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Cognitive level of analysis - PowerPoint by cuiliqing

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									Cognitive level of analysis
   What is cognitive psychology ?
• Study of mental processes
• Study of the way in which the brain processes
• It concerns the way we take in information
  from the outside world, how we make sense
  of that information and what use we make of
Stimulus - response
What is this ?
What are mental processes?
( the thing in the black box)
       Decision-making – perception-
      language- memory-attention ??
    Billy is walking across the school campus. He spots a
    friend and they have a quick chat about last night’s
    football training. He then apologises as he rushes off to
    his own football training, unsure of whether to cycle or
    catch the bus.
    Such an every-day sequence of seemingly trivial events
    actually involves a sequence of complex cognitive
    processes. Which process is being used ?
•   Billy is able to find his way across campus and recognize his
•   He focuses on only a portion of the campus as he makes
    his way across it
•   He remembers his friend, details of the match the night
    before and his training session
•   They chat about the football match
•   He then has to working out the best form of transport to
    get home.
                        The War of the Ghosts
One night two young men from Egulac went down to the river to hunt
seals, and while they were it became foggy and calm. Then they heard
war cries and they thought; 'Maybe this is a war-party.' They escaped to
the shore, and hid behind a log.
Now canoes came up, and they heard the noise of paddles and saw one
canoe coming up to them. There were five men in the canoe and they
said; 'What do you think? We wish to take you along. We are going up
the river to make war on the people.'
One of the young men said; 'I have no arrows.'
'Arrows are in the canoe,' they said.
'I will not go along. I might be killed. My relatives do not know where I
have gone. But you,' he said, turning to the other, 'May go with them.'
So one of the young men went, but the other returned home. And the
warriors went on up the river to a town on the other side of Kalama.
The people came down to the water and began to fight, and many were
killed. But presently, one of the young men heard one of the warriors
say; 'Quick let us go home. That Indian has been hit.'
Now he thought; 'Oh, they are ghosts.' He did not feel sick, but he had
been shot. So the canoes went back to Egulac, and the young man went
back to his house and made a fire. And he told everybody and said;
'Behold, I accompanied the ghosts, and we went to fight. Many of our
fellows were killed and many of those that attacked us were killed. They
said I was hit, but I did not feel sick.'
He told it all, and then he became quiet. When the sun rose, he fell
down. Something black came out of his mouth. His face became
contorted. The people jumped up and cried. He was dead.
•Outline principles that
 define the cognitive
 level of analysis:
 Outline principles that define the cognitive level
                    of analysis:
• 1. Humans are information processors

• 2. Mental processes can be scientifically

• 3. Cognitive processes are influenced by social
  and cultural factors
     1. Humans are
information processors
• Human behaviour is determined by a set of mental

• Mental tasks/processes include; perception, thinking, problem
  solving, memory, language and attention

• They are also known as cognitions
• Cognitive psychologist see these cognitions/mental
  tasks as active systems;
• In between taking in and responding to information a
  number of processes are at work.
• Information can be transformed, reduced,
  elaborated, filtered, manipulated, selected,
  organized, stored and retrieved
• Therefore the human mind is seen as an active
  system processing information, and cognitive
  psychologists aims to study these processes.
• Central to this information processing
  approach is the computer metaphor.
• One of the difficulties facing cognitive
  psychologists is that they were trying to study
  processes that are not directly observable.
• Consequently the computer revolution of the
  1950 provided the terminology and metaphor
  they needed.
• People, like computers,
  acquire information from
  the environment ( input ).
• Both people and
  computers store
  information and retrieve it
  when applicable to
  current tasks;
• both are limited in the amount
  of information they can
  process at a given time;
• both transform information to
  produce new information;
  both return information to the
  environment ( output).
• This information processing approach can be
  seen in;
• Models of memory
• Schema theory

(more about each of these later).
 Principle 2: Mental processes can
    be scientifically investigated
• Cognitive processes are difficult to study.
• They often occur rapidly, and inside the mind
  so they cannot be observed directly.
• It is only the responses that participants make
  when given some cognitive task to perform
  that can tell us about cognitive processes.
• These tasks usually take place under tightly
  controlled lab experiments where the main
  aim is to isolate a particular component of the
  cognitive process for the study.
          The stroop effect
  ( another good one to replicate!)
• One of the earliest and most famous experiments into
  cognitive processes is the Stroop Effect.
• The stroop effect is a phenomena involved in attentional
• Although we will actually focus on the process of memory
  this is a good study to look at.
• People are often introduced to the Stroop Effect in beginning
  psychology classes as they learn about how their brains
  process information.
            The stroop effect

• It demonstrates the effects of interference,
  processing speed (reaction time) and
  automaticity in divided attention.
• The effect is named after John Ridley Stroop
  who first published the effect in English in
                 Stroop effect
• This is a classic laboratory experiment that involves
  the manipulation of an independent variable ( colour
  or name of word ) to see what effect it has on the
  dependent variable ( reaction time).
• It attempts to control the influence of all other
  extraneous variables – such as other cognitive
  processes or skills.
• It also allows us to establish a cause and effect
  relationship between task and mental process.
       Mental processes can be
        scientifically studied
• A further example of the laboratory
  experiment was conducted by Ebbinghaus
• His experiment intended to isolate the process
  of pure memory and show that it could be
  studied scientifically under carefully controlled
• The aim of the study was to study forgetting, i.e.
  how quickly a person forgets what has been
  learned 100%.
• He used himself in most of the studies , i.e. the
  design was N=1 and he tested his memory using
  nonsense syllables.
   – Learned lists of nonsense syllables (e.g., DAX,
   – Why nonsense syllables?
       • Did not want actual words to influence his
         ability to memorize or recall certain words
       • He manipulated the independent variable
         of ‘time delay before recall’ to find the
         effect on the dependent variable of ‘the
         amount of information retained’ thus being
         able eventually to draw the famous
         ‘forgetting curve’.
            Principle 3:
Cognitive processes are influenced
  by social and cultural factors
• Cognitive processes can be influenced by our culture
• Bartlett found that schemas ( past knowledge) can
  affect our memories –
• Cole and Scribner found that non-schooled children
  in parts of Africa struggled with aspects of
•NOW, write out the
 ‘War of the Ghosts’
 story told to you
•Evaluate schema theory
 with reference to
 research studies
                  Schema Theory
                   What is a Schema?

 “A mental model or representation built up through experience
about a person, an object, a situation, or an event.” (Head, 1920)

 “Organised structures of knowledge and expectations of some
             aspect of the world.” (Bartlett, 1932)
You have 1 minute…………….

Schema of an “egg”
         1.What is a schema ?
• Schemas (or schemata) are cognitive
  structures (mental templates or frames) that
  represent a person’s knowledge about objects,
  people or situations.
• The concept of schema was first used by Jean
  Piaget in 1926 and later developed by Bartlett
         2.What is a schema ?
• Schemas are used to organize our knowledge,
  to assist recall, to guide our behavior, to
  predict likely happenings and to help us to
  make sense of current experiences.
• They come from prior experience and
  knowledge. They simplify reality, setting up
  expectations about what is probable in
  relation to particular social contexts
         3. What is a schema ?

