IGNOU MPC 001 Chapterwise Important Questions and Answers

 IGNOU MPC 001 Chapterwise Important Questions and Answers Cognitive Psychology, Learning and Memory

 IGNOU MPC 001 Chapterwise Important Questions and Answers  ,  IGNOU MPC 001 Study Material , IGNOUO MPC HELP BOOKS and Previous Years Solved Papers - Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes such as perceiving, remembering, and reasoning. Why do psychologists study mental processes? Since the beginning of recorded history, people have expressed curiosity about the operation of the mind, largely because they believed that behaviour is the result of mental processes. For example, how are we to understand the very behaviour in which you are engaged at this moment, reading this course book? 

IGNOU MPC 001 Chapterwise Important Questions and Answers

At one level, we are interested in explaining your ability to comprehend what you are reading, and in so doing, we are likely to appeal to processes of perception of words and computation of meaning. At another level, we might explain your motivation for reading in terms of your goal to complete this course, which in turn is motivated by your goal of obtaining a degree in order to follow some plan that you have for a career.

Q.1 Compare and contrast the human and animal models of the study of neural basis of memory.


The study of the neural basis of memory is a complex and multifaceted field that seeks to unravel the intricacies of how organisms store, retrieve, and utilize information. Two primary models employed in this endeavor are human and animal models. While humans provide a direct window into the cognitive processes underlying memory, animal models offer controlled environments for experimentation, enabling researchers to manipulate variables more precisely.

Similarities in Neural Mechanisms:

At a fundamental level, both humans and animals share common neural structures involved in memory formation, such as the hippocampus and amygdala. These structures play crucial roles in encoding, consolidating, and retrieving memories. The similarities in these neural mechanisms suggest a degree of conservation across species, providing a basis for translational research where findings in animals may be applied to humans and vice versa.

Advantages of Human Models:

Human studies possess several inherent advantages. Firstly, humans can provide detailed subjective experiences and insights into their own memory processes. Through techniques like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), researchers can directly observe and measure brain activity associated with different memory tasks, gaining a nuanced understanding of cognitive processes. Additionally, the richness of human language allows for the exploration of autobiographical memory, contributing valuable information about how personal experiences are encoded and recalled.

Limitations of Human Models:

However, human studies are not without limitations. Ethical considerations restrict the types of experiments that can be conducted, often preventing invasive procedures or manipulations of the brain that might be performed in animal studies. The vast individual differences among humans, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle, can introduce significant variability, making it challenging to isolate specific factors influencing memory. Moreover, the inability to control and manipulate variables as precisely as in animal models may limit the causal inferences that can be drawn from human studies.

Advantages of Animal Models:

 Animal models, on the other hand, offer a level of experimental control not feasible in human studies. Researchers can manipulate variables such as genetics, neurochemistry, and environmental conditions with a precision that is ethically untenable in human research. This control allows for the isolation of specific neural mechanisms and the exploration of causal relationships between brain structures and memory processes. Moreover, the use of standardized behavioral tasks across animals facilitates the comparison of results between studies and the establishment of general principles underlying memory.

Limitations of Animal Models:

Despite their advantages, animal models also have limitations. The cognitive processes of animals may not perfectly mirror those of humans, and extrapolating findings from animals to humans requires caution. While there is conservation in basic neural structures, there are differences in the complexity of cognitive functions and the nature of memory systems. Additionally, ethical concerns arise regarding the use of animals in research, demanding careful consideration and adherence to guidelines to ensure humane treatment.

Cross-Species Comparisons:

The integration of findings from human and animal studies allows for valuable cross-species comparisons. Identifying commonalities and differences in memory mechanisms enhances our understanding of the evolutionary aspects of memory. For instance, observing how different species exhibit spatial memory or fear conditioning provides insights into the adaptive functions of memory across evolutionary time scales.

