Schemas and Memory Reliability
By Ashley Hinson
The Schema Theory
- Theorize information in memory
- Can be activated to increase information-processing efficiency
- Regulate behavior
- Relatively stable and very resistant to change which ensures consistency in the ways we process information and the ways we act
Schemas can also lead to mistakes wen settings are unfamiliar or when wrong schemas become activated.
Bartlett Study (1932)
Loftus and Palmer Study (1974)
- Contacted- 31.8 mph
- Hit- 34 mph
- Bumped- 38.1 mph
- Collided- 39.3
- Smashed- 39.3 mph
These verbs activated different schemas which influenced the speed estimates, so the accident was reconstructed in the mind of the participant in ways that reflect schematic influences. Loftus and Palmer conducted another study where they had three differnet conditions. Two of the groups were asked the speed of the car using the verbs smashed or hit. A week later, they were asked if they saw any glass after the accident. 32% of the participants who were asked about the speed of the car using the verb smashed said they had seen glass, compared to the 14% of the participants in the hit group. Smashed seems to have triggered a stronger expectation of glass. 12% of the participants in the control group said they had seen broken glass as well. There was never any broken glass during any of the video clips.
This study proves that our memory isn't as reliable as we think. Our brain tends to make schemas when we learn new things, based on old things and the things we can't make connections to, our brain tends to forget. It's all about making conections.
Cowburn, S. (n.d.). CLOA. Retrieved December 6, 2014, from http://psychologystudies.weebly.com/cloa.html
Cognitve Level of Analysis
- Humans are information processors and mental processes guide our behavior
-Multi-store model (Atkinson and Shiffrin)
- The mind can be studied scientifically
- Cognitive processes are influenced by socal and cultural factors
-Bartlett study 1932 (Schema)
These principles are the main ideas that focus research on specific areas of behavior and cognition and also allow us to understand how behavior can be influenced by cognitive processes (Leung, 2012).
In all of the studies that have been discussed, they all demonstrate the second principle of the CLOA. In the bartlett study, the fact that the participants changed the words in their rendition of the story that they read based on their cultural background, demonstrates how the cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors. However, in his study there were criticisms: he didn't ask his particiapants to be as accurate as possible and he didn't care about the environment in which he carried out the studies.
Leung, S. (2012). Outline principles that define the cognitive level of analysis.
Retrieved December 6, 2014, from http://ibpsychnotes.com/cloa-lo/lo1/
IB Guides. (2012). Retrieved December 6, 2014, from http://ibguides.com/psychology/notes/outline-principles-that-define-the-cognitive-level-of-analysis