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Flashcards in CLOA - outline & explain how CLOA principles can be demonstrated in research Deck (16):

principles of CLOA

Principle 1: mental representations guide behaviour
Principle 2: mental processes can and should be studied scientifically


how do mental representations guide behaviour?

- behaviourists believe that there's no intervention between the stimuli and the response
- but cognitive psychologists disagree
- there are cognitive mediums between input (stimuli) and output (response)
- these cognitive mediums are based on the way the world is represented in our memory
- we never confront reality full-on; instead we interpret and perceive it on the basis of stored knowledge


why should mental processes be studied scientifically?

- viewing mental processes in terms of information-processing has made it possible to create theories on unobservable cognitive structures and processes
- these models can be tested with conventional scientific methods
- studying mental processes enable psychologists to explain what behaviourism can't
- CLOA studies can be related to BLOA and SCLOA to develop more comprehensive explanations


how do schemas support principle 1?

- schemas are mental representations
- they guide behaviour by creating expectations
- thus influencing the cognitive process of memory

Cited studies:
Bartlett (1932)
Bransford & Johnson (1972)


Bartlett (1932) - Aim

- to support the theory that memory is an active reconstructive process
- to prove that schemas influence certain details during memory reconstruction


Bartlett (1932) - Process

1. English participants were asked to read a Native American folk tale (War of the Ghosts)
2. Their memory of the story was tested using serial reproduction or repeated reproduction


Bartlett (1932) - Findings

- with successive reproductions, the story became progressively shorter
- distortions were introduced in the recollection of the story (e.g. hunting seals became fishing, canoe became boat...)


Bartlett (1932) - Conclusion

- more complex info = higher chance of distortion
- people use existing schemas to subconsciously fill in gaps in memory
- according to Bartlett, memory is an imaginative reconstruction of experience
- new information is strongly influenced by activated schemas


Bartlett (1932) - Evaluation

- very robust study with 2 ways of assessing schema use (serial & repeated reproduction)
- but culturally very specific to 1930s England
- therefore cannot be generalized to modern society as most modern English people know what seals and canoes are
- unsophisticated methodology: Bartlett didn't explicitly ask for accurate reproductions; environment not controlled


Bransford & Johnson (1972) - Aim

to identify the processing stage at which schemas are likely to exert influence


Bransford & Johnson (1972) - Process

1. Participants heard a long speech that made vague references with no context
2. 3 conditions:
- no title
- title before
- title after
3. Participants were asked to indicate how easy they found it to understand the speech, and were asked to recall as much of it as possible


Bransford & Johnson (1972) - Findings

- participants of the 'no title' and 'title after' conditions found the paragraph much more difficult to comprehend
- participants of the 'title before' condition remembered much more of the speech


Bransford & Johnson (1972) - Conclusion

- in the 'title before' condition, the background information given prior to the speech activated schemas involved with the subject
- this helped disambiguate the speech
- perceiving the passage within the context defined by the relevant schemas improved understanding.
- in the 'title after' condition, the context was given too late for participants to comprehend the material as they had already forgotten most of it


how does memory support principle 2?

- memory is a mental process
- it's scientifically investigated using free-recall experiments
- where variables are controlled
- the focus is on remembering impersonal material that can be tested on many subjects

Cited studies:
Loftus and Palmer (1974)


Loftus & Palmer (1974) - Process

1. Participants watched car accident videos.
2. They were asked how fast they estimated the cars were going when they hit. The action verb "hit" was replaced with contacted, smashed, etc., with different groups.


Loftus & Palmer (1974) - Conclusion

- phrasing used in the question affected the memory
- due to the schema activated by the chosen verb
- shows that schemas can affect memory
- supports the unreliability of reconstructive memory

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