Translational Implications:

One of the significant goals of memory research is to translate findings from animal models to human conditions, particularly in the context of memory-related disorders. Animal models enable the development and testing of potential interventions and treatments for conditions like Alzheimer's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. Successful translation requires careful consideration of the similarities and differences between species, emphasizing the importance of converging evidence from multiple models.

Unique Contributions of Human Models:

Human studies contribute unique insights into the social and cultural dimensions of memory. The impact of collective memory, cultural influences, and societal factors on individual memory processes is challenging to capture in animal models. Research on human memory can shed light on how shared narratives, traditions, and historical events shape the way individuals encode, consolidate, and retrieve information, providing a more holistic understanding of memory within a broader societal context.

Unique Contributions of Animal Models:

Conversely, animal models offer a reductionist approach to dissecting the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying memory. By studying genetically modified animals or employing pharmacological manipulations, researchers can pinpoint specific molecules and pathways crucial for memory formation. These insights may guide the development of targeted pharmaceutical interventions for memory-related disorders, emphasizing the unique contribution of animal models to our understanding of the neural basis of memory.


In conclusion, the study of the neural basis of memory employs both human and animal models, each offering distinct advantages and facing unique limitations. Human studies provide rich subjective experiences and insights into cognitive processes, while animal models allow for precise experimental control and manipulation. The integration of findings from both models contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying memory. Ultimately, the synergy between human and animal research enhances the translational potential of memory studies, paving the way for advancements in both basic science and clinical applications.


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Q.2 Describe the Attkinson-Shiffrin model of information processing in detail.

The Atkinson-Shiffrin model, also known as the multi-store model, is a theoretical framework that was proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin in 1968. This model attempts to explain the process of information processing in human memory. It consists of three main components or stores: the sensory register, short-term memory (STM), and long-term memory (LTM). Each of these stores plays a crucial role in the overall process of encoding, storage, and retrieval of information. The model has served as a foundational framework for understanding memory processes, although it has been modified and expanded upon in subsequent research.

The first component of the Atkinson-Shiffrin model is the sensory register. This is the initial stage where information from the environment is briefly registered and retained in its sensory form. The sensory register is specific to each sensory modality, including iconic memory for visual information and echoic memory for auditory information. Information in the sensory register is typically stored for a very short duration, ranging from milliseconds to a few seconds. It acts as a temporary holding place for sensory stimuli before determining whether to transfer them to the next stage of memory processing.

Moving from the sensory register, the second component of the model is short-term memory (STM). STM is a limited-capacity system that temporarily holds a small amount of information that is actively being processed. Information in STM is more readily accessible than that in the sensory register, but it is still subject to decay and interference. The duration of information retention in STM is relatively short, typically around 20 to 30 seconds without rehearsal. The capacity of STM is often considered to be around seven items, plus or minus two, according to the famous research of George Miller. Maintenance rehearsal, the repetition of information to keep it in STM, plays a crucial role in transferring information from STM to the third component of the model, long-term memory (LTM).

Long-term memory (LTM) is the third and final component of the Atkinson-Shiffrin model. It is a vast and relatively permanent storage system that holds information for an extended period, ranging from minutes to a lifetime. Unlike STM, the capacity of LTM is thought to be virtually unlimited. The process of transferring information from STM to LTM involves a more elaborate and meaningful encoding. This transfer is not automatic, and not all information in STM makes it to LTM. Various factors, such as attention, rehearsal, and meaningfulness, influence the likelihood of information being transferred to long-term storage.

The Atkinson-Shiffrin model emphasizes the importance of rehearsal in the transfer of information from STM to LTM. Rehearsal involves the repetition of information, either through maintenance rehearsal, which involves simple repetition to keep information in STM, or elaborative rehearsal, which involves a more in-depth processing of information, relating it to existing knowledge in LTM. Elaborative rehearsal is considered more effective for long-term retention.

One limitation of the Atkinson-Shiffrin model is its oversimplification of memory processes. The model presents a linear and sequential view of memory, suggesting that information moves through each stage in a fixed order. However, research has shown that memory processes are more dynamic and interactive, with information flowing between stages and often undergoing multiple cycles of processing.

