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PSYC 2700 (18)
Chapter 1

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2700
Professor
Chris Herdman
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 1 Chapter 1: historical context Cognitive psychology: - Process: flow of information • How we get information from external world to our brains (internal) - Structure: representation of knowledge • Function, how it works - Limits: restrictions in flow • Limited in their ability to process info How to examine: - Philosophy: logic and argumentation • How we represent the world - Psychology: empirical approach • Questions from an empirical way, how do we test? We must gather data • Psychology is a fairly new discipline. It began in the 60s in Canada, specifically Cognitive Psychology, not until the 80s A. Roots in Philosophy Plato (423 BC) - Knowledge structures in mind reflect specific representations from the physical world - Student of Socrates - Theory of forms- how we perceive the world • We don’t perceive the real world, but only an image of the real world • Knowledge structures exist in the mind  Allows us to perceive these images • These structures reflect specific representations from the physical world - Coding not considered Aristotle (384 BC) - More active (process) view of mind • Mind is a blank slate (tabula rasa) • Experience is important (not innate)  Our representations of the world have to be created through experience • Knowledge is based on associations of sensations, images & ideas  Associations of sensations, images- this is how we acquire those representations - Knowledge can transform/influence perceptions and learning • Knowledge can influence how we see the world, how we perceive, a core idea in cognitive psychology • That we know can affect what we perceive British Empiricists (Associationists) (John Mill [1773-1836], J. S. Mill [1806-1873]) - FollowedAristotle tradition - Knowledge is made up of associations - Associations = process • Knowledge is made up with associations- associations are like the process - Stored knowledge = structure • Important for acquisition of representations and this stored knowledge = structures B. Empirical Roots 1. Structuralism (Study of the structure of consciousness) - Wundt (active 1875-1920) • Study of conscious process and immediate experience • Introspection technique - Titchener (1982) • One of the 1 North American labs • Followed Wundt’s approach • “structuralism”: introspect on elements of mind’s structure • Avoid “stimulus error” (describe mental experience not physical stimulus) • Described mental experience in a constrained way –objects in vary basic element  Asked participants to describe their perception of an object (For example a Pen)  Tichener looked for consistencies between several people describing the same object –he therefore believed he was finding similar mental processes - Problems with introspection • The “boss” validated the results  Wundt and Titchener decided which observations were correct • Cannot introspect on many mental processes/structures • Some happen so rapidly or are too complex that we cannot even begin to describe them • Introspection is therefore limited 2. Associationism (study of knowledge as learned associations) - Ebbinghaus (1885-1950’s) • Learn through association (Aristotle)  Connecting things together is how we learn • How quickly can you learn a list of words depends on:  How well you know these words  How much they relate to you  How connected the words are to each other • Nonsense syllables (CVC)  No meanings, t
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