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Chapter 1

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PSYC 2650

Cognitive Psychology: The Science of the Mind 1 Chapter 1: page 3-16 The Scope of Cognitive Psychology - Was first launched as the “scientific study to knowledge” - Cognitive psychology can help us understand capacities relevant to virtually every moment of our lives A Brief History - Roughly 50 years old - Years of Introspection: - Late 19 century - Wundt’s and Titchner’s view: psychology needed to be concerned largely with the study of conscious mental events (feelings, thoughts, perceptions, recollections) - The only way for us to study thoughts is for each of us to introspect (look within) and to observe and record the content of our own mental lives - Introspects had to be trained - Must avoid the stimulus error - Problems with introspection - Soon forced to acknowledge that some thoughts are unconscious (unobservable) - No way to test its claims - Were not objective, independently verifiable, reliable, generalizable - Rules out animals and children (unable to report their feelings) - We achieve objectivity by making sure the raw data are out in plain view, so that you can inspect evidence - Years of Behaviourism - Behaviourism of John B. Watson and Skinner - Insisted on independently observable stimuli and responses - S  R Psychology - Solution to problems with introspection - Psychology needed objective data - Psychology was defined at learning - Learning: involves changes in response probabilities that vary with changes in stimuli over time - Positive/ negative reinforcement, punishment, etc. - Can observe: - An organism’s behaviour - Stimuli - Learning history (record patterns of behaviour with the accumulation of experience) - Cannot observe: - Imagery - Attention - Perception - Memory - Proposed that the mind was a black box - Claimed that the mind could not be measured with objective, independently verifiable, and reliable methods - Dominated psychology for the first half of the 20 century - How behaviour changes in response to various stimuli - Behaviorists failed to generalize basic “laws of behaviour” to complex human behaviour - Explaining language learning was the behaviorists’ biggest challenge - And biggest failure - The ways that people act/ feel are guided by how they understand or interpret a situation - Although entities such as beliefs, memories, etc. cannot be studied directly (not observable), they play a pivotal role in guiding behaviour Cognitive Psychology: The Science of the Mind 2 - Physical similarity is not what unites the various stimuli that evoke salt passing - Stimuli that are physically different from each other have similar effects - Stimuli that are physically similar from each other have different effects - Cognitive Revolution - Chomsky argued that - Behaviourism cannot account for how children learn language - Proposed that language is a rule-cased system that involves innate knowledge - The past tense rule: if you want to express the pa
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