COGNITIVE ISSUES AND DEBATES
COGNITIVE ISSUES AND DEBATES
COGNITIVE KNOWLEDGE OVER TIME
**Bartlett's research in the 1930's led to the theory of reconstructive memory and has influenced later ideas on how the brain stores info.
1950's / 60's - psychologists started to compare computer processes with how the human brain processes info. This led to advances in the understanding of encoding, storage and retrieval.
Atkinson and Shiffrin
developed the multistage model, which became the popular model for studying memory for many years although it is now viewed as overly simplistic between episodic and semantic memory.
Baddeley and Hitch
proposed the working memory model which gave a better explanation for STM.
The episodic buffer was added to this model in 2000 to explain how the different components of the model could integrate info.
Experiments investigating memory tend to follow BPS ethical guidelines and rarely cause psychological harm.
However, some research does deceive ppts and it is important that ppts are fully debriefed and given the right to withdraw at the end.
Case studies of brain damaged patients can be criticised for subjecting vulnerable individuals to intensive testing and violating their right to privacy.
PSYCHOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE WITHIN SOCIETY
Memory research has helped psychologists explain some of the memory problems which people with anterograde amnesia have and to develop appropriate therapies.
The concept of WM can be helpful in understanding the difficulties that children face with dyslexia. WM is important in reading and understanding words and so deficits in WM can lead to problems in these areas.
The theory of reconstructive memory has been used to explain why eyewitness testimony can be inaccurate.
research into the effect of leading questions, weapon focus effect, memory conformity effect and anxiety on witnesses has led to improvements in the legal system. The police now use cues to aid witnesses' recall of incidents during interviews and avoid leading questions.
Many memory theories reduce memory down to separate parts. E.G.
the multi store model
reduces memory down to sensory memory, STM and LTM without taking into account the interactions between each memory store.
More recently brain scans have shown the interactions between different brain regions when processing info.
PSYCHOLOGY AS A SCIENCE
The cognitive approach often uses experimental methods to investigate topics such as memory and forgetting.
Lab experiments have good controls and are able to establish cause and effective relationships. This makes such research more scientific. Therefore, the cognitive approach is considered one of the more scientific approaches.
NATURE - NURTURE DEBATE
The cognitive approach supports the nature side of the debate because it believes that we are born with certain structures such as STM and LTM that allow us to process info.
However, it also believes that our environment (nurture) affects our cognitive functioning. E.G. our schema are affected by our experiences.
Memory research - many experiments lack ecological validity as they are often conducted in artificial settings.
Testing memory using lists of words or trigrams does not reflect how we use memory in real life and so the task lacks mundane realism.