Schema Theory: A Summary

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, Studies and Theories 4 Comments

In order to describe schema theory accurately, you need to know: What is schema theory? What is a schema? What are the characteristics and functions of schema? (These are the key claims of schema theory). How can schema influence our thinking and/or our behaviour? In order to explain schema theory, you need to understand: How can claims of schema theory be …

Flashbulb Memory Theory (Brown and Kulik, 1977)

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, Studies and Theories 4 Comments

Flashbulb memories are “memories for the circumstances in which one first learned of a very surprising and consequential (or emotionally arousing) event.” (Brown and Kulik, 1977). For example, remembering where you were when you found out you got accepted into your dream college, that a loved one had passed away or a public news event like the death of a …

Wason Task Studies

tdixon Cognitive Psychology 3 Comments

Wason Task studies provide some evidence to support the idea of two systems of processing, as described in the dual processing model of decision making. To recap, the dual processing model of decision making posits that we have two systems for processing information: System One: fast, automatic and intuitive System Two: slow, controlled and rational In the Wason Task, participants …

Key Study: Cortisol and Memory (Buchanan and Lovallo, 2001)

tdixon Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 4 Comments

This study can be found in Chapter 4 of the Student’s Guide. Background Studies conducted before this experiment in 2001 showed that cortisol can have a detrimental effect on memory. Animal studies, however, had shown the opposite: stress can improve memory.  This was the first study (at the time) that investigated the influence of cortisol on emotional memory in humans. …

Exam Tips – Principles of CLOA

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

Note: This is for the “old” syllabus (Exams in May 2018, and Nov 2018) What do you need to know? Two “principles” of the cognitive level of analysis How these  can be demonstrated in studies (or theories) What are the principles? The two principles my class came up with last year were: Biological factors can influence cognition. Social and cultural …

Working Memory Games

tdixon Cognitive Psychology, Teaching Ideas Leave a Comment

Before diving in to the study of Baddeley and Hitch’s working memory model, it’s important that you first comprehend what “working memory” is. I’ve found that playing some of these games is a fun way to comprehend the concept of working memory and it will make your it easier to understand your teacher’s explanations of things like the central executive, …

If you’re interested: Clive Wearing

tdixon Cognitive Psychology Leave a Comment

There’s never enough time to cover everything in our IB Psychology course, so here are a few resources that might not fit in normal classes, but you might find interesting nonetheless. Clive Wearing is very similar to the famous case of HM (Henry Molaison). However, whereas HM’s hippocampus was damaged due to surgery, Wearing’s was damaged due to an illness. …

Key Study: Decision Making, Iowa Gambling and the vmPFC (Bechara et al., 2000).

tdixon Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Criminology 6 Comments

Context Before reading about this study it’s important to recap the dual processing model of judgement and decision making. According to Kahneman (and others) we have two systems of processing information. System one is fast and unconscious, while system two is slower and considers more factors. The system of processing we use will affect our judgement, which in turn will …