Key Studies: “Weapon focus” and its effects on eye-witness memories (Loftus, 1987)

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, Criminology, Key Studies, Studies and Theories Leave a Comment

From decades of research we know that memory is not a passive cognitive process, but it is an active reconstructive one. As Elizabeth Loftus says, memory is not like a tape recorder that records things accurately and plays it back for us, but it’s more like a wikipedia page that anyone can go in and change. Loftus should know as …

fMRI: An important technological technique used to study the brain

tdixon Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Research Methodology 1 Comment

The invention of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has rapidly advanced our knowledge and understanding of the human brain. In the IB Psychology course, fMRIs are a good example of a “technique used to study the brain in relation to behaviour.”  Background Information fMRIs are a modification of a regular MRI machine. Whereas MRIs simply show the structure of the …

Key Study: London Taxi Drivers vs. Bus Drivers (Maguire, 2006)

tdixon Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

Understanding how the brain can grow and change as a result of our environment and experiences is an exciting and important new field in psychology. Maguire’s study on this topic is already a classic.  Context One of the most fascinating (relatively) recent discoveries is the idea of neuroplasticity: the brain’s amazing ability to grow and change as a result of different experiences. …

Key Study: Clinical bias and the effects of labelling on diagnosis (Temerlin, 1968)

tdixon Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

Clinical bias can affect the validity and reliability of diagnosis and one thing that can cause clinical bias is when a patient is labelled with having a particular disorder. Labelling theory usually refers to how a label can affect the individual being labelled, but it is also used to explain how others can treat someone based on their label. Effects …

Key Study: Confirmation bias: why psychiatrists stick to wrong preliminary diagnoses (Mendel et al. 2011)

tdixon Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology Leave a Comment

Clinical bias can affect the validity and reliability of diagnosis. One example of a clinical bias that could have an effect is confirmation bias. While the use of classification systems could reduce the influence of clinical bias, it might also lead to it. Clinical bias is a general term that refers to any cognitive bias that can affect the diagnosis …

Key Study: HM’s case study (Milner and Scoville, 1957)

tdixon Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Key Studies Leave a Comment

HM’s case study is one of the most famous and important case studies in psychology, especially in cognitive psychology. It was the source of groundbreaking new knowledge on the role of the hippocampus in memory.  Background Info “Localization of function in the brain” means that different parts of the brain have different functions. Researchers have discovered this from over 100 …

Computer games and the brain: A summary with two key studies

tdixon Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Key Studies, Studies and Theories Leave a Comment

In this post we look at the positive effects of playing computer games by looking at how it might affect the brain, both in young and old people. We know from many MRI studies that our brain changes as a result of experience – this is called neuroplasticity. Therefore, it’s not unrealistic to think that hours spent playing video games …

The negative effects of digital technology on cognition #2 (with key studies): TV, attention and working memory

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, IB Psychology HL Extensions, Key Studies Leave a Comment

Technology’s Negative Effects on Memory Numerous studies have investigated the effects of watching television on working memory and executive functions because kids in developed countries tend to watch a lot of television. Watching TV for long periods of time might be harmful for cognition because it doesn’t require us to use our working memory, unlike other activities like reading, doing …

Technology and Memory: The negative effects of digital technology on memory #1 (and key studies)

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, IB Psychology HL Extensions, Key Studies Leave a Comment

The following has been adapted from our exam revision book: IB Psychology: A Revision Guide (available here). This is relevant for the working memory model and also for the HL extension: the (negative) effects of technology on cognitive processes and the reliability of cognitive processes. In this post we look at the negative effects of computer games and other technology …

Can computer games improve working memory? A look at the positive effects of digital technology on cognition (and key studies)

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, IB Psychology HL Extensions, Key Studies Leave a Comment

The following has been adapted from our exam revision book: IB Psychology: A Revision Guide (available here). This is relevant for the working memory model and also for the HL extension: the (positive) effects of technology on cognitive processes and the reliability of cognitive processes. In this blog we look at the positive effects of computer games and other technology …