PSYCH 240 Study Guide - Fall 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Reading Company, Memory, Intelligence

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Published on 12 Oct 2018
School
U of M
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 240
Professor
PSYCH 240
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018
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Psych240 Chapter 1 Reading Notes
Cocktail Party Effect: our ability to focus on one out of many voices is one of the most
striking phenomena in cognitive psychology; ex- hearing your name at a loud party even
thought you weren’t listening to that conversation
Cognitive Psychology: the study of how people perceive, learn, remember and think
about information
Heuristics: mental shortcuts we use to process information
It is important to include control groups in order to compare data to the
experimental group
Dialectic: a developmental process whereby ideas evolve over time through a back-and-
forth exchange of ideas; ex- a discussion spread out over a long period of time
Dialectic Process:
1. Thesis: a statement of belief; after a while, individuals will notice flaws in the
thesis, which will lead to the antithesis
2. Antithesis: statement that counters a thesis
3. Synthesis: the debate between the thesis and antithesis will lead to a synthesis,
which integrates both views
Intelligence: many tend to believe that intelligence is either all or mostly genetically
determined, or all or mostly environmentally determined
Asians are more likely to be tolerant of holding beliefs that are contradictory while
americans/Europeans expect their belief systems to be consistent with each other
Asians emphasize the context more than the objects while Americans/Europeans
will analyze and emphasize the objects more
Origins of Psychology: when and where did the study of cognitive psychology begin
Philosophy: seeks to understand the general nature of many aspects of the world
through introspection: examination of inner ideas and experiences
Physiology: seeks a scientific study- of life sustaining functions in living matter,
primarily through empirical (observation based) methods
Plato: a rationalist (believed that the route to knowledge is through thinking and
logical analysis: doesn’t need experiments for new knowledge)
Rationalism is important in theory development
Aristotle: a empiricist (believed that we acquire knowledge via evidence through
experience and observation- experiments and studies
Most psychologists now seek a synthesis of rationalism and empiricism: they base
empirical observations to revise their theories
René Descartes: rationalist: viewed the introspective, reflective method as better:
I think therefore I am (cogito,ergo sum) but believed you couldn’t rely on your
senses because they can be deceptive ( ex. Optical illusions)
John Locke: empiricist: believed that humans are born without knowledge and
must seek knowledge through empirical observation ( tabula rasa: blank slate);
believed that life and experience write knowledge on us
Immanuel Kant (German philosopher) synthesized the views of Descartes and
Locke and argued that both rationalism and empiricism have their place but must
work together for the truth- this is what most psychologists believe this
There has not and never has been just one right approach to studying cogpsych.
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Psychological Origins of Cognitive Psychology:
Structuralism: first major school of thought in psych: seeks to understand the structure
(configuration of elements) of the mind and its perceptions by analyzing those
perceptions into their constituent components
Structuralists want to analyze the perception of flowers by analyzing the different
components and see how they work together
Wilhelm Wundt: German psychologist whose ideas contributed to structuralism-
he is often seen as a founder of structuralism
Wundt used a variety of methods in his research; one was introspection
Introspection: the conscious observation of one’s own thinking processes- look at the
elementary components of an object or process
The introduction of introspection as an experimental method was an important
change in the field because the main emphasis in the study of the mind shifted
from a rationalist approach to the empiricist approach of observing behavior to
draw conclusions
There were some challenges with introspection: people weren’t able to say what
went through their mind or may not be able to adequately express it; second, what
they say might not be accurate; third, the fact that people are required to speak out
loud or pay attention to thoughts may alter the processes that are going on
One of Wundt’s many followers: Edward Titchener is sometimes seen as a the
first full-fledged structuralist because his experiments relied solely on the use of
introspection, exploring psychology from the vantage point of the experiencing
individual
Many early psychologists criticized introspection and the focus of structuralism
Structuralists asked what the elementary contents of the human mind are
Functionalism: developed as an alternative to structuralism; it suggested that
psychologists should focus on the processes of thoughts rather than on its contents
Functionalism seeks to understand what people do and why they do it
Functionalists said the key to understanding the mind is to study the processes of
how and why the mind works as it does; interested in practical applications of
research
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Document Summary

Cocktail party effect: our ability to focus on one out of many voices is one of the most striking phenomena in cognitive psychology; ex- hearing your name at a loud party even thought you weren"t listening to that conversation. Cognitive psychology: the study of how people perceive, learn, remember and think about information. Heuristics: mental shortcuts we use to process information. It is important to include control groups in order to compare data to the experimental group. Dialectic: a developmental process whereby ideas evolve over time through a back-and- forth exchange of ideas; ex- a discussion spread out over a long period of time. Intelligence: many tend to believe that intelligence is either all or mostly genetically determined, or all or mostly environmentally determined. Asians are more likely to be tolerant of holding beliefs that are contradictory while americans/europeans expect their belief systems to be consistent with each other.

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