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Definitions for Midterm #1

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 221
Thomas Spalek

Psyc 221 Chapter 1 Introduction a. Defining Cognition b. Historic Theories c. Psycophysics d. First Psychological Lab e. Structuralism f. Hermann von Ebbinghaus g. Functionalism h. Behaviourism Analytic approach (10) attempting to understand complex events by breaking them down into their components Behaviourism (17) the school of thought in which observable behaviour was the topic of interest, and the learning of new stimulus-response associations, by classical conditioning or by reinforcement principles, was deemed the key behaviour to study. Cognition (9) the collection of mental processes and activities used in perceiving, remembering, thinking, and understanding, and the act of using those processes. Cognitive science (2) a new term designating the study of cognition from the multiple standpoints of psychology, linguistics, computer science, and neuroscience Ecological validity (10) the debated principle that research must resemble the situations and task demands characteristic of the real world, rather than rely on artificial laboratory settings and tasks, so that results will generalize to the real world that is, will have ecological validity. Empiricism (12) the philosophical position, originally from Aristotle, which advances observation and observation-derived data as the basis for all science. Functionalism (16) WILLIAM JAMES the movement in psychology in which the functions of various mental and physical capacities were studied (contrast with structuralism). Introspection (14) the largely abandoned method of investigation in which subjects look inward and describe their mental processes and thoughts; historically, the method of investigation promoted by WUNDT and TITCHENER. Memory (9) the mental processes of acquiring and retaining information for later retrieval; the mental storage system that enables these processes Structuralism (14) WILHELM WUNDT & EDWARD TITCHENER the approach in which the structure of the conscious mindthat is, the sensations, images, and feelings that are the elements of consciousnesswas studied; the first major school of psychological thought, beginning with Wundt in the late 1800s (contrast with functionalism). Psyc 221 Tabula rasa (13) Latin for blank slate. The standard assumption of behaviourists that learning and experience imprint a record on the blank slate; the assumption that learning, as opposed to innate factors, is the most important factor in determining behaviour. Verbal learning (24) the branch of human experimental psychology, largely replaced by cognitive psychology in the late 1950s and early 1960s, investigating the learning and retention of verballanguage-basedstimuli; influenced directly by Ebbinghaus methods and interests Chapter 2 (34-52) Cognitive Science Approach a. Measuring Information Processes i. Reaction Time ii. Accuracy iii. Capacity b. Standard Information-Processing Approach i. The Original Model ii. Process Model iii. Sequential vs. Parallel Processing iv. Limitations c. Cognitive Science i. Updating the Original Model Channel capacity (41) early analogy for the limited capacity of our information- processing system Conceptually driven processing (51) aka top-down processing mental processing is said to be conceptually driven when it is guided and assisted by knowledge already stored in memory (contrast with data-driven processing) Encoding (43) to input or take into memory, to convert to a usable mental form, to store into memory. We are said to encode auditory information into sensory memory. Independent and nonoverlapping (46) the assumption in the information-processing approach that the processing stages are independent of one another in their functioning, and that they dont overlap in time. In other words, a stage begins its operations only when a previous stage has finished, and isnt changed by previous or subsequent stages. Information-processing approach (34) the approach that describes cognition as the coordinated operation of active mental processes within a multi-component memory system; Originally, the term referred to mental processing as a sequence of mental operations, each operation taking in information, manipulating it in some way, then forwarding it to the next stage for further processing. Today the term is taken to refer more generally to the fact that humans encode and process information. Lexical decision task (44) a yes/no task in which subjects are timed as they decide whether the letter string being presented is a word; aka word/nonword taskPsyc 221 LTM (43) an early analogy for the limited capacity of the human information-processing system Metatheory (34) a general theoretical framework consisting of the assumptions made by practitioners of a science that guide the research activities of those practitioners Parallel processing (47) any mental processing in which two or more processes occur simultaneously Process model (44) a stage model designed to explain the several mental steps involved in performance of some task, usually implying that the stages occur sequentially and that they operate independently of one another Reaction time (RT) (37) the elapsed time, measured in milliseconds, between a stimulus event and the subjects response to that event; a common measure of performance in cognitive psychology Sequential stages of processing (46) an assumption in most process models that the separate stages of processing occur in a fixed sequence, with no overlap of the stages Sensory memory (43
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