*unofficial essay questions for revision*

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These are essay questions thought up by other students. They may not be an accurate reflection of what could be asked in the exam. We can never predict what topics will be on the exam and it's foolish to do so, the best way to ensure a high grade is to make sure you:

1) know the material and how to manipulate it (find links and examine, not just reproduce it)

2) practice writing specific essays. a good writing style is crucial

The essays below will help with both of these things, even if they don't come up on the exam. If you see and essay and can't do it, do not think "Oh it won't come up anyway", go back to your notes, possibly do some more reading, grit your teeth and work through it. Ignoring a problem will not make it go away!

If you write an essay and want it marked, email Richie at trichardson2@sheffield.ac.uk and we can trade :)


Evaluate evidence that our semantic memory is organised hierarchically

outline and evaluate 2 or more computer models of cognition. (though not on any particular topic, lecturers have said they can ask a question spanning multiple areas of the course)

"Short term working memory and long term memory are completely separate structures." discuss

What is the Cocktail Party Problem? Explain how the distinction between automatic and controlled processing may be involved in its resolution?

How are we able to hear our own name mentioned in a crowded and noisy cocktail party while attending fully to a different speaker?

Why was a fourth component added to the original Baddeley and Hitch (1974) working memory model? What is the contribution of this revised model to our understanding of short-term memory?

explain primacy and recency effects and how they might influence our memory

compare and contrast the structure and characteristics of the visuospatial sketchpad and the phonological loop in Badddeley and Hitch's working memory model (1974)

Alice wants to become a concert pianist. Explain the stages she would go through to achieve this with regards to learning and automaticity

Evaluate evidence consistent with the hypothesis that we process information serially as opposed to in parallel, with reference to attention.

With Reference to Working Memory Dysfunctions, What has the working memory model taught us about Short-term Memory?

Explain the problems with Atkinson & Shriffin's 1968 multistore model, and how Baddeley & Hitch's (1974) working memory model accounted for these.

Language and Thought (and Heuristics)

"the Strong version of the Sapir Whorf hypothesis is dead." discuss.

to what extent can language be said to influence thought?

"Heuristics only lead us to make mistakes" discuss.

Evaluate evidence consistent with the hypothesis that our mind is organised according to schemas and/or frames.

John has a 'lucky jumper' He says that it's lucky because when he wears it, good things happen to him that day. Explain why John thinks way with respect to heuristics and biases and/or illusory correlation

I have a device with electronic sensors which can make a beeping noise. How should it be programmed to behave in order to make someone who picks it up believe they are causing a beeping noise? Explain your answer with reference to work on perception of causation and causal learning

In the gameshow "Trade or no Trade", contestants must choose between a prize of unknown value and a prize of known value. Most contestants take the known amount of money and end up leaving the gameshow with less than the average value of the unknown prize. Explain why this happens within the framework provided by Tversky and Kahneman's Prospect Theory. From a heuristics and biases perspective, how might the contestants be helped to avoid this outcome?

Explain what challenges a cartoonist faces if he wants his animation to be perceived as a movie, and not kinematics.

'Cheap-O-Mart' is a new budget supermarket. Explain what principles of heuristics could be incorporated into the very first marketing campaign.


Describe how our visual system overcomes "the packing problem"

What Problems must a good theory of object recognition overcome?

Describe evidence consistent with the hypothesis that visual recognition depends on motion

There is substantial evidence that the cortex is organised in terms of topological maps. what does this mean?

Why is the visual system mapped topologically?

Evaluate evidence consistent with the hypothesis that object recognition is based on static 2D views of objects.

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