PSYB57-10W-W01 - How the Brain Gives Rise to the Mind
Explain what cognitive psychology is (pp. 2-3).
Cognition is the internal interpretation/transformation of stored information.
Cognitive psychology includes:
Perception, emotion, representation, encoding, working memory, attention, executive processes,
decision making, motor cognition/mental simulation (setting up our responses) language.
Explain who was involved in the early evolution of cognitive psychology, from philosophy to
introspection to behaviorism (pp. 3-7).
Philosopher Plato (427-347BC) - memories are like etching on a wax tablet, people differ in their harness
and purity of the wax.
Rene Descartes (1596-1650) - distinction between mind and body, mind is qualitatively distinct form
John Locke (1632 - 1753) - contents of mind, thoughts is a series of mental images.
George Berkeley (1685 - 1753) - abstract concepts (justice, truth) could not be conveyed effectively by
images ! storing information cannot be limited to mental images.
Birth of scientific study of mental activity (introspection): Wilhelm Wundt (Germany) (1832 1920)
-focused in understanding consciousness
-the content of consciousness can be approached by analogy to the way chemists approach the
structure of molecules
1. By characterizing basic sensations and feelings
2. Finding the rules whereby such elements are combined
Edward Titchener (1867 - 1927)
- student of Wundt
-extended his approach of feelings and sensations to all mental activity
1. mental activity can be broken down into more basic operation
(perception ! colour, location, shape)
2. developed objective methods for assessing mental activity
(measuring the time needed for people to make decisions)
Oswald Kulpe (1862 - 1915)
-mental images do not always accompany mental activity
-mental image is signaled by experience of perceiving when the sensory input is absent
-we make decisions not knowing “how”
Behaviourism: Psychology should focus purely on the immediately observable: stimuli, responses, and
the consequences of those responses.
-Clark L. Hull (1884 - 1952) - internal events are inferred directly from behaviour (motivation)
-B. F. Skinner (1904 - 1990) - reject absolutely all discussion of internal events
Understand how and why the cognitive movement was predicted upon computers (pp.
Researchers seized on the computer as a model for the way in which human mental activity takes place;
the computer was a tool that allowed researchers to specify the internal mechanisms that produce
For a full understanding we must distinguish between a functional level of analysis, and a physical level of
analysis; and not between software and hardware.