• Schemas are assumed to operate in a “top
  down” way to help us interpret the “bottom-
  up” flood of information reaching our senses
  from the outside world.
• They allow us to take shortcuts in interpreting
  vast amounts of information.
       What is schema theory ?
• As active processors of information, humans
  integrate new information with existing,
• stored information.
• Schema theory therefore predicts that what
  we already know will influence the outcome
  of information processing.
• In other words new information is processed
  in the light of exisiting schema – schema can
  affect our cognitive processes.
• For example if you already have an expectation about
  a person or an event, your memory of that person or
  event will be shaped based on your pre-existing
• For example, if you have already the stored schema
  that urban teenage males are aggressive and you meet
  a pleasant urban male teen, your memory of him may
  be affected.
• If you were surprised with his politeness, you may
  remember him as even more polite than he is.
• Or, you may not even notice how polite he was
  because you were expecting him to be rude, and so
  you remember him as the typical urban teen you had
  previously imagined in your mind
    Evaluation of Schema theory
• Support for the influence of schemas on
  cognitive processes is widespread. Bartlett
  (1932) described how schemata influence
  memory in his classic study based on a Native
  American folktale.
        War of the Ghosts (1932)
• This was an unusual story for people from a Western
  culture to understand because it contained
  unfamiliar supernatural concepts and an odd, causal
• After an interval participants were asked to recall as
  much of the story as possible.
• Serial reproduction – participant reads and
  recalls the story, second person reads and
  recalls the second reproduction…….and so on
• Repeated reproduction – partipants reads the
  story and repeats it over various recall
• Bartlett found that their accounts were
  distorted in several ways that, generally, made
  them more consistent with a Western world –
• Specifically he found the following;
     Did you make these errors ?
• Rationalisation errors—making the story read
  more like a typical English story. Most of the
  errors were of this nature.
• Omissions — certain elements were left out
• Changes of order – events were sometimes re-
  ordered to make the story more coherent
• Substitutions
• Shortening
                        The War of the Ghosts
One night two young men from Egulac went down to the river to hunt
seals, and while they were it became foggy and calm. Then they heard
war cries and they thought; 'Maybe this is a war-party.' They escaped to
the shore, and hid behind a log.
Now canoes came up, and they heard the noise of paddles and saw one
canoe coming up to them. There were five men in the canoe and they
said; 'What do you think? We wish to take you along. We are going up
the river to make war on the people.'
One of the young men said; 'I have no arrows.'
'Arrows are in the canoe,' they said.
'I will not go along. I might be killed. My relatives do not know where I
have gone. But you,' he said, turning to the other, 'May go with them.'
So one of the young men went, but the other returned home. And the
warriors went on up the river to a town on the other side of Kalama.
The people came down to the water and began to fight, and many were
killed. But presently, one of the young men heard one of the warriors
say; 'Quick let us go home. That Indian has been hit.'
Now he thought; 'Oh, they are ghosts.' He did not feel sick, but he had
been shot. So the canoes went back to Egulac, and the young man went
back to his house and made a fire. And he told everybody and said;
'Behold, I accompanied the ghosts, and we went to fight. Many of our
fellows were killed and many of those that attacked us were killed. They
said I was hit, but I did not feel sick.'
He told it all, and then he became quiet. When the sun rose, he fell
down. Something black came out of his mouth. His face became
contorted. The people jumped up and cried. He was dead.
    Evaluation of Bartlett’s study
• The ecological validity of the War of the
  Ghosts lab study has been questioned.
• Whilst Bartlett rejected the artificiality of
  traditional stimulus such as nonsense syllables
  ( Ebbinghaus) and word lists to test memory,
  his use of a native American folk tale was "
  about as similar to normal prose as nonsense
  syllables are to words
    Evaluation of Bartlett’s study
• Wynn & Logie (1998) did a similar study with
  students using " real - life" events experienced
  during their first week at university at various
  intervals of time ranging from 2 weeks to six
• They found that the initial accuracy of recall
  was sustained throughout the time period,
  suggesting that schema-induced memory
  distortions may be less common in naturalistic
  conditions than in the laboratory.
      Evaluation of Bartlett’s study
• Furthermore Bartlett’s study wasn't a very well controlled
  study. Bartlett did not give very specific instructions to his
  participants ( Barlett, 1932 " I thought it best, for the
  purposes of these experiments, to try to influence the
  subject's procedure as little as possible".)
• As a result, some distortions observed by Bartlett may have
  been due to conscious guessing rather than schema-
  influenced memory
• Gauld and Stephen ( 1967) found that the instructions
  stressing the need for accurate recall eliminated almost half
  the errors usually obtained.
• Further support for the influence of schemas
  on memory at encoding point was reported by
  Anderson and Pichert ( 1978).
     2nd supporting study
          schema theory
     ( Anderson & Pichert, 1978)

• Subjects asked to adopt a particular
  – Home-buyer
  – Burglar
• Then read a passage about two boys playing
  truant from school...
             Schemata and Memory
                          (Anderson & Pichert, 1978)

[Coding: Burglar items (18); Homebuyer items (18)]

There are three color TV sets in the house. One is in the large master
bedroom (which has a three piece bathroom en suite), one is in the
main floor family room, and one is in Tom's bedroom. The house
contains four bedrooms in all, plus an office, family room, and three
washrooms. In addition to the TV, the family room contains a new
stereo outfit , a microcomputer, a VCR, and a rare coin collection.
         The boys enter the master bedroom. Beside the jewelry case
in the closet they find Tom's father's collection of pornographic video
tapes. They select their favorite (an encounter between a guy and 12
women in a park in downtown Kitchener) and go to the family room
to watch it.
       Evaluation of schema theory
        Anderson & Pichert ( 1978)
• In a classic experiment, Pichert and Anderson1
  asked participants to read a story in which a
  house was described.
• The participants were told to read the story
  from one of two perspectives, either a
  potential home buyer or a burglar.
• After a delay, participants were asked to recall
  as much as they could about the story.
During this first recall session, participants recalled
significantly more information about the house that was
relevant to their perspective
•(e.g., the potential home buyer might remember defects
in the house,
• burglars might remember information about the
entrances and exits)
•than information that was relevant to the other
   Proportion Recalled



• After the first recall session, participants were told to
  think about the story again, but this time, from the other
  perspective (potential home buyers were now told to be
  burglars, and vice versa).
• Then, without reading the story again, they were told to
  recall as much as they could about the story again.
• During this second recall, participants were able to recall
  information about the house that was relevant to their
  new perspective, but which they had not recalled before.
     Change in proportion

                                      First identity/second identity

• This result shows two things:
• 1.) The information that was irrelevant to their
  original perspective (schema) was actually
  learnt ( encoded ) and
• 2.) This information was not accessible unless
  a relevant perspective (schema) was
 Evaluation of Anderson & Pichert
• This experiment was also conducted in a lab,
  so ecological validity may also be an issue
• However the strength of the experiment was
  its variable control, which allowed researchers
  to establish a cause-and-effect relationship
  how schemas affect memory processes.
     General comment on schema
• Finally, one of the main problems of the schema
  theory is that it is often very difficult to define what a
  schema is.
• Cohen (1993) points out that "the whole idea of a
  schema is too vague to be useful' and argues that
  schema theory provides no explanation of how
  schemas work.
• Schemas are untestable
    General comment onschema
Nevertheless, there is enough research to
  suggest schemas do affect memory processes
  knowledge, both in a positive and negative
They do simplify reality, and help us to make
  sense of current experiences. Schemas are
  useful concepts in helping us understand how
  we organize our knowledge.
•Evaluate two
 theories of memory
               Models of memory
               1. Multistore model
• There are three types of store; sensory, short term and long term
• The sensory stores are modality specific and hold information only
  very briefly ( Sperling )
• The STM has limited capacity, limited to +/- seven items ( Miller) and
  a duration of about 6-12 seconds
• Information from this store can be lost due to interference ( Brown
  Peterson) or decay
• The LTM has unlimited capacity and is divided into two systems.
  Retrieval from LTM can be distorted, affected by such things as
Fig 7.9 – Sperling’s (1960) study of sensory memory. After the subjects had fixated on the
cross, the letters were flashed on the screen just long enough to create a visual afterimage.
High, medium, and low tones signaled which row of letters to report. Because subjects had to
rely on the afterimage to report the letters, Sperling was able to measure how
rapidly the afterimage disappeared by varying the delay between the display
and the signal to report.
             Capacity of STM
• Capacity refers to the amount of information
  that can be stored in the short-term memory.
• Miller (1956) suggested that most people
  store about seven independent or discrete
  items in short term memory.
• These items may be numbers, letters or words
  etc. Miller referred to each of these items as
• For example: 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 = Seven discrete
               Duration of STM
           Long Term Memory

• According to this model of memory.
• Long term memory has a potentially limitless
  capacity and duration but it is very difficult if
  not impossible to prove this.
• It's encoding is semantic, that is the meaning
  and understanding of something
           Evaluation of MSM
• Lot of evidence to support this model such as
  the primacy – recency effect ( Glanzer &
  Cunitz, 1966)
• Do primacy-recency experiment
Case studies of brain-damaged patients
provide evidence for separate memory
    If STM and LTM are
    really distinct there
    should be certain kinds of
    brain damage which
    impair one without
    affecting the other

   Read through the two case studies …..
• Case studies of brain –
  damaged patients ( eg. HM
  and Clive Wearing )
      1. the case of clive wearing

• Clive Wearing was a highly
  respected musician who, in his
  40’s, contracted a viral
  infection – encephalitus in
• Tragically this disease left him
  with extensive brain damage
  (parts of his hippocampus –
  important in forming new
  memories – are damaged).
• He is still able to talk, read and write and
  retained remarkably intact musical skills.
• His memory for past events is hazy, but he
  still has long-term memories formed before
  the onset of the disease.
• In all other respects, however his memory
  is dramatically impaired.
• He lives totally within the most recent one
  or two minutes of his life.
• He remembers what just happened but
  forgets everything else. Clive is unable to
  form new long-term memories.
• Because of his inability to form new
  memories he constantly feels he has just
  become conscious for the first time.
• Clive is convinced he has just woken
  up and he keeps a diary in which he
  records hs obsessive thoughts “ I
  have just woken up” “I am conscious
  for the first time”……
• It is now 20 years since the onset of
  the illness which has left Clive
  trapped in an eternal present.
• He can’t enjoy books or TV as he is
  unable to follow the thread, he cant
  read newspapers as he has no
  context in which to embed the new
• He can’t go out alone because he
  immediately becomes lost.
• Clive describes his situation as “hell
  on earth”
• Damage to the hippocampus usually results in
  profound difficulties in forming new memories
  (anterograde amnesia), and normally also
  affects access to memories prior to the
  damage (retrograde amnesia).

