Class Notes (808,820)
Canada (493,405)
Psychology (6,022)

Unit 10: Language and Thought

9 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Psychology 2134A/B
Marc Joanisse

Unit 10Language and Thought Overview This lecture focuses on a key question Can we study language independently of other mental abilities That is is our mental faculty of language different from how we do things likeusing logicdoing mathrecalling information from memory Another way this has been asked is this Do these mental processes also use a languagebased code As well see several scientists have been interested in this issue from a variety of perspectives Language and Memory George Miller is a pioneering researcher in cognitive science His research in the 1960s focused on explaining mental processes especially things like learning and memoryOne interesting thing that Miller discovered was that language abilities often influence how a person performs a cognitive task One way this came about was his study of Paired Associate Learning learning to associate pairs of seemingly unrelated information For instance he had people memorize lists of letter triplets like PLMDAT or GRDFLO The original purpose of this task was to examine peoples capacity for long term memory and learning and in fact you might have learned about this in other cognitive psychology courses An interesting thing was happening thoughhis subjects found some of these pairs easier to memorize than others The reason appears to be that they are cheating by using a verbal or language strategy For instance PLMDAT might be easier to remember if you associate them with the words plum and dateMiller found a similar effect in his study of shortterm memory in which listeners must remember lists of words A typical example is lists of digits that they hear and must then repeat Again he found that some people can increase their short term memory using strategies like chunking in which they group certain digits together and retain them as a single unit For instance in the series 8 5 1 9 6 7 2 it would be easier to recall this if you note that 519 is your telephone area code and 672 is the first three digits of your license plate Youve now divided this list into chunks 8519762 Miller discovered people can use this chunking process to better encode lists in memory The interesting thing about these findings is that they show us that we need to be studying more than stimulusresponse when we study memory Instead it appears that listeners can use things like a linguistic code to help store information in memory Multistore Model of Memory Around the same time AtkinsonShiffrin proposed a model of memory that sought to divide our ability to encode and retrieve memories from two stores Longterm and shortterm stores In their model below our sensory system takes an input say a list of digits and holds them in a short term store STS for a few moments This can be used to retrieve using the response generator or if we need to store it in a more longterm system we can put it into our longterm store LTS Think of STS as the RAM on your computer LTS is the Hard Drive If you turn the computer off information in RAM is lost for instance that term paper that you were working on is only held in RAM until you decide to save it If you forget to save before shutting down it will be lost forever STS is like that you can only retain so much information in STS before you start forgetting stuff which is why your LTS kicks in to save it for later retrieval
More Less

Related notes for Psychology 2134A/B

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.