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Western University
Psychology 2135A/B
Natalie J.Allen

Attention: mentally focusing on some stimulus Perception: interpreting sensory information to yield meaningful information Pattern recognition: classifying a stimulus into a known category Memory: the storage facilities and retrieval processes of cognition Recognition Recall Reasoning Problem Solving Knowledge representation Language Decision making Empiricism: knowledge comes from an individual’s own experience Association: two distinct ideas or experiences, having nothing to do with each other, could become joined in the mind simply because they happened to occur or to be presented to the individual at the same time Nativism: emphasizes the role of constitutional factors, of native ability, over the role of learning in the acquisition of abilities and tendencies Introspection: presenting highly trained observers with various stimuli and asking them to describe their conscious experiences Structuralism: Wundt, focus on what the elemental components of the mind are rather than on the question of why the mind works as it does Functionalism: the way the mind works has a great deal to do with its function, the purposes of its various operations Behaviourism: Mental representations: internal depictions of information Gestalt psychology: Individual differences: Cognitive revolution: a new series of psychological investigations Human factors engineering: Person-machine system: the idea that machinery operated by a person must be designed to interact with the operator’s physical, cognitive, and motivational capacities and limitations Limited-capacity processors: being able to do limited amount of tasks at once Linguistics: the study of language Localization of function: neural structures supporting that function reside in a specific brain area Computer metaphor: the comparison of people’s cognitive activities to an operating computer Artificial intelligence Cognitive science: focus on representations of information rather than on how nerve cells in the brain work or on historical or cultural influences Cognitive neuropsychology: study cognitive deficits in certain brain damaged individuals Naturalistic observation: consists of an observer watching people in familiar, everyday contexts going about their cognitive business Ecological validity: things studied do occur in the real world and not just in an experimental laboratory Experimental control: observer has no means of isolating the causes of different behaviours or reactions Controlled observation: gives researches more influence over the setting in which observations are conducted, standardizes setting for all participants Clinical interviews: investigator begins by asking each participant a series of open- ended questions Experiment: experimenter manipulates one or more independent variables (the experimental conditions) and observes how the recorded measures (dependent variables) change as a result Between subjects design: different experimental participants are assigned to different experimental conditions and the researcher looks for differences in performance between the two groups Within subjects design: exposes the same experimental participants to more than one condition Quasi experiments: an empirical study that appears to involve some, but incomplete, experimental control- for example, through nonrandom assignment of subjects to conditions Brain imaging: the construction of pictures of the anatomy and functioning of intact brains Paradigm: a body of knowledge structured according to what its proponents consider important and what they do not, intellectual frameworks that guide investigators in studying a phenomenon Information-processing approach: draws an analogy between human cognition and computerized processing of information, cognition can be thought of as information passing through a system Connectionism: depicts cognition as a network of connections among simple processing units Neural networks: another name for connectionist models Ecological approach: CHAPTER 3 Perception: taking sensory input and interpreting it meaningfully Distal stimulus: objects and events, things to be perceived Proximal stimulus: the reception of information and its registration by a sense organ Retina: surface at the back of each eye Retinal image: two dimensional, size depends on the distance from you and the objects beyond, upside down and reversed Percept: meaningful interpretation of the proximal stimulus Size constancy: Pattern recognition: the recognition of a particular object, event, etc. as belonging to a class of objects, events, etc. Form perception: the segregation of a whole into objects and background Subjective contours: simplifying interpretation the perceiver makes without being aware of making it, perception is not completely determined by the stimulus display Gestalt principles of perceptual organization - Principle of proximity: we group things together that are nearer to each other - Principle of similarity: group together elements that are similar - Principle of good continuation: group together objects whose contours form a continuous straight or curved line - Principle of closure: we mentally fill in a gap to see a closed, complete, whole figure - Principle of common fate: elements that move together will be grouped together Law of Pragnanz: of all the possible ways of interpreting a display, we will tend to select the organization that yields the simplest and most stable shape or form Bottom up process: the perceiver starts with small bits of information from the environment that she combines in various ways to form a percept Top down process: the perceiver’s expectations, theories, or concepts guide the selection and combination of the information in the pattern recognition process Templates: (bottom up) comparing incoming information to the templates we have stored, and looking for a match, only works for relatively clean stimuli Features: Visual search task: researchers presented participants with arrays of letters and asked them to respond if they detected the presence of a particular target Pandemonium: a model for the perception of letters that is based on featural analysis Prototype: an idealized representation of some class of objects or events Context effects: Change blindness: the inability to detect changes to an object or scene especially when given different views of that object or scene Word superiority effect: letters are apparently easier to perceive in a familiar context (a word) than in an unfamiliar context or in no context at all Phonemes: sounds Constructive approach to perception: people add to and distort the information in the proximal stimulus to obtain a percept, a meaningful interpretation of incoming information Direct perception: the light hitting the retina contains highly organized information that requires little or no interpretation Affordances: the acts or behaviours permitted by object, places, and events (the things offered by the environment to the organism) Visual agnosias: impairments in the ability to interpret (although seeing) visual information Prosopagnosia: a kind of visual agnosia for faces, may be unable to recognizes different faces CHAPTER 4 Selective attention: we usually focus our attention on one or a few tasks or events rather than on many Dichotic listening task: a person listens to an audiotape over a set of headphones, on the tape are different messages, recorded so as to be heard simultaneously in opposite ears- then asked to repeat both messages Filter theory: there are limits on how much information a person can attend to at any given time Attenuation theory: some meaningful information in unattended messages might still be available, even if hard to recover Priming: the facilitation in responding to one stimulus as a function of prior exposure to another stimulus Late selection theory: all messages are routinely processed for at least some aspects of meaning, attenti
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