* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project
Year 12 IB Psychology CLOA 2010 Social and cultural factors which affect cognitive processes In this unit, we have been focusing on the cognitive process of memory and for this learning outcome we must ‘discuss how’ social or cultural factors affect this cognitive process. You must explain HOW the factors impact on memory; what actually happens which alters the memory process; this is different from just saying what the effect on memory actually is. One way to discuss (as opposed to describe) is to assess the evidence (research studies) in terms of strengths and weaknesses and make comparisons between pieces of evidence; you might also say how these information can be applied in everyday life or make links with others relevant factors that you have learnt about which also affect memory, (e.g. biological factors). Task Work as a class to create a wall display about factors which affect memory; you should contribute o a summary of the article/study that you researched which explains how this sociocultural factors affect memory o an evaluation of the research which focuses on methodological strengths and weaknesses , gender/cultural bias, ethical issues, etc. You will present your research orally to the group for discussion and finally for display. In the Western world, a ‘good’ memory is highly prized, particularly by those revising for end of year exams. Better memory, means better grades, means better opportunities for further study and enhanced employment prospects. While many will argue that more progressive assessment methods assess more than rote recall and require the manipulation and application of ideas, these skills still depend, essentially, on the ability to retrieve information from long term memory and consciously ‘work with it’ , which requires the ability to maintain ideas within the short term memory. The ability to understand instructions, to learn from what we read and hear, all depends upon the capacity and duration of our working short term memory, while our ability to make novel suggestions and to evaluate ideas depends upon our ability to access stored information when given sometimes only subtle cues. This requires a well organised and inter-connected memory network or ‘web’. And so, in a culture where individual social advancement depends upon our ability to pass exams and the success of each educational establishment hinges on its ability to get pupils through exams, it is no surprise that teaching strategies often focus on techniques which facilitate recall. Year 12 IB Psychology CLOA 2010 Does this mean then that in cultures where formal schooling is less accessible or absent altogether, cognitive processes linked with memory including the selection and organisation of material for later retrieval is somehow impaired? Or have we somehow missed the point, that in fact when we talk abut ‘a good memory’ we are talking only abut one type of memory; declarative or semantic memory for factual information. That in fact we have not learned anything about the way in which out culture affects other aspects of our memories, e.g. autobiographical or episodic memory. Could it be that non-literate societies who do not have the facility of keeping written records and in fact pass information on from one generation to the next using the oral tradition’ may in fact have enhanced abilities? Also is it possible that tests designed to assess memory in one culture may in fact be invalid when trying to assess ability in another very different culture, invalid in that they do not even assess all aspects of memory in the culture for which they were originally designed.