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PSYC 213 (154)
Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1 check!.docx

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PSYC 213
Jelena Ristic

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Psyc 213 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 - What Is Cognition?  Folk Psychology: A set of assumptions and theories based on everyday behaviours of ourselves and others. o Scientific psychology seeks to refine this common sense folk psychology.  Cognitive concepts: awareness, intelligence, intuition, personal acquaintance, recognition, skill, and understanding.  The subject matter of cognitive psychology is information-processing. This includes things like attending, comprehending, remembering, and problem-solving. o This info-processing concept came from research on telephone & radio engineering. o The research showed that communication can be broken into a sequence of events with at least 3 major stages:  Sender, communication channel, and receiver. 1.2 – Cognitive Psychology & Information Theory  Information Theory: The information provided by a particular event is inversely related to its probability of occurrence. o Information reduces uncertainty for the receiver. o Less probable = more informative.  Bit: Short for ‘binary digit’ – an event that occurs in a situation with 2 equally likely outcomes provides one ‘bit’ of information. o If you have to guess a number, then the number of bits corresponds to the number of questions you would need to ask to reach the right answer. 1.3 – Early Tests of Information Theory  People respond more slowly to less likely signals.  Experiment: there are 10 buttons, 1 for each finger. o Participants were informed in advance which stimuli were possible. o The number of possible signals ranged from 1 to 10. o As the number of alternatives increased from 1 to 10, so did response time.  When the number of possible stimuli is small, there’s little uncertainty as to which signal will occur. o Therefore, the information produced by a stimulus is small. o Response time (RT) increases with the number of possible stimulus alternatives.  Sequential dependencies experiment (Hyman) o In a situation with 2 alternatives, the probability of change from 1 alternative to the other on trial ‘n’ to trial ’n+1’ was 0.80. o Thus, the probability of repeating the same signal on successive trials was 0.20. o RT became faster as a signal’s probability increased. o RT became slower as a signal’s probability decreased. 1.4 – Information-Processing Limitations  Limitations: o Amount of time it takes for information to flow through the nervous system (NS). o Amount of visual information that a person can transmit at once.  Control tower experiment: o Control tower operators received simultaneous messages. o The messages were either of an airplane’s call signals or of 3 unrelated words. o There are 10 possible call signals and there are over 1000 possible words to be used for the second message. o Results: the operators could identify the call signals from 2 airplanes simultaneously but they could identify only one of two simultaneous word messages.  When two messages arrive simultaneously, the amount of interference between them depends on the amount of info they convey.  Two tasks with low information value can be carried out simultaneously without impairment.  Broadbent: the limit is one of information rather than stimulation. o For an example, Broadbent found that the disrupting effect of a buzzer on understanding a verbal message was increased if a person thought that other messages might also arrive, although they didn’t.  We deal with lots of information by selecting only some of the total available info, particularly info that shares some basic physical property, such as arriving in a particular voice or from a certain location. 1.5 – Models of Information-Processing  Broadbent’s Filter Model o Filter Model: Based on the idea that info-processing is restricted by channel capacity.
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