Another important aspect of the model is the distinction between declarative and procedural memory. Declarative memory involves the conscious recollection of facts and events and is further divided into semantic memory (knowledge about the world) and episodic memory (personal experiences). Procedural memory, on the other hand, is the memory for skills and habits and is often implicit, meaning it operates without conscious awareness. The Atkinson-Shiffrin model does not explicitly address this distinction, but subsequent research has integrated it into a more comprehensive understanding of memory systems.

The Atkinson-Shiffrin model has been influential in shaping research on memory and cognition. However, it has been criticized for oversimplifying the complexities of memory processes and neglecting the role of attention in memory encoding. Additionally, the model does not provide a detailed account of how information is retrieved from long-term memory.

To address some of these limitations, researchers have proposed alternative models and modifications to the Atkinson-Shiffrin model. For example, the levels of processing model, proposed by Craik and Lockhart in 1972, suggests that the depth of processing during encoding determines the strength and durability of memories. This model emphasizes the importance of meaningful processing over simple rehearsal.

In conclusion, the Atkinson-Shiffrin model of information processing has played a foundational role in shaping our understanding of memory. Its three-stage structure—sensory register, short-term memory, and long-term memory—provides a framework for conceptualizing the flow of information through different cognitive processes. While the model has been influential, subsequent research has expanded and modified our understanding of memory, incorporating factors such as attention, depth of processing, and the distinction between declarative and procedural memory. Despite its limitations, the Atkinson-Shiffrin model remains a key milestone in the history of memory research, serving as a starting point for more nuanced and comprehensive models of information processing.


Q3 Design an experiment to compare the maintenance (shallow) and elaborate level of information processing

Information processing is a fundamental aspect of cognitive psychology, encompassing the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information. Two prominent levels of information processing are maintenance (shallow) and elaborate processing. Maintenance processing involves the simple rehearsal or repetition of information, while elaborate processing involves deeper cognitive engagement, such as making connections or associations with existing knowledge. Understanding the differences between these levels is crucial for various fields, including education and cognitive psychology. In this experiment, we aim to investigate and compare the effectiveness of maintenance and elaborate processing in memory retention.

Experimental Design: The experiment will utilize a within-subjects design, where each participant experiences both maintenance and elaborate processing conditions. The independent variable is the level of information processing (maintenance vs. elaborate), and the dependent variable is the memory retention of the processed information. To control for order effects, participants will be randomly assigned to one of two sequences: maintenance processing followed by elaborate processing or elaborate processing followed by maintenance processing.


A diverse sample of 60 participants will be recruited from the local community, ensuring a mix of ages, genders, and educational backgrounds. Participants should have no history of cognitive impairment or learning disabilities. Informed consent will be obtained from each participant, emphasizing the voluntary nature of their participation and their right to withdraw at any point without consequences.


The experiment will use a list of 30 common and unrelated words as the stimuli. A computer-based platform will present the words to participants in both processing conditions. A questionnaire will be designed to assess participants' demographics and any prior knowledge related to the experiment's content. Additionally, a memory recall test will be administered to measure the retention of processed information.


1. Pre-Experiment Questionnaire: Participants will first complete a pre-experiment questionnaire gathering demographic information and assessing their prior knowledge of the stimulus material. This ensures that any existing knowledge imbalances are considered in the analysis.

2. Stimulus Presentation: Participants will be exposed to the list of 30 words under both maintenance and elaborate processing conditions. In the maintenance processing condition, participants will be instructed to repeat each word silently to themselves. In the elaborate processing condition, participants will be prompted to relate each word to a personal experience or to form connections between the words.

3. Distraction Period: To prevent rehearsal strategies from influencing the results, participants will engage in a five-minute distraction task after processing each set of words. This could involve a simple puzzle or a brief cognitive task unrelated to the experiment.

