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Cognitive Methodology

What was the third of the assumptions we looked at last lesson? The cognitive approach sees psychology as a _________________, and so behaviour should be investigated in a __________________ way. The cognitive approach uses many different research methods to investigate behaviour. We will be looking at laboratory experiments and case studies. When have we looked at these two types of methodology before? _____________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ LABORATORY STUDIES Laboratory experiments are a method of investigation where behaviour is studied under controlled conditions. This links in with the assumption that psychology should be treated as a science. Cognitive psychologists use the controlled environment of a lab to make inferences about a persons mind by observing their behaviour and by asking questions. What is a laboratory? When you think of the word laboratory, you probably get a mental image of test tubes, Bunsen burners and scientific This is not a psychology equipment. In psychology however, a laboratory is simply an laboratory environment which is under the control of an experimenter. Most often it is a room in a university. We could use a classroom in the school as a laboratory. Independent and dependant variables In a laboratory study, the experimenter will manipulate a variable to see what effect it has on another variable. The variable that is altered by the experimenter is called the independent variable (IV) and the variable that is measured by the experimenter is the dependant variable (DV). Identify the IV and the DV in the following examples A: An experimenter is investigating whether music affects concentration. One group of participants sit a test in silence, and another group sit it with music playing. The experimenter then compares their scores. IV: _________________________________DV: _________________________________ B: A group of participants are asked to give money to charity. Some people are asked by a male charity collector, and others are asked by a female collector. The experimenter aims to see if there is a difference in the amount collected. IV: _________________________________DV: _________________________________ C: An experimenter wants to see if people are more alert in the morning or in the evening. Participants have their reaction times tested at 7am and again at 7pm. IV: _________________________________DV: _________________________________ Examples of laboratory experiments: One area of cognitive psychology that has been investigated is memory. Elizabeth Loftus (amongst others) has conducted numerous laboratory experiments in the field of eyewitness testimony, and has used the results of her study to draw conclusions about memory. This is an example of psychological research being applied to real life situations.

If you witnessed a crime, how important would it be remember things accurately? Loftus and Zanni (1975) _____________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Loftus and Palmer (1974) ____________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Loftus et al (1987)_____ ____________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ What can we infer about human memory from the first two studies?

What does the third study tell us about memory?

Are there any issued with these types of experiment?

Strengths Laboratory experiments are often the best way to study behaviour, as the strict controls mean that we can establish________________________ relationships. This means that we can be sure that the _______________ variable we are manipulating

what is causing the change in the ________________ variable, and that the change is not due to the effect of extraneous variables. Extraneous variables are variables that are not being manipulated by the experimenter that could alter the results. Lab experiments allow these extraneous variables to be controlled and _____________________. Lab experiments are __________________. The experimenter will follow standardised procedures meaning that the study can be replicated by others. This means that lab studies are usually _________________. The data collected in a lab study is mostly quantitative, and therefore objective as it does not require interpretation by the researcher. This means that it is not __________________. As the data collected is nearly always quantitative, it can be easily analysed and comparisons can be made. This is difficult to do with _____________________ data as it is often not numerical. Weaknesses Lab experiments often do not reflect real life. Both the environment that the experiment takes place in and the tasks that the participants are asked to do can be ________________. This means that it can lack________________________. The way that participants react in an experiment may bear no resemblance to how they would act in a real life situation. Participants in a lab experiment are liable to behave unnaturally for the reasons stated above and also because they may guess the aims of the study which leads to___________________________. This could cause the participants to change their _____________________in one of two ways. They may decide to go along with what they believe the aim of the study to be, and conform to the researchers ____________________. Alternatively, they may want to spoil the study, and act in a way opposed to the researchers aims (the screw you effect). The experimenter could (intentionally or _____________________) influence the way that the participants behave. For example, their tone of voice could influence the responses from participants, or by interpreting behaviour so that it fits with their _________________. These are called experimenter effects. The missing words minimised independent unintention ally qualitative demand characteristics hypothesis expectations cause and effect reliable subjectiv e artificial dependa nt objective ecological validity behaviour

CASE STUDIES We studied case studies as part of the psychodynamic approach. The methodology and evaluation points can be reused here. Strengths Weaknesses

You need to be able to give a specific example of a case study in the cognitive approach.

Henry Gustav Molaison (February 26, 1926


December 2, 2008), better known as HM was a memory-impaired patient who was widely studied from the late 1950s until his death. His case played a very important role in the development of theories that explain the link between brain function and memory. His case was used as evidence for the Multistore Memory Model (Atkinson and Shriffrin 1968) After undergoing brain surgery for epilepsy at the age of 27, he suffered from some retrograde amnesia, meaning he had lost some of his memories that he had before the surgery. More importantly however was that he suffered with severe anterograde amnesia. He was unable to create new memories. However, his short term memory was still intact (he could hold a phone number in his head for example) and he was able to learn new skills, even if he had no memory of doing it (learning to draw using a mirror). HM was important not only for the knowledge he provided about memory impairment and amnesia, but also because his exact brain surgery allowed a good understanding of how particular areas of the brain may be linked to specific processes in memory formation. In this way, he provided vital information about the brain and helped form theories of normal memory function. HM was never able to live independently and spent his life being cared for my family, or in a care home. He was the focus of intense scientific interest throughout his life. Q1: How does the case of HM provide support for the Multistore model of memory?

Q2: Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of using case studies to tell us how our memory works.

Going further... How do you think the knowledge of leading memories can be applied in police investigations? Look up the cognitive interview on the internet. How has this been put together from cognitive research? Compare the case study of HM with the case studies carried out by Freud. What similarities and differences are there? Go on YouTube and look up the case of Clive Wearing, who is another person with anterograde amnesia. Does his case add anything to or knowledge of memory?

Loftus and Zanni (1975): They showed participants a film of a car accident. One group of participants were asked Did you see a broken headlight? while the other group was asked Did you see the broken headlight? There was no broken headlight in the film. 7% of the participants who were asked about a broken headlight reported seeing it, while 17% of the group asked about the broken headlight said they had.

Loftus and Palmer (1974): Participants were shown a video of a car crash, and were asked How fast were the cars were going when they _______________ each other? The word in the space was hit, smashed, collided, bumped or contacted. Participants who were asked with the words smashed, collided and bumped gave higher speeds that those asked with the words hit or contacted.

Loftus et al (1987): Participants overheard an argument in an adjoining room. In the first condition, a man came into the room where the participants were, holding a pen covered in grease. In the second condition, he came in with a knife covered in blood. Participants were then asked to identify the

man from a series of photos. 49% of those in the pen condition could identify the man, compared with 33% of those in the knife condition.