Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
What is the mind and what does it do?
- The mind creates and controls mental functions such as attention, memory, emotions,
language, deciding, thinking, and reasoning. (different types of cognition)
- The mind is a system that created representations of the world so that we can act within it
to achieve our goals. (functioning and survival, creating representations)
- The mind is important and beautiful and meant to be used.
- Cognition: the mental processes such as perception attention and memory
Studying the Mind: Early Work in Cognitive Psychology
- 1800s: The mind cannot study itself.
- Donders, 1868: first cognitive psychology experiment
o How long does it take to make a decision?
o Measured reaction time (how long it takes to respond to the presentation of a
o Part 1: simple reaction time task
Press a button when a light is presented (J key)
o Part 2: choice reaction time task
Two lights presented (on left and right); push one button (J key) when L
light presented and other button (K key) when R light presented
o Presenting a stimulus (light) causes a mental response (perceiving the light,
choosing which button to push) and leads to a behavioural