4. Memory Recall Test: Following the distraction period, participants will be given a memory recall test where they are asked to write down as many words as they remember from both the maintenance and elaborate processing conditions. The order of recall (maintenance or elaborate first) will be counterbalanced across participants.

5. Debriefing: After completing the experiment, participants will be debriefed about the purpose of the study, including the different processing conditions. Any concerns or questions will be addressed, and participants will be thanked for their participation.

Data Analysis:

The primary measure of interest is the number of correctly recalled words in each processing condition. A repeated measures ANOVA will be conducted to analyze the within-subjects effects of maintenance and elaborate processing on memory retention. Post-hoc tests, such as pairwise comparisons, will be performed to identify specific differences between the two processing conditions.

Expected Results:

We hypothesize that elaborate processing will lead to significantly better memory retention compared to maintenance processing. This is based on the assumption that engaging in deeper cognitive processes, such as forming associations and connections, enhances encoding and facilitates better retrieval. The experiment's results will provide insights into the efficacy of different information processing levels and contribute to our understanding of memory mechanisms.


The findings from this experiment have practical implications for educational settings and cognitive interventions. If elaborate processing proves more effective in enhancing memory retention, educators may consider incorporating more interactive and associative learning strategies in their teaching methods. Additionally, understanding the cognitive mechanisms underlying memory can inform the development of targeted interventions for individuals with memory-related challenges.

Limitations and Future Directions:

Several potential limitations should be considered, such as individual differences in cognitive abilities and prior knowledge. Future research could explore the impact of factors like cognitive load and emotional arousal on information processing. Additionally, investigating the long-term effects of maintenance and elaborate processing on memory consolidation would provide a more comprehensive understanding of memory mechanisms.


In summary, this experiment aims to compare maintenance and elaborate levels of information processing in memory retention. Through a carefully designed procedure, diverse participant sample, and rigorous data analysis, we anticipate gaining valuable insights into the cognitive processes that influence memory. The results of this experiment have the potential to inform educational practices and contribute to the broader field of cognitive psychology, advancing our understanding of how we encode, store, and retrieve information.


Q.4 Discuss the salient features of two-factor theory.

The two-factor theory, also known as Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory, was developed by Frederick Herzberg in the late 1950s. This theory seeks to explain the factors that influence employee motivation and job satisfaction. Herzberg proposed that there are two distinct sets of factors that affect these aspects of workplace behavior: motivators (or satisfiers) and hygiene factors (or dissatisfiers). In this discussion, we will delve into the salient features of the two-factor theory, exploring both sets of factors and their implications for organizational management and employee engagement.

Motivators, the first facet of Herzberg's theory, are intrinsic to the job itself and contribute to employee satisfaction and motivation. These factors are related to the content of the work and include aspects such as achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, and advancement. Herzberg argued that these motivators serve as sources of positive reinforcement, fostering a sense of fulfillment and job satisfaction among employees. For instance, the opportunity for personal and professional growth can be a powerful motivator, as individuals are driven by a desire to achieve and advance in their careers.

Recognition is another key motivator outlined by Herzberg. This involves acknowledging and rewarding employees for their achievements and contributions. When individuals feel that their efforts are appreciated and recognized, it not only enhances their self-esteem but also reinforces positive behaviors, creating a more satisfying work environment. The nature of the work itself is also a critical motivator; employees are more likely to be motivated and satisfied when they find their tasks challenging, interesting, and aligned with their skills and interests.

Responsibility, as a motivator, involves entrusting employees with meaningful tasks and decision-making authority. When individuals feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for their work, it can contribute to a heightened sense of job satisfaction. Furthermore, the prospect of advancement within an organization is a potent motivator. The availability of clear career paths and opportunities for professional development can instill a sense of purpose and commitment among employees, motivating them to excel in their roles.

While motivators are crucial for enhancing job satisfaction and motivation, Herzberg identified another set of factors that he termed hygiene factors. These factors are extrinsic to the job itself and primarily prevent dissatisfaction rather than actively motivating individuals. Hygiene factors include aspects such as company policies, supervision, salary, interpersonal relationships, and working conditions. Herzberg argued that the absence of these factors can lead to dissatisfaction, but their presence does not necessarily result in increased motivation or job satisfaction.

