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Midterm #1 Review Includes definitions of key terms, chapter summaries, and article summaries to use as a study guide for this test.

Course Code
PSYC 3260
Vinod Goel
Study Guide

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Cognitive Psychology 3260 Test 1 Review:
Chapter 1:
Artificial Intelligence A branch of computer science concerned with creating computers that mimic human
performance on cognitive tasks
Association A connection or link between two units or elements
Attention Cognitive resources, mental effort, or concentration devoted to cognitive process
Behaviourism A school of psychology that seeks to define psychological research in terms of observable
measures, emphasizing the scientific study of behaviour.
Between-subjects design A research paradigm in which different experimental subjects participate in
different experimental conditions
Brain imaging The construction of pictures of the anatomy and functioning of intact brains through such
techniques as computerized axial tomography (CAT, or CT), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI), or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
Clinical Interview A research paradigm in which an investigator begins by asking participants a series of
open-ended questions but follows up on the responses with specific questions that have been prepared in
Cognitive Neuropsychology - A school of psychology that investigates the cognitive abilities and deficits of
people with damaged or otherwise unusual brain structures
Cognitive Revolution A movement in psychology that culminated after WWII, characterized by a belief in
the empirical accessibility of mental states and events
Cognitive science An interdisciplinary field drawing on research from cognitive psychology, computer
science, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, and anthropology the central issues addressed involve the
nature of mind and cognition and how information is acquired, stored, and represented
Computer Metaphor The basis for the information processing view of the brain different types of
psychological processes are thought to be analogous to the workings of a computer processor
Connectionism An approach to cognition emphasizing parallel processing of information through immense
networks of interconnected nodes. Models developed in the connectionist tradition are sometimes declared
to share certain similarities with the way collections of neurons operate in the brain, hence, some
connectionist models are referred to as neural networks
Controlled observation A research paradigm in which an observer standardizes the conditions of
observation for all participants, often introducing specific manipulations and recording responses
Ecological approach An approach to the study of cognition emphasizing the natural contexts or settings in
which cognitive activities occur, and the influences such settings have in the ways in which cognitive activities
are acquired, practised, and executed

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Ecological Validity A property of research such that the focus of study is something that occurs naturally
outside an experimental laboratory
Empiricism A philosophical doctrine emphasizing the role of experience in the acquisition of knowledge
Experiment A test of a scientific theory in which the researcher manipulates the independent variable
Experimental Control A property of research such that the causes of different behaviours or other
phenomenon can be isolated and tested typically this involves manipulating the independent variables and
holding constant all factors but the ones of interest
Functionalism A school of psychology emphasizing questions such as why the mind or a particular
cognitive process works the way it does
Gestalt Psychology A school of psychology emphasizing the study of whole entities rather than simple
elements. Gestalt psychologists concentrate on problems of perception and problem solving and argue that
people’s cognitive experience is not reducible to their experience of simple elements but rather to the overall
structure of their experience
Human Factors Engineering An applied area of research that focuses on the design of equipment and
technology that is well suited to people`s cognitive capabilities
Individual Differences Stable patterns of performance that differ qualitatively and/or quantitatively
across individuals
Information Processing Approach An approach to cognition that uses a computer metaphor in its
explanations information processing equates cognition with the acquisition, storage, and manipulation of
information through a system consisting of various storage places and systems of exchange
Introspection A methodological technique in which trained observers are asked to reflect on and report on
their conscious experience while performing cognitive tasks
Knowledge Representation The mental depiction, storage, and organization of information
Language A system of communication that is governed by a system of rules and can express and infinite
number of propositions
Limited Capacity Processor A system that acquires, stores, manipulates, and/or transmits information but
has fixed limits on the amount or fate of processing that it can accomplish
Linguistics A field of study focusing on the structure, use, and acquisition of language
Localization of Function The mapping of brain areas to different cognitive or motor functions, identifying
which neural regions control or are active when different activities take place
Memory The cognitive processes underlying the storage, retention, and retrieval of information
Mental Representation An internal depiction of information
Nativism A philosophical doctrine emphasizing the role of innate factors in the acquisition of knowledge

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Naturalistic Observation A research paradigm in which an observer observes participants in familiar,
everyday contexts
Paradigm A body of knowledge that selects and highlights certain issues for study. It includes assumptions
about how a particular phenomenon ought to be studied and the kinds of experimental methods and
measures that are appropriate to use
Pattern Recognition The classification of a stimulus into a category
Perception The interpretation of sensory information to yield a meaningful description or understanding
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
Problem -solving The cognitive process used in transforming starting information into a goal state, using
specified means of solution
Quasi-experiment An empirical study that appears to involve some but incomplete experimental control
Reasoning Cognitive progess used in transforming given information called premises into conclusions
reasoning is often seen as a special kind of thinking
Recall The retrieval of information in which the processor must generate most of the information without
Recognition The retrieval of information in which the processor must decide whether the information
represented has been previously presented
Structuralism One of the earliest schools of cognitive psychology it focused on the search for the simplest
possible mental elements and the laws governing the ways in which they could be combined
Within-subjects Design A research paradigm in which the same experimental subjects participate in
different conditions
- Structuralism, a psychological theory that is associated with Wilhelm Wundt, attempts to discover
the laws and principles that can explain immediate conscious experience. Structuralists want to
identify the simplest essential units of the mind and determine how they combine to produce a
complex mental phenomenon.
- Functionalism, a psychological theory associated with William James, is viewed as the basic aim of
psychology understanding the function of the mind, and all the ways in which mental functions let
individuals adapt to their environment.
- Behaviourism, a psychological theory seen by some as a branch of functionalism. Is viewed as the
central aim of psychology the scientific study of behaviour, an observable consequence of
psychological experience.
- Radical Behaviourists insist that references to unobservable, subjective, mental states
(consciousness) as well as to unobservable subjective processes (believing, expecting, remembering,
deciding, and perceiving) should be banished from psychology proper.
- The theory of Gestalt psychology held as its central assumption that psychological phenomena
cannot be reduced to simple elements but must be analyzed and studied in their entirety. Gestalt
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