   – Retrograde versus anterograde amnesia. In retrograde amnesia, memory for events
   that occurred prior to the onset of amnesia is lost.
   In anterograde amnesia, memory for events that occur subsequent to the onset of amnesia
   suffers. ie CLIVE WEARING & HM
• Although the retrograde effect normally
  extends some years prior to the brain damage,
  in some cases older memories remain - this
  sparing of older memories leads to the idea
  that consolidation over time involves the
  transfer of memories out of the hippocampus
  to other parts of the brain.
Fig 7.27 – Theories of independent memory systems. There is some evidence that different types of
information are stored in separate memory systems, which may have distinct physiological bases.
                 The Case of H.M.

• H.M was an active teenager from Conneticut, USA.
• However he suffered from epilepsy and had
  frequent fits to the point when in 1953 he was
  having up to 11 fits a week.
• The drugs available at the time couldn't control
  them. For a young person, this was devastating.
• Without any intervention, there was no chance that
  he would be able to apply for a job, let alone leave
  the house.
• It was then, that the idea of surgery was floated.
• In 1953, aged 27-year-old he entered a hospital for surgery that
  would cure him of the devastating fits that resulted from his
• For H.M. he had the most common form of intractable
  psychomotor epilepsy, that which is localised in the temporal
• So, to stop the fits from continuing, the only option was remove
  parts of these lobes.
• An apple-sized chunk of his temporal lobes on both sides of his
  brain were removed and the fits never returned.
• However, something else, something quite extraordinary, yet
  equally saddening, happened. Positioned just underlying the
  temporal lobes is the hippocampus.
• It was never really known what it was for, until this point. When
  his surgeon removed parts of H.M's temporal lobes, he would
  have had no option but to disturb the hippocampus too. The
  effect of this on H.M was marked.
• From 1953 onwards, he couldn't remember anything you told
  him for any reasonable length of time. Every time a doctor
  who was assigned to his case came to chat to him, they had to
  reintroduce themselves every time they met because he
  couldn't remember who they were.
• If you talked to him, and a loud noise, say a slamming door,
  distracted him for a moment, he would have no recollection
  of what you said to him, moments before.
• He could no longer form long term memories.
• He was able to talk normally and to recall accurately events
  and people from his life before surgery, and his immediate
  digit span was within normal limits.
• He was, however, unable to retain any new information and
  could not lay down new memories in LTM.
• It was a breakthrough in
  understanding the damage
  to H.M.s brain when
  researchers could use the
  MRI scanner in 1997
• He had been subject to
  study for 44 years before his
  brain was ever scanned
• Scans showed the extent of
  damage ( which was less
  than originally thought) to
  the hippocampus and other
  areas close
                                            HM / Clive
                                            Damage to LTM

Damage to STM should also affect access to LTM – KF
should be impossible.
         1. State which memory store is working
        2. Give an example of what they can and can’t do

Case     STM                       LTM
Clive    Intact or impaired ? Intact or impaired ?

HM       Intact or impaired ? Intact or impaired ?

3. What conclusions can we draw from this phenomena ?
     Evaluation of case studies

The cases of HM and Clive Wearing are case studies.
A case study is: „[A] detailed examination of one person
or group
It includes a number of methods such as self-report data
(diries etc) observations, interviews, as well as
impression and intuition
          Evaluation of MSM
• HOWEVER the model oversimplifies the
  process of memory
• Baddeley & Hitch demonstrate the STM is not
  just a store but a working process
   Baddeley’s (1998) Criticism

– Memory is complex and dynamic.
   • Short-term memory is not like a passive
     storehouse with shelves to store
     information until it moves to long-term
   • It is more complex than that.
          2. Model of memory 2
           Levels of Processing
• This influential theory of memory is often seen as the
  main alternative to the multi-store model.
• They suggested that memory is not three or any
  specific number of stores
• Memory is based on depth of encoding.
• The strength of a memory trace does not depend on
  the type of store within which it is located, but on
  how much attention is paid to the information at the
  time of encoding.
           Levels of processing
 Shallow processing                    Deep processing

   Structural         Phonological       Semantic

Weak memory trace                    Strong memory trace
• Concerned with Process rather than Structure
• Strength of memory depends on how deeply
  information (eg. Words )are processed

   Shallow                             Deep

  Eg.Physical       Rhyming      Semantic / Meaning
• Deep, meaningful kinds of information processing
  lead to more permanent retention, than shallow,
  sensory kinds of processing.
• Depth is defined in terms of the amount of time
  thinking about the stimulus rather than on the
  number of rehearsals (repetitions)
• This suggests that straightforward rehearsal through
  repetition may not be the best way of remembering,
  more elaborate strategies are more effective
Craik & Tulving (1975) experiment……..
           Levels of Processing
                Craik & Tulving, 1975
Recognised                                         yes
                 case      rhyme        sentence
                        Question Type
           LOP and rehearsal

• The multi-store model claimed that rehearsal
  of any type could benefit LTM.
• However, Craik & Lockhart suggest that there
  are two types of rehearsal:
  Only elaborative leads to better

• Two Types of Rehearsal
  – maintenance rehearsal: holds information active
    at a given level. (Atkinson & Shiffrin – MSM)
  – elaborative rehearsal: increases "depth" of
    analysis. leads to longer lasting memory traces. (
    C& L- Levels of processing)
  Elaboration and distinctiveness

• It is not just depth of processing that affects
  storage but also elaboration (how much
  processing of any kind) and distinctiveness
  (how unusual the processing).
• LOP states that the deeper we process
  information the better it is remembered.
• Craik & Tulving demonstrated shallow
  processing by using words in capitals
• They demonstrated deep processing by using
• Deeper processed words (semantic) were
  better remembered
 Evaluation of Levels of Processing
• Emphasises the interdependence of
  perception, attention and memory rather than
  seeing memory as series of separate
  processing stages (as in MSM).
• Supported by studies such as;
• Craik & Tulving (1975)
• Hyde & Jenkins
• Elias & Perfetti
• NOTE: all these studies are good to replicate!!
           Levels of processing
• Elias & Perfetti (1973)
  – PPs had greater recognition of words they had
    thought of similes for (semantic) than word they
    had thought of rhymes for (phono)
• Craik & Tulving (1975)
  – Highest recognition of semantically processes
    stimuli, followed by phono, followed by structural
       Hyde & Jenkins (1973)

– Presented a list of words
– 4 Different Instructions:
   1. Memorise the word list
   2. Estimate frequency of usage
   3. Count how many times the letter ‘e’ appears in the list
   4. Rate the Pleasantness of the words
             Criticism of LOP
• Mainly descriptive rather than explanatory.
• It doesn’t really explain why deeper
  processing leads to better recall.
• In other words, why should something that is
  deeply processed be stored more
  permanently (in LTM?)
• It is difficult to obtain an independent
  measure of depth of processing.
• It is hard to decide whether a task involves
  deep or shallow processing.
• Craik & Lochart assumed that semantic
  processing was ‘deeper’ than visual processing
  but their only real evidence for this was that
  more words were remembered in the
  semantic condition.
• This is a circular argument.
           No of words recalled (eg.20)

              Depth of processing

•It is difficult to measure depth independently of a person‟s
actual retention (memory) score.
•SO if „depth‟ is defined as the „number of words remembered‟
and „the number of words remembered‟ is taken as a measure
of „depth‟ this definition of depth is circular
•(What‟s being defined is part of the definition!)

          depth             =        no. of words

          no. of words =             depth
• Some studies contradict the model.
• For example, Morris et al (1977) showed that
  information processed for sound (rhyming)
  was better remembered than information
  processed for meaning (semantic) if rhyming
  was more relevant to the task.
• (In their study participants were asked to
  perform a rhyming recognition task.)
             LOP and revision
• You will recall more if you use…

