Key Study: Schemas and Story Interpretations (Anderson et al., 1976)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies, Studies and Theories 1 Comment

“No two people read the same novel or watch the same movie.” This is one of my favourite sayings as an English teacher. It conveys the simple fact that our interpretations of stories are based on our personalities, our experiences, our biases, our schemas. While this might be common knowledge now, in the 1970s it was being slowly revealed through …

Key Study: The Office Schema Study (Brewer and Treyens, 1981)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

Our life’s memories are filed away in our long-term memory and our mind categories these into clusters, which we call schema. These schema then affect how we process new information and remember old information. At least, these are the claims of schema theory. In this post we’ll look at how these claims are supported by a classic study.  Because of …

Applications of the working memory model (Baddeley and Hitch, 1974)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology Leave a Comment

Theories and models in psychology can be evaluated based on their empirical evidence and their validity in explaining and predicting human behaviour. But they can also be judged on their productiveness – the extent to which they’ve inspired and provoked further research and applications in various fields. In this post, we’ll look at the various contributions the WMM has made …

Memory Effects & The Working Memory Model

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology Leave a Comment

Want to improve your memory? The secret is to understand your working memory. In this post, we’ll review some factors that can reduce memory and then explain these using Baddeley and Hitch’s working memory model. The Articulatory Suppression Effect The articulatory suppression effect happens when memory decreases because researchers block (suppress) someone’s ability to rehearse (articulate) information they’re trying to remember.  …

Four things you didn’t know about the multi-store model of memory

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology 4 Comments

It’s in all the textbooks and every introduction to psychology course, but here are some things you didn’t know about Atkinson and Shiffrin’s multi-store model of memory.  #1. There’s a store within the store The short-term store is where we temporarily hold information in our working memory. If it’s rehearsed enough it will transfer to the long-term store. But did …

Limitations of the multi-store model of memory (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology Leave a Comment

Atkinson and Shiffrin’s MSM is over 50 years old yet it’s still in every introduction to Psychology textbook and still influences modern psychologists. But it’s not without its critics. This post will examine some of their critiques. Because the MSM was so popular, it received a lot of criticism. But “…criticism could itself be viewed as a success, given the …

Key Study: Levels of Processing (Craik and Tulving, 1975)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology Leave a Comment

Background Information The multi-store model of memory (MSM), while straightforward, seemingly common sense, and with plenty of empirical support, is not without its limitations. Do you really need to pay attention to, and rehearse, all sensory information in order for it to be transferred to your long-term memory? Take, for instance, experiences of traumatic or emotionally shocking events (e.g. Flashbulb …

The multi-store model of memory (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology Leave a Comment

50 years later and Atkinson and Shiffrin’s multi-store model of memory (aka the modal model) is still relevant today. This post summarizes the model in more detail than most introductory Psychology textbooks, which will give you the chance to distinguish your explanations from the rest.  Background The multi-store model of memory (the MSM) is a product of the cognitive revolution …

Key Study: Cognitive appraisals and the stress response (Lazarus, 1963)

Travis Dixon Cognitive Psychology, Health Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

The most influential cognitive explanation of stress is based on “cognitive appraisals” – how we assess the relevance and potential harm of a stressor. The following study is one of many that supports this explanation. Stress is a complex phenomenon that involves biological, psychological and environmental factors. Richard Lazarus was a pre-eminent psychologist in the field of stress research. Along …