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Psychology 2135A/B Midterm: 2135A/B - Midterm 1 Cognitive Psych Study Notes (ch. 1-4)

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Psychology 2135A/B
Mark Holden

Chapter 1: Intro to Cognitive Psychology Cognitive psychology: The scientific study of the mind ( behr) Mechanics (specific parts how they fit together) processes (how it works) of the mind Areas of Research in Cognitive Psychology 1. Cognitive neuroscience: examines relationship bw brain processes mental events 2. Sensation perception: examines relationship bw sensory stimulation subjective perceptual experience Grand illusion: we feel like we see a detailed picture of the world, we only process a very small portion of it 3. Attention: examines how we focus, divide, lose, or hide attention 4. Memory: examines how we encode, store, retrieve info for later use 5. Knowledge categorization: examines how we form concept, categorize novel items, represent knowledge 6. Mental imagery: examines how we visualize the world (mental images or other senses) Synaesthesia: blending of the senses Eidetic imagery: photographic memory 7. Psycholinguistics: examines how we create, perceive, understand language 8. Problem solving: examines how we analyze, approach, think about, solve complex problems Insight: idea of a person who thinks suddenly answer comes to them in a flash 9. Reasoning, logic, decisionmaking: examines how we go about thinking about options arriving at conclusions when we need to make a decision Scientific Why do we need to be Scientific? Faulty thinking: failure to consider alternative explanations, confirmation bias (confirm preexisting beliefs, ignore contradictory evidence); mental shortcuts, etc. Cant rely on folk wisdom; personal observations are empirical data, but are not scientificsystematic Cant rely on our preexisting beliefs Scientific approach: helps separate fact from fiction 1. Systematic observation: specific test that is scored objectively, in a controlled environment a. systematic: performed consistently, according to specific rules or conditions (objective) 2. Gather empirical evidence: administer same test to individuals of different ages (or longitudinal) a. Empirical evidence: evidence gained through experience observation b. Infer psychological states from observable behr, psychological responses 3. Use statistics: to determine whether small differences are just random fluctuation or real differences Why study Cognitive Psych? Major portion of human psychology; influences many other areas of study; want to know more about ones own mind History of Cognitive Psychology Mindbody dualism (philosophy): mind (immaterial, spiritual entity) body (physical portion, brain) are fundamentally different Ren Descartes (15961650): believed mind body interacted through the pineal gland Mind: domain of God, metaphysical, on another plane of existence, separate from earthly body, soul No research on brain could unravel the mysteries of the nonphysical mind Monism (before psych): mind body (brain) are one; mental events correspond to physical events in brain Thomas Hobbes (15881679) British empiricists John Locke (16321704) Can scientifically study the brainbehr to understand the mind (scientific observation; inference) Is what cognitive psych stems from st 1 Cognitive experiments: Franciscus Donders (1868) asked how long does it take the mind to make a simple decision? Conditions: simple RT (press button when you see a light) vs. choice RT (press leftright button if the light is on the leftright) Measured simple reaction time choice reaction time Difference in RT = time to make decision Both conditions involve the same perceptual motor processes (i.e. perceive light press button) Only diff is that B involves a decision Results: Choice RT was about 0.1 seconds longer Conclusion: it takes about 0.1 sec to make a simple decision Note: good example of inferring mental processes from behavior Measured behr (RT), used this to infer a mental process (decision time)
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