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Part 1: Lecture 1

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PSYC 2700
Chris Herdman

LECTURE #1 OUTLINE 1. Review Course Syllabus 2. Historical Context (Chapter #1 text) a. Roots in Philosophy b. Empirical Roots 3. Cognitive Approach (Chapter #2 text) a. Assumptions b. Standard Information Processing Approach HISTORICAL CONTEXT Textbook Chapter #1 Cognitive Psychology Process: flow of information Structure: representation of knowledge Limits: restrictions in flow How to Examine Philosophy: logic and argumentation Psychology: empirical approach A. Roots in Philosophy Plato (423 BC) - Ancient Greek philosopher & student of Socrates - Theory of “forms” o We do not perceive the real world, but only an image of the real world o Knowledge structures exist in the mind o These structures reflect specific representation from the physical world - Coding not considered Aristotle (384 BC) - More active (process) view of mind o Mind is a blank slate (tabula rasa) o Experience is important (not innate) o Knowledge is based on associations of sensations, images & ideas My notes: The mind is a blank slate at birth. It slowly develops through life; through associations. The knowledge that we have acquired can influence our learning in the world. What we already know can affect what we will learn and perceive. British Empiricists (Associationists) John Mill (1773-1836), J.S. Mill (1806-1873) - Followed Aristotle tradition - Knowledge as associations Associations = process Stored knowledge = structure My notes: The associationists talked about this in an empirical way. B. Empirical Roots 1. Structuralism “Study of the structure of consciousness” Wundt (active 1875-1920) - Study of “conscious process and immediate experience” - Introspection technique My notes: Wundt tried to study the conscious process. He used introspection technique (process where you loosely look at how you perceive things. Titchener (1892) st - One of the 1 North American labs (Cornell, 1892) - Followed Wundt’s approach - “Structuralism”: introspect on elements of mind’s structure - Avoid “stimulus error” (describe mental experience not physical stimulus) Problems with Introspection - The “boss” validated the results o Wundt & Titchener decided which observations were correct o Cannot introspect on many mental processes/structures My notes: A lot of what we can introspect on, are unimportant to us. 2. Associationism “Study of knowledge as learn associations” Ebbinghaus (1885-1950s) - learn through association (Aristotle) - nonsense syllables (CVC) o no meanings, therefore reduce extraneous confounds - isolated factors affecting learning & memory o learning rates/curves o factors that impact forgetting My notes: Ebbinghaus believed words are too complicated. We wanted to discover fundamental ways we perceive things, so he developed CVCs (not recognizable as real words).How long does it take for people to learn these syllables? Does the length/exposure time/etc affect how long it takes for the individual to learn the syllables? 3. Functionalism “Study the functions of consciousness” James (1890) - Early “experimental” lab in N.A. (Harvard) o Philosophy (thought) more than experimentation - How does the mind function & adapt - Memory: structure/process o Immediate (active) memory (STM:aware) o Hidden (passive) memory (LTM) - Attentional limits 4. Gestalt Approach (1920s) “Study of principles of organization” Wertheimer, Kohler - Laws of perceptual organization o Top-down influences on perception o Whole is greater than sum of parts My notes: This formed a movement called Gestalt Psychology. Top-down: how our knowledge has a direct link to how we perceive/see things. An example of this is illusions (ex. Figure-ground illusio
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