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Chapter 1

Chapter One Notes

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Christine Burton

PSY270 Chapter 1 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 stimulus) 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
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