  – Depth – make sure you understand & make
    connections between the topics & ideas
  – Spread – use several different techniques on
    the material
  – Elaboration – mental effort is required to store
    material effectively
  – Distinctiveness – make the material your own
              Kandel ( 1990)
• Our knowledge about biological factors
  involved in memory is in its infancy but
  research is providing major new insights
• Research is showing that memory is not in fact
  etched in brain cells but are stored in the
  intricate circuitry of neurons in the brain (
  known as neural networks).
                  In other words;
• Memory is a not a trace but syntactic
• It is a sequence of cellular events that leads
  from temporary to permanent memory
• New information is absorbed and retained
  through a process characterized by changes
  in synaptic interconnections among neurons
  in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex,
  regions of the brain associated with
• Very simply, we make and store memories
  by forging new neural pathways to the
  brain from things we take in through our
  five senses
               Kandel ( 1990)
• Kandel studies the sea snail aplysia
  and discovered that;
• Short-term storage for implicit
  memory involves functional changes
  in the strength
  of pre-existing synaptic connections.
• Long-term storage for implicit
  memory involves the synthesis of new
  protein and the
  growth of new connections
•Explain how biological
 factors may affect one
 cognitive process
• how brain damage can affect memory
• How does damage to the hippocampus
  ( biological factors ) affect memory (cognitive
• To answer this we need to look at the link
  between the hippocampus and memory
• How do we know about the effects of the
  hippocampus on memory ?
• Case studies of brain – damaged patients and
  animal studies
• Case-studies of brain damaged patients show
  that hippocampal damage can affect`our
• Specifically explicit/declarative memories
• Look at the case studies of H.M and Clive
  Wearing again
• Look at the animal studies
Fig 7.27 – Theories of independent memory systems. There is some evidence that different types of
information are stored in separate memory systems, which may have distinct physiological bases.
              Mirror-drawing task
• . On this task, the patient sits down in
  front of a mirror and is given a pencil and
  a line drawing of a star. Then he's asked
  to trace the star while looking at the
  reflection of his hand and the paper in
  the mirror.
• When people try to do this, they move
  the pencil left when they mean to go
  right, up when they mean to go down,
  and so on.
• Over 3 days trials H.M became quite
  skilled at this task
Delayed nonmatch to sample tests
         Animal studies
 V. Delayed nonmatch to sample
          tests (DNMS)
• C. Effects of lesions
• 1. bilateral medial temporal
  lobe lesion (23.12)
•     a. normal test with short
•     b. increasing errors with
  increasing delay (19.10)
• Explain the difference in Lashley & Kandel‟s understanding of
• How does lesioning help explain the link between hippocampus and
  memory ?
• Define anterograde and retrograde amnesia
• What evidence is there that H.M‟s and CW „s procedural memory is
  intact ?
• What does this tell about the hippocampus ?
• How do animal studies support the role of the hippocampus in
  memory ?
• What is the problem in using lesioning ?
• Name some ethical issues in investigating the role of the
  hippocampus in memory
• With reference to relevent
  research studies to what
  extent is one cognitive process
  (memory )reliable ?
• You could refer to Bartlett’ study (
  cultural schemas affect memory, and
  therefore make it unreliable) or Loftus &
  Palmer study and Freud/recovered
• A man is on trial for robbing a convenience
  store, and several witnesses report seeing him
  at the scene.
• During the trial, the defense sets up an
  experiment to discredit the eye-witness
• See how you do on this experiment.
• Keep quiet if you’ve seen it before !!
• Count the number of times the team in white
  passes the ball to each other.
• Count yourself and make no comments during
  the movie.
• Count the number of times the team in white
  passes the ball to each other.
• Count yourself and make no comments during
  the movie.
•Did you notice
 anything odd ?
• The video was made as part of an experiment
  by Harvard professors Daniel Simons and
  Christopher Chabris designed to test peoples
  “inattentional blindness.”
• In the original study, only 42% of the people
  observing the video noticed the gorilla
  walking through the middle of the scene.
• This activity could also illustrate the
  unreliability of eye-witness testimony.
• People watching this video will either count
  the number of passes correctly and not see
  the gorilla, or see the gorilla but not count the
  correct number of passes (and in some cases,
  they will both miss the gorilla and incorrectly
  count the passes).
• .
• Unreliable eye-witness testimony is an
  ongoing concern for law enforcement
• —many convictions that have been
  overturned by DNA evidence were based on
  faulty witness testimony.
• Studies have shown that even the classic
  “police line-up” can mislead witnesses and
  even alter their memories.
• The inaccuarcy of eye-witness testimony
  strengthens the importance of forensic
  science in determining guilt and innocence
       Case of ronald cotton
• In two separate incidents in July 1984, an
  assailant broke into an apartment, severed
  phone wires, sexually assaulted a woman, and
  searched through her belongings, taking
  money and other items.
• On August 1, 1984, Ronald Cotton was
  arrested for the rapes. In January 1985, Cotton
  was convicted by a jury of one count of rape
  and one count of burglary.
The prosecution based on its case on several
• A photo identification was made by one of the
• A police lineup identification was made by one
  of the victims.
• A flashlight in Cotton's home resembled the
  one used by the assailant.
• In November 1987, the second victim also claimed
  that Cotton was the rapist.
• Before the second trial, a man in prison, who had
  been convicted for crimes similar to these assaults,
  stated to another inmate that he had committed
  Cotton's crimes.
• The superior court judge refused to allow this
  information into evidence,
• Cotton was also convicted of the second rape and
  given another life sentence
• In 1994 two new lawyers took over Cotton's
  defense and filed a motion for DNA testing
• The samples from one victim were too
  deteriorated to be conclusive, but the samples
  from the other victim's vagainal swab and
  underwear were submitted to PCR testing and
  showed no match to Cotton
• The state's data base showed a match with
  the convict who had earlier confessed to the
• On June 30, 1995, Cotton was officially cleared
  of all charges and released fron prison.
• In July 1995. the governor of North Carolina
  officially pardoned Cotton, making him eligible
  for $5,000 compensation from the state.
  Cotton had served 10 1/2 years of his
      Eyewitness testimony (EWT)
• Eyewitness testimony is an important area of
  research in cognitive psychology and human
• Eyewitness testimony is a legal term which refers to
  an account given by people of an event they have
  witnessed eg. a robbery or something other crime.
• It is often a vital factor taken into account by juries in
  deciding whether defendants are guilty or not guilty.
• It is important, therefore, that we have some idea of
  how reliable these testimonies really are.
         Elisabeth Loftus ( 1983)
• Elizabeth Loftus is a leading figure
  in the field of eyewitness testimony

• She expressed concern at the
  over-reliance on eyewitness
  testimonies in court, knowing that
  research shows;
Eyewitnesses are the Most Persuasive
Form of Evidence
Loftus (1983)
Type of Evidence       % guilty votes
• Eyewitness testimony        78
• Fingerprints                70
• Polygraph                   53
• Handwriting                 34
• Bartlett’s ideas on reconstructive memory
  have been developed and extended by
  Elizabeth Loftus and have influenced her
  research into eyewitness testimony and false
  memory syndrome.
• Bartlett suggested that recall is subject to
  personal interpretation dependent on our
  learnt or cultural norms and values - the way
  we make sense of our world.
• Many people believe that memory works something
  like a videotape.
• Storing information is like recording and
  remembering is like playing back what was recorded,
  with information being retrieved in much the same
  form as it was encoded.
• However, memory does not work in this way. It is a
  feature of human memory that we do not store
  information exactly as it is presented to us.
• Rather, people extract from information the gist, or
  underlying meaning.
• In other words, people store information in
  the way that makes the most sense to them.
• We make sense of information by trying to fit
  it into schemas, which are a way of organising
• Schemas are mental 'units' of knowledge that
  correspond to frequently encountered people,
  objects or situations.
• Schemas are therefore capable of distorting
  unfamiliar or unconsciously ‘unacceptable’
  information in order to ‘fit in’ with our existing
  knowledge or schemas.
• This can, therefore, result in unreliable
  eyewitness testimony.
• Bartlett tested this theory using a variety of stories to
  illustrate that memory is an active process and subject to
  individual interpretation or construction.
• In his famous study 'War of the Ghosts', Bartlett (1932)
  showed that memory is not just a factual recording of what
  has occurred, but that we make “effort after meaning”.
• By this, Bartlett meant that we try to fir what we remember
  with what we really know and understand about the world.
• As a result, we quite often change our memories so they
  become more sensible to us.
         Eyewitness testimony

• In relation to eyewitness testimony (EWT)
  Loftus believed that the reconstruction of
  memories was one of the reasons why EWT
  was often inaccurate.
• One way that memory could reconstruct ( or
  distort ) information is through misleading
        Shop robbery clip

• Did the second man at the
  back have a knife or a gun ?
Caravan clip
             Misleading questions
• A ( mis ) leading question is one that is phrased in such a way
  that it suggests a particular answer to the witness.
• After witnessing a crime or event a witness will be questioned
  by the police, and by lawyers who may intentionally or
  unintentionally ask a leading question such as “ how dark was
  it ?” as opposed to “ was it dark?” ….. Loftus has argued that
  the former question could activate schema
• which could influence accuracy of recall. The question
  activates the belief it was dark when it actually it may have
  only been 6pm and not dark at all.
        Misleading questions
• Did you beat your wife ?
• How often did you beat your wife ?