One of the hygiene factors emphasized by Herzberg is company policies. When organizational policies are perceived as fair, transparent, and equitable, they contribute to a positive work environment. Conversely, inconsistent or unfair policies can lead to dissatisfaction among employees. Similarly, the quality of supervision is a critical hygiene factor. Effective and supportive supervision can contribute to a positive work experience, while inadequate or oppressive supervision can lead to dissatisfaction.

Salary is a hygiene factor that Herzberg identified as essential for preventing dissatisfaction. Fair and competitive compensation is viewed as a basic expectation, and employees may become dissatisfied if they perceive their salaries as inadequate or inequitable. While salary alone may not motivate individuals to excel in their roles, its absence or insufficiency can lead to discontent.

Interpersonal relationships within the workplace also fall under the category of hygiene factors. Positive relationships with colleagues, subordinates, and superiors contribute to a harmonious work environment. A lack of interpersonal support or conflicts in relationships can result in dissatisfaction among employees. Additionally, working conditions, including the physical environment and the availability of necessary resources, are crucial hygiene factors. A comfortable and well-equipped workspace is essential for preventing dissatisfaction.

Herzberg's two-factor theory has significant implications for organizational management and human resource practices. It suggests that to motivate employees effectively, managers need to focus on both motivators and hygiene factors. While motivators contribute to job satisfaction and positive motivation, hygiene factors are necessary to prevent dissatisfaction. This dual approach requires organizations to address both the intrinsic aspects of the job and the extrinsic factors related to the work environment.

Moreover, the two-factor theory underscores the importance of recognizing individual differences and tailoring motivational strategies to meet the diverse needs of employees. What motivates one individual may not have the same effect on another. Therefore, managers must adopt a personalized approach to understand the unique motivators and hygiene factors that influence each employee. This requires ongoing communication, feedback, and a commitment to creating a work environment that fosters both job satisfaction and employee motivation.

Furthermore, the theory highlights the dynamic nature of motivation. As individuals progress in their careers, their motivators may evolve, emphasizing the need for organizations to adapt their motivational strategies over time. Continuous assessment of employee needs, aspirations, and job satisfaction is crucial for maintaining a motivated and engaged workforce. This adaptability is especially relevant in today's fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape, where organizations must stay agile to remain competitive.

In practical terms, the application of Herzberg's two-factor theory involves a comprehensive approach to human resource management. Organizations need to design jobs that are challenging and aligned with employees' skills and interests, providing opportunities for achievement and recognition. Clear career paths and professional development programs can address the motivators outlined in the theory. Simultaneously, attention must be given to ensuring fair and competitive compensation, transparent policies, supportive supervision, positive interpersonal relationships, and conducive working conditions to address the hygiene factors.

Despite the enduring influence of the two-factor theory, it has faced criticism and debate within the field of organizational behavior. Some researchers argue that the demarcation between motivators and hygiene factors is not as clear-cut as Herzberg proposed, and that certain factors may have both motivational and hygiene aspects depending on individual perspectives. Additionally, the theory has been criticized for its reliance on self-reported data and the subjective nature of individuals' perceptions of job satisfaction.

In conclusion, Herzberg's two-factor theory provides valuable insights into the complex interplay of factors that influence employee motivation and job satisfaction. By distinguishing between motivators and hygiene factors, the theory offers a framework for understanding the dual nature of workplace influences. While motivators contribute to positive motivation and job satisfaction, hygiene factors prevent dissatisfaction. Organizations that integrate both sets of factors into their human resource management practices are better positioned to create a work environment that fosters employee engagement, productivity, and long-term success.


Q.5 Critically appraise Spearman’s two-factor theory.

