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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY270H1
Professor
Gillian Rowe
Semester
Fall

Description
1. Introduction to Cognitive Psychology  Cognitive psychology: Scientific study of the mind  Properties and mechanisms of the mind *WHAT IS THE MIND? - memory, problem solving, and making decisions  The mind creates and controls mental functions such as perception, attention, memory, emotions, language, deciding, thinking, and reasoning (Mental abilities)  Cognition (what the mind does) - Representations of the world to act within it to achieve goals  (e.g. healthy mind = normal, nonfunctioning mind = abnormal)  Operations and functions (creates representations and enables us to act and to achieve goals) - Beauty of mind  Products considered extraordinary *STUDYING THE MIND: EARLY WORK IN COGNIVITIVE PSYCHOLOGY - 1800s: mind can’t be studied bc can’t be measured - Donders (1868): Founding of 1 cognitive psychology lab Donders’ Pioneering Experiment: How Long Does It Take to Make a Decision? - Reaction time: How long it takes to respond to presentation of a stimulus - Simple reaction time task: Light ON → Push J - Choice reaction time task: Left Light → Push J & Right Light → Push K th - CRT takes longer than SRT by 1/10 sec  CRT needs additional time to make a decision (Light → Perceive AND Decide button → Press)  (SRT: Light → Perceive → Press) - IMPORTANCE: st  1 cognitive psychology experiment  Shows that mental responses must be inferred from behavior ◦ Mental response X measured, but inferred by measuring how long it took Ebbinghaus’s Memory Experiment: What Is the Time-Course of Forgetting? - Nature of memory and forgetting - Nonsense syllables presented (DAX, QEH, LUH, ZIF) for memorization in order st (a) 1 time: Learn in order nd (b) 2 time: Memorize in order without any errors. Number of trials noted (c) After learning, delay period (almost immediate ~ 31 days) (d) Repeat step (b) - Savings method Saving = [(Initial repetitions)-(Relearning repetitions)/Initial repetitions] x 100 - Results: Longer delay ∝ More relearning repetitions - Savings (or forgetting) curve – memory drops rapidly for the first 2 days after initial learning and then levels off - Importance: Memory can be quantified as function. Behavior determined property of mind Wundt’s Psychology Laboratory: Structuralism and Analytic Introspection - Structuralism: Our overall experience is determined by combining basc elements of experience the structuralists called sensations - “Periodic table of mind” - Analytic introspection: Trained participants described their experiences and thought processes in response to stimuli  E.g. Five-note chord on piano → Do participants hear five notes as single unit or individual? William James: Principles of Psychology - Textbook based on introspections about the operation of his own mind - Thinking, consciousness, attention, memory, perception, imagination, and reasoning *WATSON FOUNDS BEHAVIORISM - John Watson dissatisfied with method of analytic introspection  Extremely variable results from person to person  Difficult to verify bc interpreted in terms of invisible inner mental processes - Rejects introspection and consciousness (Unobservable processes such as thinking, emotions, reasoning) - Study the “directly observable behavior”  Topic shifts from mind → behavior (no reference to mind) - “Little Albert experiment”  9 month-old-boy: rat + loud noise presented. Eventually becomes afraid of rat  No reference to mind needed. (Stimulus → Behavior) - Classical conditioning: pairing one stimulus with one another, previously neutral stimulus causes changes in the response to the neutral stimulus  Ivan Pavlov’s experiment: bell + food → bell only causes salivation in end *SKINNER’S OPERANT CONDITIONING - Strengthening of behavior by positive reinforcement  Reinforcing rat with food for pressing bar → increased rate of pressing a bar  Focused only on relationship between stimuli and response (No mind) *SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE REEMERGENCE OF THE MIND IN PSYCHOLOGY - Tolman: Used behavior to infer mental processes - Rat placed in maze  Initially explores maze  Rat learns to turn right to obtain food (B) when starts at A  Rat turns left when starts at C to obtain food (B) - WHY? – Cognitive map, conception of the maze’s layout, developed in initial exploration - Skinner argued that children learn language through operant conditioning - Noam Chomsky – Disagree  Many sentences have never been rewarded (“I hate you mommy”)  Although incorrect grammar use, never reinforced  Argued language development determined by an inborn biological p
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