• Have you ever taken drugs ?
• When was the last time you took drugs ?
   Loftus & Palmer ( 1974 )
• The aim of this study was to investigate how
  information supplied after an event, influences a
  witness's memory for that event


• Loftus was interested to see the extent to which
  interference from misleading questions ( often
  asked by lawyers and police ) could alter a
  witness‟s subsequent recall of a crime
• The study actually consists of two laboratory
• They are both examples of an independent
  measures design.
• The independent variable in both of the
  experiments is the verb used.
• The dependent variable in the first
  experiment is the participant‟s speed
  estimate and the dependent variable in the
  second experiment is whether the participant
  believed they saw glass.
  Method / Procedure / Sample
• The participants were 45 students of the
  University of Washington.
• They were each shown seven film-clips of
  traffic accidents.
• The clips were short excerpts from safety
  films made for driver education. The clips
  ranged from 5 to 30 seconds long.
• Following each video participants were given a
  questionnaire asking them to give an account of
  what they had just seen.
• They were asked to answer a number of questions,
  but most of these questions were ‘filler’ questions.
• However there was one critical question which was
• There were five conditions in the
  experiment (each with nine
• Condition 1: 'About how fast were the cars going when they
  smashed into each other?„

• Condition 2: 'About how fast were the cars going when they collided
  into each other?„

• Condition 3: 'About how fast were the cars going when they bumped
  into each other?„

• Condition 4: 'About how fast were the cars going when they hit each

• Condition 5: 'About how fast were the cars going when they
  contacted each other?'
• The independent variable was
  manipulated by means of the wording
  of the questions.
• The dependent variable was the
  speed estimates given by the
      Results of the first experiment

      Table 1. Speed estimates for the verbs used in
      the estimation of speed question
VERB                           MEAN ESTIMATE
                               OF SPEED (mph)
Smashed                        40.8
Collided                       39.3
Bumped                         38.1
Hit                            34.0
Contacted                      31.8
                           Explanation of findings
 Loftus and Palmer give two interpretations/explanations of the findings of their
                                1st experiment .

• 1.Firstly, they argue that the results could
  be due to a distortion in the memory of the
  participant. The memory of how fast the
  cars were travelling could have been
  distorted by the verbal label which had
  been used to characterise the intensity of
  the crash.
• 2. Secondly, they argue that the results
  could be due to response-bias factors,

• in which case the participant is not sure of
  the exact speed and therefore adjusts his
  or her estimate to fit in with the
  expectations of the questioner.
• (This is also an example of a demand
They wanted to prove the former
was the case… increase the
validity / reliability of the results
 So they conducted a second experiment..

• The researchers aimed to show that
  information provided after an event is capable
  of distorting memories.
  The second experiment……

Once again, participants were shown a film of
 a car crash. They were split into 3 different
• 1. the first group were asked “how fast were the
  cars going when they smashed into each other ?”
• 2. The second group were asked “ how fast were
  the cars going when they hit each other ?
• 3. The third group formed a control and were not
  asked a question about the speed of the cars
Participants were recalled one week later;
• Again they were asked questions about
  the film. Again, 9 of the questions were
  filler questions
• The critical question this time was;
“ did you see the broken glass ?”
(there was no glass in the actual film footage they saw)
    – 1 week later: Did you see any broken glass?
       • smash group: 32% said yes
       • hit group: 14% said yes

Table 2. Response to the question 'Did you see any broken glass?'

     Response Smashed Hit                                     Control
     Yes                16                 7                  6
     No                 34                 43                 44
• The results of this experiment show that the
  labels attached to the car-crash by the
  researcher affected the memories of the
  participants – altering their perception of events
  a week later….

• The idea that the cars had “smashed”into each
  other had led participants to incorporate the
  notion of broken glass into their memories (as
  “smashed” implies that glass was broken)

• Memories are unreliable because
  they are reconstructive ( we draw
  on schemas to aid our memory)
    Evaluation of Loftus & Palmer
• A well – controlled study ( done in 2 parts)
• Control is intended to allow us to conclude that it is
  the IV, and nothing else, which is influencing the DV.
• For example Loftus was able to control the age of the
  participants, the use of video and the location of the
• All participants were asked the same questions
  (apart from changes in the critical words), and the
  position of the key question in the second was
• Highly reliable
• Massive implications for EWT
• Lacked ecological validity – video footage of
  staged car-crashes
• Unrepresentative sample – all pps were
  university students
      Questions on Loftus & Palmer
•   How do we know Eyewitness testimony is problematic ?
•   In what way was Loftus influenced by the work of Bartlett ?
•   Briefly outline the ‘War of the Ghosts study”
•   Briefly outline the procedure in the L&P study
•   Why did they conduct a second part to the experiment ?
•   In what way did the second part support their hypothesis ?
•   State some strengths and weakness of the study
•   Outline one other way in which memory is unreliable
•   Briefly outline why the case of Eileen Franklin supports this
          False memory syndrome
• Freudian theory also argues that
  memory can unreliable through the
  process of ‘repression’.
• He argued that intense emotional
  memories in particular activate
  certain defense mechanisms.
• Repression is one defence mechanism
  in which we subconsciously push
  anxiety-provoking memories into our
  unconscious so they will forgotten.
• However this memory may haunt the victim
  in symbolic form through dreams,
• Freudian therapists seek to uncover/release
  these hidden memories through
            Recovered memories
• The recovery of childhood
  memories through therapy has
  been highly controversial.
• In the 1980’s and 1990’s there was
  widespread reports in the media
  about prosecutions made towards
  family members based on
  recovered early memories.
• Are these accurately recovered
  memories or false memories ?
• Loftus, whilst not denying that childhood
  abuse occurs, has argued that as our
  memories are reconsrtructive, they may be
  distorted and indeed false.
• The False Memory Syndrome Foundation was
  founded in the USA in 1992 by parents and
  professionals to support families that had
  been shattered through false allegations
  based on recovered memories.
• The unreliability of Memory can also be seen in witness
  recollection of the 2002 Washington DC sniper attacks.
• Witnesses reported seeing a white truck or van fleeing
  several of the crime scenes.
• It seems that a white vehicle might have been near one of the
  first shootings and media repetition of this information
  contaminated the memories of witnesses to later attacks,
  making them more likely to remember white trucks.
• When caught, the sniper suspects were driving a blue van.
• There can be many explanations for this but
  Loftus has argued that post-event information
  can affect our memories.
• Post event information can also activate
  certain schema.
• Our schema for vans may associate vans with
  being white, as that is the most common
•Research the case of
 Eileen Franklin
•Discuss how social or
 cultural factors affect
• Are cognitive abilities universal ?
• Are cognitive skills universal ?
• Cole and Scribner (1974) argue that cognitive
  abilities are universal but not cognitive
• Cognitive skills are dependent on the
  environment – education, social interaction,
  culture and the technologies make up the
• Cole & Scribner are famous for their
  work and research with the Kpelle
  people of Liberia
• The Kpelle are the largest ethnic group
  in the West African nation of Liberia and
  a significant group in neighboring
• For the 2006 PBS program `African
  American Lives`, African American
  television personality Oprah Winfrey
  had her DNA tested.
• This genetic genealogy test showed
  that her maternal line probably
  originated among the Kpelle ethnic
• For example, Cole and his colleagues gave a
  non-literate (non – schooled ) Kpelle rice
  farmer in Liberia this syllogism ( problem);

