Pearson BTEC National Applied Psychology: Revision Guide

AO1 Description SPEC SPOTLIGHT Reconstructive memory, including the role of schema (shortening, rationalisation and confabulation). Finn is a teacher. He watches a recording of the interview for his job from the previous month. Finn thinks to himself, ‘I thought they asked me about coursework marking but there’s nothing in this recording about that.’ 1. Using one concept from reconstructive memory, explain why Finn remembered being asked about coursework marking. (3 marks) Amber was on her way home from school when she saw a robbery. She told the police it was a betting shop that was robbed but other witnesses said it was a jewellers. 2. Explain one way that reconstructive memory can help us understand what Amber remembers about the robbery. (3 marks) 3. One feature of reconstructive memory is shortening. Explain how Amber’s recall of the robbery might demonstrate shortening. (2 marks) 4. Referring to Amber’s experience, discuss the view that memory is reconstructive. (3 marks) Apply it A video recorder. Ancient technology. Not how memory works. Key concept 3: Reconstructive memory A1: Cognitive approach What is reconstructive memory? Memories are not reproductions (Bartlett) Memories are reconstructions and we retrieve memories by rebuilding them again. • Memory does not record events like a video recorder. • We store fragments of information and to recall them we build (reconstruct) them into a meaningful whole. • So, memory is not always a totally accurate record of events. Role of schema in memory Schema is a mental structure or ‘package’ Schema contain stored knowledge about the world. E.g. we have a schema for ‘mother’, ‘teacher’, ‘party’, and many many other concepts. Schema develop through personal and shared cultural experience, e.g. what you expect a ‘birthday party’ to include. Schema affect what we store in memory and later retrieve. War of the Ghosts (Bartlett) Participants heard an Inuit folk tale, with concepts that were unfamiliar to them, e.g. ‘canoes’, ‘arrows’. They recalled the story in ways that made it more familiar – to fit existing schema, making it more meaningful and easier to recall. Schema reconstruct memory in three ways 1. Shortening We leave out parts of an event that don’t fit our schema (e.g. unfamiliar details), so the stored and retrieved memory is shorter. Bartlett’s participants did not recall supernatural elements because they were unfamiliar. 2. Rationalisation We recall events in a distorted way so they fit our existing schema (elements of the event did not match schema but now they do and make more sense). Bartlett’s participants replaced unfamiliar words with familiar ones (e.g. ‘guns’ and ‘boat’ instead of ‘arrows’ and ‘canoe’). 3. Confabulation We invent parts of an event to fill in any ‘gaps’, to match schema and make retrieval meaningful (this is not random and not the same as ‘lying’). Bartlett’s participants incorrectly recalled details to make the story more coherent. Unit 1 Psychological approaches and applications Content area A 16 Copyright: Sample material