January 7 2014 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Week 1
Review course objectives and assessments
Understand the influences that led to the emergence of cognitive psychology
Introduce the recurring themes in cognitive psychology and this course
WHAT IS COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
Things that go on in the mind, that aren’t social or emotional.
Concerned with how people think…and learn, remember (and forget), speak, read, write, pay
attention, solve problems, and make decisions…
Cognitive psychology shares common interests with other areas of psychology and vice versa
Social Cognition: how we think of our self and others.
Cognitive ergonomics: User interface, how does our mind work, how we can make products that
are user friendly.
WILHELM WUNDT & STRUCTUTALISM: content of the mind (1832-1920)
The “first” psychologist who was happy calling himself a psychologist.
Trained in medicine. Physiology professor. Physiological psychology: Sensation & perception.
Structuralist are interested in the structure of the mind> what is it that we see/hear/touch.
Structuralism was the first school of thought in psychology
Investigated the elements of thought via analytic introspection: observing your own
Developed some of the first ideas about:
Experimentation: replicable/ open to manipulation/ experiment-able .
Perception: 5 different senses.
Attention: sustainable attention.
Memory: The Magical Number 7 Plus or Minus 2
Language: tree diagrams.
WILLIAM JAMES & FUNCTIONALISM: what does the mind do > thoughts result in behavior.
Father ofAmerican psychology
Studied Medicine. Travelled the world for a few years. Went to Europe, met Wundt. Decided to
also study the mind.
Functionalist were interested in studying the purpose of thought rather than its elements.
Concerned with prediction and control through direct observation
Wrote “The Principles of Psychology”: not much research.
HYSTERIA& HYNOTISM: PSYCHOANALYSIS
Developed from a mental health perspective:
Henz Mezmer: mesmerism > all human behavior was influenced by earth’s magnetism.
Waving Magnets at people the right way he can control people by putting them in a
trance. Now known as hypnotism. Some improvement in patients when the patients were
hypnotize. Used to treat Hysteria.
Charcot (1825-1893) was known to use hypnosis to study hysteria
While studying the case of a woman with hysteria, Freud and his mentor, Dr. Joseph Breuer
developed a theory about unexpressed emotions. Anna O: patient with hysteria/ paralysis/ unable
to eat or drink/ forgot how to speak German or English. Being Hypnotize she could report when
these symptoms occurred. Unable to drink water: reported in her hypnotism she saw a dog drink
from a glass, another women later drank from the same glass. Unpleasant events would be
1 January 7 2014 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Week 1
repressed into the unconscious mind and it would manifest.Anna told everyone she loved her dr.
and was pregnant with her child. Dr dropped psychoanalysis and left it to Freud.
Influences of psychoanalysis
Unconscious mind: repressed memories.
Importance of biology and society- We are highly influenced by environment and society.
SALIVATING DOGS: HERE COMES BEHAVIOURISM
Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) described what would become the groundwork for behaviourism:
classical (Pavlovian) conditioning
US=UR US+NS=UR NS becomes CS= CR
Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949) set the stage for behaviourism inAmerica
Cats puzzle box. Cats would learn how to escape faster over time.
Law of effect: When an association is followed by a “satisfying state of affairs,” the
connection is strengthened.
John Watson (1878-1958) was concerned with behaviour as a series of stimuli and responses.
Studied Philosophy. Switched to psychology. Studied animal research through classical
conditions. Easier than humans and could use perfectly as a human model.
Brain processes are unimportant (“mystery box”)
Stimulus goes in, response comes out.
"LittleAlbert experiment", Watson's most famous experiment, in whichAlbert (9
month) was subjected to a loud noise every time a rat came close to the child. After a few
pairings of the noise with the rat,Albert reacted to the rat by crawling away as rapidly as
His ideas are associated with classical conditioning: how pairing one stimulus
(loud noise presented to albert) with another, previously neutral stimulus (the rat)
causes changes in the response to the neutral stimulus.
Classical conditioning can generalise: scared of anything white and fluf