        All Kpelle men are rice farmers.
        Mr. Smith is not a rice farmer.
        Is he a Kpelle man?
• Whilst westerners are likely to answer no, the farmer
  replied: “If I know him in person, I can answer that
  question, but since I do not know him in person, I
  cannot answer that question”.
• This is a typical response among non-schooled
• The reasoning is based on knowledge and experience
  rather than logical reasoning,
• Scribner argued (1974) that it is the effect of
  schooling that enables the development of logical
  thinking in children.
       Cole and Scribner (1974)
• Studied memory skills in both American and
  Liberian Kpelle children.
• They observed the effects formal schooling /
  education (culture) had on memory.
• They compared recall of a series of words in the
  US and amongst the Kpelle people
• The Kpelle people were children (aged 6 – 14)
  and adults from rural Liberia.
• Of the Kpelle children some were in school, and
  all the adults were in school.
• They were aware they
  couldn‟t use the same
  list of words in the two
  different countries so
  they started by
  observing everyday
  cognitive activities in
• They devised word
  lists that were
  culturally specific
asked the
children to
recall as many
items as
possible from 4
categories –
clothes, tools
and vegetables
• In general educated Kpelle children performed
  better in the recall of list than non-educated
  Kpelle children
• Overall American children performed better
  than Kpelle children
• Although this could be interpreted as memory skills
  being better amongst Americans children than Kpelle
  (African) children such an interpretation would
  overlook the influence of culture.
• Western schooling emphasizes certain cognitive
  strategies such as clustering / categorising.
• Schooling presents children with a number of
  specialized organizing tasks, such as organizing large
  amounts of information in memory.
• It is unlikely such parallels exist in traditional
  societies like the Kpelle
• HOWEVER Cole et al followed up this work by
  testing a different hypothesis – may be
  memory performance was not based on
  skills/strategy but on recall tasks more
  relevant to those the Kpelle ordinarily
• They used the narrative method so that the
  objects were presented in a meaningful way
  as part of a story.
•   Bottle
•   Chicken feather
•   Box
•   Battery
•   Book              Put as many of these
                      words as possible into
•   Candle
                      a story
•   Nail
•   Cigarette
•   Stick
•   Grass
•   Knife
•    orange
•   shirt
         Cole & Scribner narrative
• The narrative (story) centered on a four suitors (a man trying
  to date/marry a woman) who present certain items as a
  dowry (bridewealth) to the town’s chief to try to win the right
  to marry his daughter.
• In the first story the first suitor offers all the clothing, the
  second, all of the food, the third all of the tools and the
  fourth, all of the utensils.
• In a second story the man attempts to kidnap the girl, who
  drops the items along the path as she goes.
• She drops them in an order that bears no relation to category
  membership but makes sense in the sequence of events.
• The framework of the story seemed to greatly
  aid recall.
• The non-schooled children recalled the
  objects easily and actually chunked them
  according to the roles they played in the story.
• The conclusion is that People learn to
  remember in ways that are relevant for their
  everyday lives, and these do not always mirror
  the activities that cognitive psychologists use
  to investigate mental processes.
•People’s cognitive
 skills are relevant to
 their culture ( their
 everyday practice)
• Discuss how and why particular research methods are
  used at the Cognitive level of analysis
• ( Lab experiments, Brain imaging, case studies of
  patients with brain damage )
• Discuss ethical considerations related to research
  studies at the cognitive level of analysis
• Discuss the use of technology in investigating memory
• ( ie…brain imaging techniques (mri, fmri, pet scans) in
  investigating alzheimers disease)
         What is alzeimer’s disease?
• Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain
  disorder that results in memory loss, impaired
  thinking, difficulty finding the right word when
  speaking, and personality changes.
• Its course is marked by a continual loss of
  neurons (nerve cells) in areas of the brain that are
  crucial to memory and other mental functions.
• Levels of brain chemicals known as
  neurotransmitters, which carry complex messages
  back and forth among billions of nerve cells, are
  also diminished.
• After the symptoms first appear, people live
  anywhere from 2–20 years in an increasingly
  dependent state that exacts a staggering
  emotional, physical, and economic toll on
• No blood test, brain scan, or physical exam
  can definitively diagnose Alzheimer's disease.
• And because so many conditions can produce
  symptoms resembling those of early
  Alzheimer's, reaching the correct diagnosis is
• Nevertheless the following tools are available
  to doctors;
• A complete medical history includes
  information about the person's general
  health, past medical problems, and any
  difficulties the person has carrying out daily
• Medical tests - such as tests of blood, urine,
  or spinal fluid - help the doctor find other
  possible diseases causing the symptoms.
• Neuropsychological tests measure memory,
  problem solving, attention, counting, and
• Unfortunately, the
  definitive signs of
  Alzheimer's, namely
  the presence of
  amyloid plaques and
  tangles, can only be
  seen after death,
  when brain tissue can
  be examined during
          However brain scanning is
           increasingly being used;
• Brain scans allow the doctor to look at a picture
  of the brain to see if anything does not look
• Brain scans such a Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  can be used to confirm diagnosis, but in the
  very early stages they often fail to show very
  much change.
• Later on, there will be a significant and clear
  loss of brain tissue and an enlargement of the
  fluid-filled spaces (ventricles) in the brain, but
  by then the diagnosis is probably fairly certain.
• Scans are most likely to be performed in early-
  onset cases or to eliminate other causes, for
  example, if a brain tumour is suspected.
     Positron Emission Tomography
• Positron Emission Tomography
  (PET) scans detect special
  radioactively labeled tracers
  which are injected into a
  patient's body before the
  imaging procedure starts.
• PET scans can be used to
  accurately monitor brain
  activity while a patient's
  memory and cognition are
  being tested.
                 PET scans
• The scans are made by injecting the patient
  with a form of sugar that has been altered to
  carry a weak, short-lived radioactive element.
• The sugar hits the bloodstream and flows to
  the brain, which needs huge amounts of
  energy to keep all its nerve cells running.
• The most active areas of the brain need the most sugar --
  while damaged and less active areas need much less.
• By detecting the weak radiation signal from the sugar
  molecules as they travel throughout the brain, PET scanners
  can make a picture of brain cell activity.
• The resulting scans show the level of activity using a scale of
  colors; red and orange for high activity, and blue and purple
  for low.
     Technology now used for early
• Researchers from the New York University School of Medicine have
  developed a brain-scan-based computer programme that quickly and
  accurately measures metabolic activity in the hippocampus – an important
  brain structure in memory processes.
• Using PET scans and the computer programme the researchers showed
  that in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease there is a reduction in brain
  metabolism in the hippocampus.
• In a longitudinal study they followed a sample of 53 normal and healthy
  participants – some for 9 years and others for as long as 24 years.
• They found that individuals who showed early signs of reduced
  metabolism in the hippocampus were associated with later development
  of Alzheimer’s disease.
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging
• MRI scans use magnetic and radio
  waves, instead of X-rays, to provide
  very clear and detailed images of
  brain or other internal organs.
• MRI scans provide static three
  dimensional images of brain
• Currently MRI is used to mainly rule
  out other possible causes for
  cognitive impairment, such as a
  brain tumor or blood clot.
• However use of MRI scans is turning to images of shrinkage in the
• Cells in the brain’s hippocampus, a region involved in memory and
  learning, progressively deteriorate and die in Alzheimer’s disease
• MRI imaging can detect atrophy (shrinkage) of the hippocampus that
  occurs when substantial numbers of cells die.
• Research has found that shrinkage can be detected even before symptoms
  interfere with daily function.
• In a 2000 Researchers* looked at MRI results for 119 patients
  with varying degrees of cognitive impairment.
• Some patients were normal, some had cognitive impairment at
  the time of the MRI, and others were already diagnosed with
  Alzheimer's disease.
• The researchers (who did not have access to the patients' files)
  were 100% accurate when determining which patients had
  been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and which had no
• The study reported a 93% accuracy rate when researchers were
  asked to distinguish between patients with no symptoms and
  patients who had only mild cognitive impairment, but were not
  yet diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
•To what extent do
 cognitive and biological
 factors interact in
•   What is emotion?
•   A feeling?
•   Then what is a feeling?
•   These terms are difficult to define and even
    more difficult to understand completely.
          Why study emotions?
• 25 yrs ago emotions were ignored by
  experimental psychologists
• Psychology wants to be a science,
• Emotions are too flakey
• How do you even study emotion?
• Emotional revolution (1990 – and
  R. Zajonc: Humans have emotions!
  Emotions affect thinking and behavior.
        Definition of emotions
• The mainstream definition of emotion refers
  to a feeling state involving thoughts,
  physiological changes, and an outward
  expression or behavior.
There are three basic components
           of emotions:
• Physical: The physical component of emotion is the arousal of
  the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system. We are
  not consciously aware of this arousal.
• Cognitive: The cognitive component is our interpretation of a
  stimulus or feeling. For example; if you are alone, sitting in the
  dark, watching a scary movie, and you hear a loud noise, you
  may become scared
• Behavioral: This component is the associated behavior. We
  cry because we are sad or run because we are scared.
    Ekman's (1972) list of basic emotions:

•   Anger
•   Disgust
•   Fear
•   Happiness
•   Sadness
•   Surprise
         Cross-cultural research
• He devised a list of basic
  emotions from cross-cultural
  research on the Fore
  tribesmen of Papua New
• He observed that members
  of an isolated culture could
  reliably identify the
  expressions of emotion in
  photographs of people from
  cultures with which the Fore
  were not yet familiar.
        Ekman’s (1990) extended list
• including a range of positive and negative
  emotions not all of which are encoded in facial
•   Amusement
•   Contempt
•   Contentment
•   Embarrassment
•   Excitement
•   Guilt
•   Pride in achievement
•   Relief
•   Satisfaction
•   Sensory pleasure
•   Shame
  Three ways to measure emotions
Physical                             Thoughts                               Behaviour
       –   blood pressure                  –    spoken and written                   -facial expressions
       –   heart rate                           words on rating scales               –       activity level
       –   adrenaline levels               –    answers to open-ended                –       alertness
                                                questions on surveys
       –   muscle activity when                 and during interviews                –       screaming
           smiling, frowning, etc.                                                   –       laughing
                                           –    responses to projective
       –   neural images                        instruments, sentence                –       Smiling
       –   posture                              stems, etc.
                                                                            –   aggression
       –   tears,                          –    self-assessments or
                                                perceptions regarding       –   approach/avoidance
       –   perspiration                         the behavior and            –   attention/distraction
       –   lie detector readings                intentions of others        –   insomnia
                                           –    other cognitive             –   anhedonia
                                                operations such as
                                                rational/logical thinking
        Issues for psychologists
Is an emotion (eg. Fear)
• Mainly physiological
• Mainly cognitive
• Which comes first ?
• How do they interact?
  To answer this we will look at 3
      theories (approaches)

