Class Notes (808,092)
Canada (493,058)
Psychology (4,091)
PSY270H5 (155)

Cognitive Psychology 2.1.docx

6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Mississauga
Christine Burton

Introduction to Cognitive Psychology What is Cognitive Psychology? - Concerned with how people think and learn, remember (and forget), speak, read, write, pay attention, solve problems, make decisions etc. - Cognitive psychology shares common interests with other areas of psychology and vice versa - Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of the mind What is the Mind? - There are two definitions of the mind: 1. Creates and controls mental functions such as perception, attention, memory, emotions, languages, deciding, thinking, and reasoning 2. A system that creates representations of the world so that we can act within it to achieve our goals - The first definition reflects the central role in determining our various mental abilities - It also indicates different types of cognition - Cognition is the mental processes such as perception attention, memory, and so on, that are what the mind does - The second definition reflects the mind’s importance for functioning and survival, and also provides the beginning of a description of how the mind achieves these ends - It also indicates something about how the mind operates and its functions - All the cognition in the first definition play important roles in acting to achieve goals Greek Philosophy: Epistemology - What do we know and how do we gain knowledge? - Rationalism o A priori truths o Gain knowledge through reasoning and deduction o We are born with knowledge, but we do not remember it o Experience helps us remember the knowledge - Empiricism o A posteriori truths o Gain knowledge through observation and induction o We are born with no knowledge, so experience gives us knowledge Franciscus Donders’ Pioneering Experiment: How long does it take to make a Decision? - In the 1800s ideas about the mind were dominated by the belief that it is not possible to study the mind - 1868, Franciscus Donders conducted one of the first cognitive psychology experiments - Donders’ measure reaction time to show how long it takes for someone to make a decision - Reaction time is how long it takes to respond to presentation of a stimuli - First, Donders asked his participants to do a simple reaction time task - Simple reaction time is reacting to the presence or absence of a single stimulus (as opposed to have to choose between a number of stimuli before making a response) - Second, he asked his participants to do a choice reaction time task - Choice reaction time is reacting to one of two or more stimuli - Donders study showed that presenting a stimulus causes mental responses, which leads to a behavioural response - The reaction time is the time between presentation of the stimulus and the behavioural response - Mental responses cannot be measured directly, but must be inferred from behaviour Ebbinghaus Memory Experiment: What is the Time-Course of Forgetting? - Hermann Ebbinghaus conducted experiments to determine the nature of memory and forgetting; how information that is learned is lost over time - In his experiment, he had himself remember random syllables and see how long it eould take for him to remember the whole list without making mistakes - Then he waited awhile before he tried memorizing the list again - He used the saving method to analyze his results - Saving method is a method used to measure retention. The number of trails needed to learn something was subtracted by the number of trails it took to learn the first time o Savings = [(Initial repetitions) – (Relearning repetitions)/Initial repetitions] x 100 - Results showed that memory drops rapidly for the first 2 days after the initial learning and then levels off - Demonstrates that memory could be quantified and that functions like the forgetting curve could be used to describe the ability to retain informaiton Wilhelm Wundt and Structuralism (1832-1920) - In 1879,Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory of scientific psychology - The “first” psychologist - Structuralism was the first school of thought in psychology o Believes that our overall experience is determined by combining sensations o Investigated the elements of thought via analytic introspection (a technique in which trained participants describe their experiences and thought processes in response to stimuli) o For example, participants had to describe whether they heard 1-note chord or 5- note chord - Developed some of the first ideas about: o Experimentation o Perception o Attention o Memory o Language William James and Functionalism (1842-1910) - Father of American psychology - James’ observations were based on introspection about the operations of his own mind - Functionalist were interested in studying the purpose of thought rather than it’s elements - Main focus was the output of consciousness - Concerned with prediction and control through direct observation - Wrote “The Principles of Psychology” Hysteria and Hypnotism: Psychoanalysis - Developed from a mental health perspective o Charcot (1825-1893) was known to use hypnosis to study hysteria (conversion disorder) - While studying the case of a women with hysteria, Freud and his mentor, Dr. Joseph Breuer developed a theory about unexpressed emotions (repressed thoughts) - Influence of psychoanalysis o Unconscious mind o Importance of biology and society Salivating Dogs: Here comes Behaviourism - Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) described what would become the ground working for behaviourism: classical (Pavlovian) conditioning - Classical conditioning is pairing one stimulus with another previously neutral stimulus causes changes in the response to the neutral stimulus - For example, Pavlov was able to make a dog salivate after hearing a bell by constantly putting dog food and the bell together, thus the dog associated the bell with dog food - Edward
More Less

Related notes for PSY270H5

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.