Pearson BTEC National Applied Psychology: Revision Guide

AO3 Evaluation Graeme is chatting to his boss Velma about his first day working in the café two years ago. Graeme says, ‘I remember having trouble with the tablet we used to take orders. I didn’t know where anything was, so I had to keep asking Gaby to help me.’ Velma says, ‘But we didn’t use tablets then, we used pen and paper. We’ve never had a Gaby working here.’ 1. Give one example of rationalisation from the scenario. (1 mark) 2. Give one example of confabulation from the scenario. (1 mark) 3. Explain why Graeme’s description of his first day in the café may not have been accurate. Use two concepts from reconstructive memory in your answer. (6 marks) 4. Discuss reconstructive memory as a way of understanding why Graeme’s recall may not have been accurate. (3 marks) Apply it Use mnemonic rhymes. A mnemonic is simply anything that improves memory. An example is putting the concepts you want to remember into unusual sentences. Then you try to make the sentences rhyme. For example, here’s a rhyming mnemonic to link the main concepts on this spread: You reconstruct your memory by schema. I’m not being a dreamer. Schema make memories shorter, By maybe a quarter. Rationalisation makes the memory twisted, It’s schema-assisted. And confabulation fills in the gaps. This isn’t lying or random, and that’s a wrap! REVISION BOOSTER Does this fit your schema for ‘older man’, ‘knitting’ or even ‘punk rocker’? What effect would this have on your recall? A1: Cognitive approach Key concept 3: Reconstructive memory One strength is that reconstructive memory explains problems with EWT. One of these problems is that eyewitness testimony (EWT) in criminal court trials is based solely on what the eyewitness can recall of what they saw or heard. But the person’s recall may be affected by their schema, e.g. seeing someone with a gun and expecting them to be a man. So, people do not always recall events accurately as recall can be affected by expectations of what ‘should’ happen. This means evidence in court is never based on EWT alone as it can be inaccurate, a very important application of this research. Another strength is evidence from Bartlett’s research. Bartlett’s participants did not recall many details of an unfamiliar story (The War of the Ghosts). Instead, they tried to make sense of what they heard before storing it in memory. Recall of the story changed significantly, with evidence of shortening, rationalisation and confabulation, as predicted by reconstructive memory theory. This shows that we reconstruct memories from elements that are influenced by our schema, often making recall inaccurate. One weakness is that recall of some memories can be very accurate. For example, we can often remember the details of situations when they are personally important or unusual. For example, in Bartlett’s research, participants often recalled the phrase, ‘Something black came out of his mouth’ because it was quite unusual (distinctive). This shows that people may not always reconstruct memories, and some memories can be relatively unaffected by schema. 17 Copyright: Sample material