Spearman's two-factor theory, proposed by Charles Spearman in the early 20th century, is a psychological model that attempts to explain human intelligence. The theory posits that intelligence is composed of two factors: the general factor (g) and specific factors (s). This critical appraisal will delve into the key components of Spearman's theory, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and consider its relevance in contemporary psychology.

Overview of Spearman's Two-Factor Theory:

Spearman's theory is rooted in the use of factor analysis, a statistical method that aims to identify underlying factors that contribute to observed correlations among variables. Spearman applied factor analysis to intelligence tests and concluded that there is a general factor (g) that influences performance across various cognitive tasks. Additionally, he acknowledged specific factors (s) that are unique to each task. The general factor represents a commonality in cognitive abilities, while specific factors account for task-specific skills.

Strengths of Spearman's Two-Factor Theory:

Statistical Rigor: Spearman's use of factor analysis brought a level of statistical rigor to the study of intelligence. The application of this method allowed for the identification of underlying factors and provided a quantitative foundation for the theory.

Predictive Validity: The general factor (g) proposed by Spearman has demonstrated predictive validity. Individuals who perform well on one cognitive task tend to perform well on others, supporting the idea of a common factor influencing overall cognitive ability.

Simplicity and Parsimony: The simplicity of Spearman's model, with just two main factors, contributes to its appeal. The theory provides a straightforward framework for understanding intelligence, making it accessible for both researchers and the general public.

Weaknesses of Spearman's Two-Factor Theory:

Overemphasis on g: Critics argue that Spearman's theory places an excessive emphasis on the general factor (g) while downplaying the importance of specific factors (s). This oversimplification may not fully capture the complexity of human intelligence.

Cultural and Contextual Bias: Spearman's theory, developed in a specific cultural and historical context, may not adequately address the cultural and contextual influences on intelligence. Intelligence is a multifaceted construct, and its manifestations can vary across different societies and environments.

Inadequate Handling of Cognitive Processes: The theory lacks a detailed account of the cognitive processes underlying intelligence. It describes the existence of a general factor but does not provide insights into how cognitive processes contribute to intelligence.

Contemporary Relevance and Critiques:

Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence: Contemporary models, such as Cattell's theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence, offer a more nuanced perspective. Fluid intelligence involves the ability to solve novel problems, while crystallized intelligence encompasses acquired knowledge and skills. These concepts provide a richer understanding of cognitive abilities than Spearman's two-factor model.

Multiple Intelligences Theory: Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences challenges the unitary view of intelligence. Gardner proposes that there are multiple distinct intelligences, such as linguistic, musical, and interpersonal intelligence. This perspective expands the understanding of human cognitive abilities beyond Spearman's limited framework.

Neuroscientific Advances: Advances in neuroscience have provided insights into the neural basis of intelligence. Contemporary research suggests that intelligence is associated with specific neural networks and their efficiency. This neuroscientific perspective adds a biological dimension to the understanding of intelligence that was not considered in Spearman's time.


In conclusion, Spearman's two-factor theory has made significant contributions to the field of intelligence research by introducing the concept of a general factor influencing cognitive abilities. However, the theory is not without its limitations, including an oversimplification of intelligence, cultural bias, and a lack of consideration for cognitive processes. Contemporary models, such as those proposed by Cattell and Gardner, offer more comprehensive frameworks for understanding human intelligence. As psychology continues to evolve, it is essential to critically evaluate and refine existing theories to better capture the complexity of cognitive abilities. While Spearman's two-factor theory laid the groundwork for intelligence research, it is only one piece of the broader puzzle in understanding the diverse facets of human intelligence.


Q.6 How does theory of multiple intelligences differ fromunitary theory of intelligence?

Q.7 Describe the history of intelligence tests and present an account of the concepts of IQ and deviation IQ.

Q.8 Explain the types of intelligence tests with their relative advantages and disadvantages.

Q.9 Explain that how Investment and Confluence Theory of approaches creativity and present an account of aspects of creative thinking.

Q.10 Why study of language is important for cognitive psychologists?


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