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Chapter 1

PSYCH 2H03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Cognitive Psychology, Edward B. Titchener, Wilhelm Wundt

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Ellen Maclellan

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The science of mind
Part 1: The Science of the Mind
- Everything we do depends on our cognition
o What we do / remember / think
- Cognition matters in many different circumstances
The scope of cognitive psychology:
- In the beginning, CP focused mainly on the scientific study of knowledge, which led Cog
psych’s to ask many questions including: how is knowledge acquired?
- Our cognitions contain also failures and limitations
The broad role for memory:
- The relevance of CP is broader than just understanding the functioning of human intellect
o Ex: what aspects of life depend on other things such as memory?
- Knowing prior facts allows us to make sense of future events:
o If we didn’t know certain things, then we are led to make inferences (more
room for error)
- Most of our encounters with the world depend on supplementing our experiencing with
knowledge that we bring to the situation
o Memory is crucial for day to day activities
Amnesia and memory loss:
- Clinical amnesia:
o Cases in which someone (because of brain damage) has lost the ability to
remember certain materials
o Provide us insight into understanding what memory is used for
- Case of H.M:
o Had brain surgery intended to control his epilepsy but the surgery made him
lose the ability to form new memories
o Could recall events prior to the surgery, but unable to recall events that
occurred after his operation
o Ex: his uncle died after his surgery and even though HM was told the sad
news he would soon forget
So every time he hear about it, he would be very upset about it again
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