• Schacter ( 1964 ) Two – factory theory

• Lazarus ( 1982 ) Appraisal theory

• Le Doux (1996) Biological factors
• Case of S.M ( who doesn’t experience fear)
    Schacter ( 1964 ) Two – factory
• Schacter ( 1964) was the first theorist to
  bring together the two elements of
  physiological arousal and cognition.
• It is sometimes known as the two-factor
  theory of emotion.
• For an emotion to be experienced, a
  physiological state of arousal is necessary
  AND situational factors will then determine
  how we interpret this arousal.
• In other words, an event causes
  physiological arousal first.
• You must then identify a reason for this
  arousal and then you are able to experience
  and label the emotion.
  For example you are walking down a
  dark alley late at night.
You hear footsteps behind you and you
  begin to tremble, your heart beats
  faster, and your breathing deepens.
Upon noticing this arousal you realize that
  is comes from the fact that you are
  walking down a dark alley by yourself.
This behavior is dangerous and therefore
  you feel the emotion of fear.
• The strength of physiological arousal will
  determine the strength of emotion
  experienced, while the situation will
  determine the type of emotion.
• These two factors are independent of
  each other BUT both are necessary for
  the emotion to be experienced.
• This suggests that feelings/emotions are
  meaningless in isolation, and it is our
  labeling of them which helps us make
  sense of them.
Schacter & Singer
• Participants were give adrenaline injections
  and asked to report what they were feeling
• Adrenaline causes a high state of arousal
• But how would they understand that feeling ?
• They would use the situation/context they
  found themselves in to make sense of the
               Effects of adrenaline
• Very similar to the effects of arousal of the
  sympathetic division of the autonomic
  nervous system (as in the fight or flight
  syndrome) –
• Increase in;
• blood pressure,
• heart rate, respiration rate,
• blood flow to the muscles and brain
• This often experienced as palpitations,
  tremors, flushing and faster breathing
• The effects begin after three minutes and last
  from ten minutes to an hour.
            Schacter & Singer
• If a person experiences a state of arousal for
  which they have no immediate explanation,
  they will describe their emotions in terms of
  the cognitions(thoughts) available to them at
  the time
• 184 male college students, taking classes in
  introductory psychology at Minnesota
• Subjects’ health records were checked to
  make sure that the adrenalin would not have
  an adverse effect.
          Method & procedure
• Laboratory experiment with independent
• There were two independent variables
• IV1: information about the adrenalin injection
  given to the subjects
• IV2: situation they are put in (happy situation
  or anger situation).
  First independent variable (information about the
  adrenalin injection given to the subjects) was
  manipulated in the following way;
• As soon as the participant arrived, he was taken to a
  private room by the experimenter
• told that the aim of the experiment was „to look at the
  effects of vitamin injections on visual skills‟,
• Was asked if he would mind having an injection of
  „Suproxin‟ (made up name).
• 184 out of 195 subjects agreed to the
• They were given an injection (by a doctor) of
  either adrenalin (epinephrine) or a placebo,
  which was actually a saline solution, which
  has no side effects at all.
 The subjects were then put in one of four
 experimental conditions ( 2 only stated here)

• 1.Adrenalin Ignorant - subjects were given
  an adrenalin injection and not told of the effects
  of the drug.
• 2. Adrenalin Informed - subjects were given an
  adrenalin injection and warned of the „side
  effects‟ of the drug (hand shake, heart pounding,
  dry mouth etc
             IV2: Situation put in
• Participants were then allocated to
  either the happy condition or the
  anger condition.
• In the euphoria situation a stooge in a
  waiting room carried out a number of
  silly tasks designed to entertain and
  amuse the participant.
• In the anger situation a stooge in a
  waiting room carried out tasks and
  made comments designed to annoy
  the participant.
Summary of 2 of the conditions


          Adrenaline                   Adrenaline
           informed                     ignorant

    Happy           Angry        Happy           Angry
   situation      situation     situation      situation
• The researchers then made observational
  measures of emotional response through a
  one-way mirror, and also took self-report
  measures from the participants.
IV                        Happy) condition           Angry condition

Informed                  Least emotional reaction   Least emotional (angry)
Misinformed & ignorant    Most emotional reaction    Most emotional (angriest)

                         Explain these results ?
• This suggests that subjects who were informed were able to
  explain their mood the physiological effects of the adrenaline.
  So they didn’t report in emotional terms.
• The uninformed or misinformed groups had no explanation so
  they drew on a cognitive label ( eg. Happy or angry)
      Summary of Schacter & Singer
•   This study investigated emotional experience, and was based on testing the
    theory that an emotion is made up of cognitive appraisal (labelling the
    emotion) and physiological arousal (adrenaline and the physical changes it
•   This was done by giving 3 groups of participants an adrenaline injection
    (epinephrine) and 1 group a placebo, then putting them into situations
    designed to create an emotional response of anger or happiness.
•    Some participants were misled or given no information and the researchers
    predicted that they would blame their physical state on the situation,
    therefore reporting higher levels of emotion.
•   Other participants were told the effects of the injection and so would not
    blame the situation as they already knew why they felt that way.
•   The results were as predicted, indicating that if someone feels
    physiologically aroused and doesn't know why they will look at their situation
    in order to label their emotion.
•   This supports the theory that emotions need both cognitive and
    physiological elements
• The main strength of the method used by
  Schachter and Singer is the amount of control
  they had of their procedure.
• For example they were able to randomly
  allocate different participants to the different
• they were able to deceive the participants of the
  real nature of the experiment and standardise
  the procedure as much as possible.
• They even ensured that the stooge did not know
  which condition the participant was in.
                Criticisms of study
• The experiment definitely lacked ecological validity.
• We do not usually experience emotions in the way in which
  Schachter and Singer induced them.
• We are often aware of events before the onset of arousal and this
  gives us information we can use to interpret out physical cues.
• The sample was all male college students, taking classes in
  introductory psychology at Minnesota University.
• It could be, for example that males do not always experience
  emotions in the same way as females. The sample is certainly not
• The study can also be questioned on ethical grounds.
• Even though the participants were given health checks
  before the experiment began, and were thoroughly
  debriefed, they were considerably deceived.
• Injections and inducing anger may have been
• We can also question the assumption that all participants
  would react in the same way to the adrenaline.
• Adrenalin does not affect everyone in the same way, for
  example five of Schachter & Singer‟s subjects were
  excluded from analysis because they experienced no
  physiological symptoms.
• A further problem with the procedure is that no
  assessment was made of subjects‟ mood before the
  injection - presumably, a subject in a better mood to
  begin with might respond more positively to a playful
• Other theories have built on the work of
  Schacter & Singer and current research now
  focuses on cognition as a central factor of
 Lazarus ( 1982 ) appraisal theory
• Whilst there are some problems with
  Schacter’s theory it has nonetheless been an
  important influence on theoretical accounts of
• Lazarus has built on the work of Schachter and
  also proposed a theory that demonstrates the
  interaction of cognitions and biology in
  understanding emotions.
• He has however, emphasised the role of cognitions
  or ‘cognitive appraisals’.
• He argued that an emotion-provoking stimulus
  triggers a cognitive appraisal, which is followed by
  the emotion and the physiological arousal.
• He suggested we initially make a brief analysis of a
  situation in terms of whether or not it represents a
  threat ( we appraise a situation).
• Cognitive appraisal of the situation determines the
  level of physiological arousal and the specific type of
  emotion to be experienced
• Put simply you must first think about your
  situation before you can experience an
• For example you are walking down a dark alley
  late at night.
• You hear footsteps behind you and you think it
  may be a mugger
• so you begin to tremble, your heart beats
  faster, and your breathing deepens and at the
  same time experience fear

                                                        Primary & secondary appraisal

• His theory focuses on the appraisal of the
  situation and he identified three stages of
• Primary appraisal (relevance) – in which
                                                  generates emotion/level of physical arousal

  we consider how the situation affects our
  personal well-being or how threatening
  the situation is.                             But a reppraisal may occur depending our coping

• Secondary appraisal (options) - we
                                                            strategy for the emotion

  consider how we might cope with the
                                                We may aim to change the problematic situation

• Reappraisal ( ability to handle emotion) -             ( problem – focused coping)
                                                  OR we may be able to handle the emotion (
                                                         emotion – focused coping )
  Reappraisal refers to whether the emotion
  / situation is changeable or manageable
                                                Reappraisal may change quality and intensity of
                                                              emotion/level of
                                                               physical arousal
                     Speisman et al ( 1964 )
•   A study that supports Lazarus theory is that conducted by Speisman. He showed college
    students a film called ‘Sub-incision’, a graphic film about an initiation ceremony involving
    unpleasant genital surgery.
•   The aim was see if the people’s emotional reactions could be manipulated. The
    experiment deliberately manipulated the participants appraisal of the situation and
    evaluated the effect of the type of appraisal on their emotional response.
         Speisman (1964) Conditions
•   Group 1: One group saw the film with no
    sound. ( control )
•   Group 2: Another group heard a soundtrack
    with a "trauma" narrative emphasizing the
    pain, danger, and primitiveness of the
•   Group 3: A third group heard a "denial"
    narration that denied the pain and potential
    harm to the boys, describing them as
    willing participants in a joyful occasion who
    "look forward to the happy conclusion of the
•   Group 4: The fourth group heard an
    anthropological ( cultural, scientfic
    )interpretation of the ceremony.
• Physiological ( heart rate, galvanic skin tests )
  and self-report measures of stress were taken.
                  Galvanic skin response
•   All tissues in the human body, including skin,
    have the ability to conduct electricity.
•   , this is how our nerves function to relay
    information from one part of the body to
•    The skin also has electrical activity, which is in
    constant, slight variation, and can be measured
    and charted.
•    The skin's electrical conductivity fluctuates
    based on certain bodily conditions, and this
    fluctuation is called the galvanic skin response.
•   Sudden changes in emotion, such as fright, can
    trigger the galvanic skin response, as can other
    types of changes, such as the hot flashes that are
    characteristic of menopause.
•    The galvanic skin response can be graphed on a
    chart for observation, in the same way that heart
    or brain activity is recorded.
                 Speiseman et al
 Control group   Trauma narrative   Denial narrative   Scientific/academic
 (no sound)                                            narrative
 No stress       Most stressed      Less stressed      Less stressed

