PSYC 213 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Cognitive Load, Ion, Dichotic Listening Test

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PSYC213 Chapter 1 Note
Definitions:
Folk Psychology: A set of assumptions and theories based on everyday behaviours of ourselves and
others
Information Theory: The information provided by a particular event is inversely related to its probability
of occurrence
Bit: Short for ‘binary digit’ - an event that occurs in a situation with two equally likely outcomes provided
one ‘bit’ of information
Filter Model: Based on the idea that information-processing is restricted by channel capacity
Channel Capacity: The maximum amount of information that can be transmitted by an information-pro-
cessing device
Introspection: The act of observing one’s own thoughts and feelings as they seem to oneself
Primary Memory: Consists of what we are aware of in the ‘immediately present moment’; often termed
‘immediate memory’ of ‘short-term memory’
Secondary Memory: The knowledge of a former state of mind after it has been absent from awareness
for some period of time; also called ‘long-term memory’
Brown-Peterson Task: An experimental paradigm in which subjects are given a set of items and then a
number. Subjects immediately begin counting backward by threes from the number. After a specific inter-
val, subjects are asked to recall the original items
Ecological Approach: A form of psychological inquiry that reflects conditions in the real world
Affordances: The potential functions or uses of stimuli in the real world
Information Pickup: The process whereby we perceive information directly
Schema: Our expectations concerning what we are likely to find as we explore the world
Perceptual Cycle: The process whereby our schema not only guides exploration of the world, but also is
shaped by what it finds there
Cognitive Ethology: A new research approach that links real-world observations with lab-based investi-
gations
Metacognition: The knowledge people have about the way certain cognitive processes work; how accu-
rately you can assess you own cognitive processes
What is Cognition:
No definite definition of cognition; instead, examine the ways ‘cognition’ has been used in everyday
life
We try to refine folk psychology concepts we find expressed in ordinary language
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Oxford English Dictionary lists the definition of cognition as ‘the action or faculty of knowing’
Cognition is the ‘action’ of knowing: study of processes to become acquainted with things
Cognition can be seen as a faculty; divide the mind into faculties that represent the different
mental activities of which we are capable
Other concepts associated with cognition include awareness, comprehension, intelligence, intuition,
personal acquaintance, recognition, skill, and understanding
G.A. Miller observed that a good way of increasing a person’s vocabulary with respect to a particu-
lar subject is to provide information about the relations between the words that are characteristic of
that area
Awareness: Do we have to attend consciously to information in order to acquire it? Can unattended
to information influence subsequent cognitive processes?
Intelligence: Is intelligence best measured by how quickly someone can process information, or is
there more to it than that?
Intuition: The sudden knowing of insight to yield answers effortlessly
Personal acquaintance: Many of our cognitive processes have a very personal side to them. How
are they related?
Recognition: Fundamental cognitive process that means ‘to know again’
Skill: To apply a reasoned approach to solving a problem. Skill can manifest itself in a variety of
ways
Understanding: Basic concept of cognition and has many facets. The ability to make good deci-
sions, reasonable judgements, and to comprehend what is going on around us
Cognitive Psychology and Information-Processing Theory:
To many people, everyday activities such as attending, comprehending, remembering, and prob-
lem-solving fall under the general heading of ‘thinking’
Information-processing is the subject matter of cognitive psychology
Information-processing came into psychology from telephone radio engineering through three bro-
ken down processes
A sender: encodes the message with what s/he wants to communicate
Communication channel: transmitted via a communication channel (i.e. Air, wire, or printed
page)
Receiver: decodes the message and translates it
Information Theory:
Information reduces uncertainty in the mind of the receiver
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Document Summary

Folk psychology: a set of assumptions and theories based on everyday behaviours of ourselves and others. Information theory: the information provided by a particular event is inversely related to its probability of occurrence. Bit: short for binary digit" - an event that occurs in a situation with two equally likely outcomes provided one bit" of information. Filter model: based on the idea that information-processing is restricted by channel capacity. Channel capacity: the maximum amount of information that can be transmitted by an information-pro- cessing device. Introspection: the act of observing one"s own thoughts and feelings as they seem to oneself. Primary memory: consists of what we are aware of in the immediately present moment"; often termed. Secondary memory: the knowledge of a former state of mind after it has been absent from awareness for some period of time; also called long-term memory". Brown-peterson task: an experimental paradigm in which subjects are given a set of items and then a number.

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