an unlimited duration lasting up to 48 years with some retaining of accuracy by Bahrick et al (1975) using yearbooks. These studies confirm the two memory stores differences. This model has more evidence compared to the levels of memories of the LOP. The LOP did not suggest if the different types of levels like structural and phonetic had different durations and capacity, only stating semantic processing remembered best. However, the MSM is limited in stating the importance of rehearsal that allowed information transferred to the LTM. This is around the basic concept we do not often need to rehearse but continue to store information in the LTM. Craik and Watkins, (1973) distinguished the differences of maintenance and elaborative rehearsal. Participants were read out a list of words and told to remember those with the starting letter p. Some p words were repeated more than once. It was found repetition did not have any impact on memory recall but rather it was elaborative rehearsal that worked. Hence this study shows effects of maintenance rehearsal may have been exaggerated and was not important in passing information from STM to LTM. Another weakness is the over-simplification of the single LTM store. The model assumes LTM is coded semantically however there are other memory types, like declarative and procedural. Baddeley and Hitch (1974) proposed the working memory model, consisting of the central executive, the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad. The CE has a limited capacity diverting information to suitable areas. Information is directed either to the phonological loop, holding verbal 2

Word count: Date: 20/04/2011

Li Chun Ho (Alvin) IB Psychology HL

Essay Question: Evaluate two models/theories of one cognitive process (memory) with reference to research studies. (22 marks) speeches prepared to speak and speech production, and the visuospatial sketchpad, that processes and stores information through visual or spatial coding. This model is more comprehensive than the STM suggesting it is not stored only in one area. Evidence include PET scans showing different regions being activated when visual and verbal tasks are done, suggesting working memory is not fixed in one area. This is emphasized by KF, a brain-damaged patient with affected memory. It was found he could remember visual stimuli like pictures, better than auditory stimuli like words read out, showing different types of information occurs at different places. On the other hand, the LOP model by Craik and Lockhart focused more on how information is differently processed instead of different storages. Participants were given quick flashes of words, followed by questions that appeared at three levels; structural, regarding the physical feature, phonological, how the words sound, and semantic, which is giving meaning to the word. Questions at these three levels were addressed and participants told to recall these words. It was found the majority of words recalled were answered by a semantic question, suggesting it is the deepest of processing. One of the strengths of this model is the showing that the type of encoding of the information has an impact on the retrieval of the information. This led to more studies done by other researchers on the findings done by Baddeley and Hitch. This included Craik and Tulving (1975) who similarly repeated their experiment but then showed them a list of target words mentioned earlier along with other new words. Participants were told to pick the ones they remembered. It was found those words that had a deeper processing level, such as phonological and semantic, were remembered more, supporting the LOP model. Strengths include the number of applications that can be benefited from the findings of this experiment as they are very practical to be generalised into remembering things we do not wish to forget and hence can be used in common everyday living. One other strength is the confirmation that deeper levels of semantic processing yields increased brain activity through FMRI scans. Kapur, Craik et al used FMRI scans on participants as they answered questions through the semantic level of processing. It was found there was a positive correlation between the levels of processing used with the level of brain activity in the left prefrontal regions of the brain.

Word count: Date: 20/04/2011

Li Chun Ho (Alvin) IB Psychology HL

Essay Question: Evaluate two models/theories of one cognitive process (memory) with reference to research studies. (22 marks) A weakness of the model is the lack of explanation of why semantic level is deeper and what causes have led to have a deeper imprint on memory processing. Further research studies focused on the authenticity of the claim suggested but failed to explain the reason behind the deep and shallow levels. One other weakness is the vagueness of the level of deepness of the three processes, making it unattainable to be measured. Unlike the MSM which directly approximates figures for the capacity and duration of the two memory stores, the LOPs vagueness failed to have supporting studies investigating and observing the deepness levels. Another shortcoming refers to findings suggesting deep semantic processing does not often lead to improved retrieval of information. Morris et al (1977) showed that when participants were asked questions involving phonological recognition of a word, rather than stating whether they rhyme with other words their recall was higher than that of semantic processing. This undermines the claim of a perfect level of processing that goes deeper from structural to phonological to semantic processing. In addition, there are no case studies involving brain-damaged patients that support its claims.