• Such results seem to support Lazarus’s theory that it
  is not the events themselves that elicit emotional
  stress but rather the individual’s interpretation or
  appraisal of those events.
        Evaluation of Speisman
+ Lab setting (high degree of controls over
+ Objective measures of fear responses (heart
  rate, galvanic skin test)

- low ecological validity
- questionable ethics (participants are exposed
   to discomforting material)
 Le Doux (1996) Biological factors

• Joseph LeDoux, a neuroscientist at New York
  University pioneered the study of emotions as
  biological phenomena.
• He came to emotion research from studying
  split-brain patients whose two brain
  hemispheres were severed as a last resort
  against epileptic seizures.
• He discovered a patient who, when presented
  with stimuli to the right hemisphere, could not
  describe the stimulus (a left hemispheric
  function) but could describe the emotional
  impact that the stimulus had on him.
• Le Doux has mapped out the
  biological circuitry of emotions
  through work on rats.
• In his experiments, rats are
  exposed to a tone and mild electric
  shock at the same time.
• Later, at the sound of the tone by
  itself, they freeze, as if frightened.
  They have been conditioned to fear
  the noise.
• By using tracers,
  chemicals that stain
  neurons LeDoux
  found a direct
  pathway from the ear
  to a two-way station
  called the sensory
  thalamus that led
  directly to the
  amygdala, an almond-
  shaped structure in
  the forebrain.
• The amygdala triggers a flight or fight physiological reaction. When
  this pathway was cut, rats could not be conditioned to fear a sound.
• At the same time the sensory thalamus sends the information via the
  indirect pathway (long route) to the cortex which results in an
  appraisal of the stimulus and the outcome of this is sent to the
• According to LeDoux the advantage of having a direct and indirect
  route to the amygdala is flexibility in responses.
• In the case of danger the fast and direct pathway is useful because
  it saves time in dangerous or emergency situations.
• On the other hand the long pathway allows for a more thorough
  evaluation of a situation which can help avoid inappropriate
       Evaluation of Le Doux:
    Supporting study case of S.M
• Homework: investigate
  the case of S.M and
  amygdala damage
                          Pop quiz
• State the 3 components of emotion
• Name one IV in Schacter & Singer‟s study
• State the conditions of that IV
• Which group experienced the highest level of emotion?
• Give one criticism of the study
• State the 3 stages in Lazarus‟ appraisal theory
• State what each stage means
• State the IV and DV in Speiseman‟s study
• Give one criticism of Speisman‟s study
• State the two biological route of emotions according to Le Doux‟s
• How did Le Doux test this theory ?
• What is the advantage of having a direct and indirect route ?
• How does the case of S.M support Le Doux‟ theory ?
•evaluate one theory
 of how emotion can
 affect one cognitive
             Emotion and memory
              (see youtube clip)

•   Where you were ?          • World trade centre ( NY)
•   What you were doing ?       was attacked
•   How you were informed ?   • Micheal Jackson died
•   How you reacted ?
• Emotions can have a powerful effect on
• They can cause us to forget ( Freud’s theory of
  repression) or cause us to have vivid and
  permanent memories.
   Vivid and permanent memories
• Some memories can be particularly vivid
  and enduring
• Memories of surprising, important or
  emotionally impacting events can be
  particularly vivid and enduring
• And incredibly we don‟t just remember the
  emotional event but mundane information
  surrounding the event.
• People can have very clear memories of
  where they were, what they did, and what
  they felt about the event.
             Flashbul memories

• Brown and Kulik (1977) called this “Flashbulb memory.”

• Flasbulb memories include both
  the central event and the
  circumstances in which one
  learned of the event.
         Brown & Kulik (1977)
• Suggested that events with
  high levels of surprise and
  high levels of
  consequentiality or
  emotional arousal produce
  a mental photograph that
  preserves the scene in its
• Examples of such notable
  incidents include the
  assassination of President
  Kennedy, the Challenger
  explosion, the death of
  Princess Diana and more
  recently, 9/11 and the death
  of Micheal Jackson.
      Brown & Kulik (1977) study
• Asked participants “ Do you
  recall the circumstances in
  which you first heard that…”
  for 10 person-event cues
  including the assassination of
  John F Kennedy and Martin
  Luther King.
• Participants then narrated
  their personal circumstances
  of hearing the news.
• Brown & Kulik found that
  people had very clear
  memories of the place,
  ongoing event, informant, and
  feelings surrounding the event
• The relevance or emotional significance
  ( consequentiality) of an event to a person's
  life would seem to increase its likelihood of
  being stored as a 'flashbulb memory'.
• Brown and Kulik found that 75% of black
  people asked were able to recall the
  assassination of Martin Luther King,
• Just 33% of white people asked could do the
• According to Brown & Kulik a special
  biological memory mechanism exists
  in the brain
• When triggered by high levels of
  surprise and consequentiality causes
  the whole scene to be „printed‟ onto
  the memory.
• A permanent record of the contents of
  awareness for the period immediately
  surrounding the shocking experience
  is created.
• This record is detailed, accurate,
  vivid, and resistant to forgetting.

• Although at the time the special-mechanism
  concept was just a hypothesis it has been
  supported by recent findings in neuroscience
  – emotional events are better remembered
  than less emotional events.
                Sharot et al (2006)
• Found that for individuals who were close
  to the World Trade Center, the retrieval of
  9/11 memories activated certain part of the
• Participants were asked to recall events
  while hooked up to an fMRI scanner.
• Recall activated circuits in a part of the
  brain known as the amygdala.
• The release of stress-related hormones,
  signaled by the amygdala may account for
  some of the power and persistence that
  characterize many highly emotional or
  traumatic experiences.
Do Flashbulb memories differ from
    other forms of memory?"
• However Neisser has argued that the flashbulb memory
  is not a special memory.
• People do not always know the consequences of an
  event until later.
• Neisser argued that FMs were simply ordinary memories
  made clearer and longer lasting by frequent rehearsal
  after the event.
• This argument seems quite logical, as particularly in this
  global age the media and society frequently replay and
  retell events of extreme public attention or emotion.
• Flashbulb memories could therefore be seen as
  memories that have be actively reconstructed to such an
  extent that they can be clearly replayed in our minds.
Are flashbulb memories accurate ?

• This also questions the validity and accuracy
  of "flashbulb memories" in that they are
  memories actively reconstructed and
  transformed over time in 1986.
         Neisser & Harsch (1992)
• Measured flashbulb memories of the
  shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986.
• They investigated people‟s memory
  accuracy of the event 24 hours after
  the incident and again 2 years later.
• The participants were very confident
  that their memories were correct, but
  the researchers found that 40% of the
  participants had distorted memories
  in the final reports they made.
• Possibly post-event information had
  influenced their memories
    Christianson & Loftus (1987)
• A study by Christianson & Loftus (1987)
  found that emotional arousal enhanced
  recall of information central to the event
  that elicited the emotion, but disrupted
  recall of peripheral ( surrounding)
        Christianson & Loftus (1987
• Participants were presented with one of
  two matched slide sequences depicting
  either an emotional event (a boy hit by a
  car) or a neutral event (a boy walking
  beside a car).
• All participants wrote down the central
  feature of each slide.
• Participants who viewed the emotional
  slide sequence were better able to recall
  the central features than participants who
  viewed the neutral sequence, but they
  were less able to recognize peripheral
  (surrounding) detail in the particular slides
  they had seen
       Strengths of the Cognitive
• A main strength of cognitive psychology is that this
  approach has tended to use a scientific approach
  through the use of laboratory experiments which are high
  in control.
• For example Loftus and Palmer were able to control the
  age of the participants, the use of video, questions and
  position of critical question and the location of the
• Furthermore, such standardised experiments are easy to
  test for reliability, and are usually highly replicable.
            Limitations of approach
• However, as many cognitive studies are carried out in laboratory
  settings they can lack ecological validity.
• When cognitive processes such as memory are studied in artificial
  situations it may be difficult to generalise the findings to everyday life
• It has been argued that a weakness of the cognitive approaches
  reliance on the computer analogy leads to a reductionist and
  mechanistic description of experiences and behaviour.
• Reductionism is the idea that complex phenomena can be explained
  by simpler things.
• The cognitive approach often takes this narrow focus and ignores
  social and emotional factors which may impact on cognition

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