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Midterm

PSYC 2650 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Phineas Gage, Internal Monologue, Receptive Field


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2650
Professor
Dan Meegan
Study Guide
Midterm

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PSYC 2650 – Midterm 1 Notes
CHAPTER 1: The Science of the Mind
Cognitive Psychology  Scientific study of the human mind
-Started to apply the scientific study in the past century
-Attempts to break complex behaviours into their component processes
oE.g. What processes are involved in you taking notes during lecture
Taking Notes
-Sensation (eyes and ears)
-Perception and recognition
-Attention
-Memory (stored knowledge)
-Memory (creating new memories)
-Decision making
-Action (writing/typing)
Applications
-Engineering and Industrial Design
oHuman Factors, Human-Computer Interaction
oInteraction with machines is based on how our minds work
oPsychologists tend to work with design systems
Usability testers  What you like/don’t like about certain systems
-Law
oReliability of Memory (eyewitness testimony, repressed memory)
oNot always accurate
-Business/Marketing/Economics
oConsumer behaviour
Armchair Philosophy: Casual Observations About Human Cognition
-Greek Philosophers
oSocrates, Aristotle
-British Empiricism (Nurture)
oJohn Locke, David Hume  Emphasized minds are product of experiences we’ve had
oImportant to undertand how minds work, important approach for the belief that minds
develop/change
-Continental Nativism (Nature)
oSpinoza, Descartes
-American Pragmatism
oJames (Principles of Psychology)  Didn’t have evidence/scientific techniques we have, but made
important observations that are principles that we study today
The Problem
-How to observe the ‘mind’ using scientific methodology
-Stimuli  _______  Response
-Objective = Scientific Method
-Limits to approach
oIdiosyncratic  Don’t know that your mind is similar to others, and don’t know whether investigate
the mind the same way as others had to generalize

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-Black Box Problem  We can control/observe stimuli going into the mind, and measure response, but it’s
hard to make inferences going on in between because it’s unobservable
oOnly able to measure inputs and outputs
oHave to make inferences of what happens between
Introspection  Examining our own thoughts
-Wundt, 1879, Leipzig
oWundt tried to formalize the process of introspecting
-What was different from before: Brought in ‘observers’ now called participants
-Had control over environment
-Highly-trained observers report what was going on in the mind while receiving stimuli
-Observations
oFeeling of recognition: E.g. recognizing a picture
oImagining (hearing) his music
oFlood of associations: Things you associate with picture
-Problems
oContents of consciousness are difficult to describe and happen under time constraints (experience
momentarily)
oIndividual differences in concreteness of contents (imageless thought)
oDifficult to verify (private events, not public)
oEnd product, not the process
oOnly conscious processes are accessible
oConcrete is photographic
oAbstract is more verbal
Behaviourism  Studied observable things
-Ignore anything that cannot be controlled (stimuli) or directly observed (response)
-Problem
oCannot observe the ‘mind’ using scientific methodology
oThe temporary end of cognition as a subject of scientific inquiry
oStimuli  (can’t be controlled, thus off limits)  Response
oCan’t account for diversity and complexity of behaviour (e.g. language)
oOther sciences haven’t been limited to the directly observable
oBehaviourism wasn’t helpful at addressing applied concerns during WWII
-Empiricism  The mind is a ‘blank slate’ at birth, and develops through experience/learning
-Desire to be a respected science
oStrict experimental control in laboratory
oAnimals as subjects
-Legacy of Behaviourism
oProvided a set of rigorous techniques for experimental study in psychology
Verbal learning and memory in cognitive psychology
oApplied science to real life
Cognitivism
-Origins
oHuman factors researchers return to academe following WWII
Broadbent (1958) Perception and Communication
Use scientific techniques to understand human mind

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oChomsky’s (1959) criticism of Skinners behaviourist account of language
oComputer science and information theory
Input  Process  Output
Schematize processes
oNeisser (1967) Cognitive Psychology
Summarized 2 decades of research on humans
-Have to make inferences of what is going on inside the box (Stimuli  ____  Response)
-Underlying assumption
oCognition is somehow like a computer program
oCognitive psychologists need to figure out the program
-Information Processing
oInformation
Sensory data  Inputs, coming in through the senses
Internal representations  Experiences, knowledge, and memories
oProcessing
Operations, procedures, transformations
-Criticisms
oEcological Validity
Are the conclusions relevant to the actual processes of the mind?
Is it specific to certain people or generalizable to everyone, everywhere?
oNeural Plausibility
If we know enough about the brain and we model it, implausible given how the brain
works
Store different processes in different parts of the brain
Other stimuli processed all over the brain, no specific region
Neuroscience
Methods
-Behavioural  E.g. Mental chronometry
-Functional Neuroimaging  What part of the brain is active when doing certain things
-Cognitive Neuropsychology  Cognitive consequences of brain damage
Mental Chronometry
-Using the measurement of time (chronometry) to make inferences about mental events
-Reaction Time (RT)  Time that elapses between onset of stimulus and response
-Assumption  More stuff to do (more processing stages), more time it will take
Donders (1868)
-Dutch Opthalmologist
-Developed ideas for mental chronometry
-Contributions
oMental processes are measurable
oSubtraction Method
-Importance
oSubtraction Method is still frequently used, especially in neuroimaging research
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