Lecture 1 Sept. 9 Cognitive Psychology
• Cognitive Psychology: How knowledge flows through our system, how knowledge is
represented, and how the flow in the mind is restricted.
• Roots In Psychology
I. Ancient Greek philosopher
II. Had a theory of forms. We do not perceive the real world. We instead have
knowledge structures in the mind (largely innately given) which reflect specific
representations in the physical world.
III. Coding was not considered
I. More active view of the mind. Said the mind is a blank slate, and experience
is very important to shape this. Knowledge is based on associations of
sensations, images, and ideas.
II. Knowledge can transform/influence perceptions and learning.
A. British Empiricists
I. Also known as associationists followed Aristotle.
II. Knowledge is based on associations
III. Association=Process, Stored Knowledge=Structure
B. Empirical Roots
I. Structuralism: Study of the structure of consciousness
II. Wundt: Study of “conscious process and immediate experience”. Founder of
introspection technique (describing an object by how it looks, not what it is).
I. Followed Wundt’s approach II. Structuralism
III. Avoided “stimulus error”: describing of the mental experience, not the
• Introspection: The examination or observation of one's own mental and emotional
processes: "quiet introspection can be extremely valuable".
1. Problems with introspection
I. The “Boss” Validated the Results: Wundt and Tichner decided which
observations were correct
II. Cannot introspect on many mental processes/structures.
• Associationism: Study of knowledge as learned associations.
I. Learn through association (Aristotle’s view)
II. Nonsense syllables: No meaning, therefore reduced extraneous confounds
III. Isolated Factors Affecting Learning and Memory: learning curves/rates,
factors that impact forgetting
I. Early experimental lab in Harvard. Did more philosophy then psychology
II. Looked at how the mind functioned and adapted
III. Looked at memory structure and process
i. Immediate (active, aware, short term)
ii. Hidden (passive, unaware, long term)
IV. Attentional limits
1. Wertheimer & Kohler
I. Laws of perceptual organizations, ex. 3 black dots and 3 white instead of 6