Chapter 1. History, Methods, and Paradigms

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Published on 16 Feb 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB57H3
Professor
Cognitive psychologyis a branch of psychology concerned with how people acquire, store, transform, use, and
communicate information.
Attention: cognitive resources, mental effort, or concentration devoted to a cognitive process.
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Perception: the interpretation of sensory information to yield a meaningful description or understanding.
{
Patternrecognition: the classification of a stimulus into a category.
Recognition: the retrieval of information in which the processor must decide whether the
information presented has been previously presented.
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Recall: the retrieval of information in which the processor must generate most of the information
without aids.
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Memory: the cognitive processes underlying the storage, retention, and retrieval of information.
{
{
Reasoning: cognitive processes used in transforming given information, called premises, into conclusions.
Reasoning is often seen as a special kind of thinking.
{
Problemsolving: the cognitive processes used in transforming starting information into a goal state, using
specified means of solution.
{
Knowledgerepresentation: the mental depiction, storage, and organization of information.
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Language: a system of communication that is governed by a system of rules (grammar) and can express an
infinite number of propositions.
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Cognitive processes include attention, perception, pattern recognition, and memory.
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Recognize genetic factors but emphasize that human nature is malleable, changeable.
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John Locke argued that two distinct ideas or experiences can become linked together simply because
they occurred at the same time.
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Association: a connection or link between two units or elements.
Empiricism: a philosophical doctrine emphasizing the role of experience in the acquisition of knowledge.
Cognitive functions come built in, as part of our legacy as human beings.
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Nativism: a philosophical doctrine emphasizing the role of innate factors in the acquisition of knowledge.
Wundt thought any conscious thought or idea resulted from a combination of sensations that could
be defined as exactly four properties: mode (visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory), quality (colour,
shape, texture), intensity, and duration.
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Founded by Wilhem Wundt and James Baldwin.
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Introspection: a methodological technique in which trained observers are asked to reflect on, and report on,
their conscious experience while performing cognitive tasks.
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Structuralists focused on the experimental laboratorysituations.
Structuralism: one of the earliest schools of cognitive psychology. It focused on the search for the simplest
possible mental elements and the laws governing the ways in which they could be combined.
{
Like Wundt, William James was interested in conscious experience. Unlike Wundt, James was not interested
in the elementary units of consciousness -he instead wanted to ask why the mind works the way it does.
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Drew heavily on Darwinian evolutionary theory and tried to extend biological conceptions of adaptation to
psychological phenomena.
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Functionalists focused on thereal-lifesituations, studying whole organisms in whole, real-life tasks.
Functionalism: a school of psychology emphasizing on questions such as why the mind or a particular cognitive
process works the way it does.
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Rejected introspection, they found the principle to be untestable.
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Mental representations:
Behaviourism: a school of psychology that seeks to define psychological research in terms of observable measures,
emphasizing the scientific study of behaviour.
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Studies people's subjective experience of stimuli and to focus on how people use or impose structure and
order on their experiences.
Gestaltpsychology: a school of psychology emphasizing the study of whole entities rather than simple elements.
Gestalt psychologists concentrate on problems of perception and problem solving and argue that people's
cognitive experience is not reducible to their experience of simple elements (for example, sensations) but, rather,
to the overall structure(s) of their experience.
Individual differences: stable patterns of performance that differ qualitatively and/or quantitatively across
individuals.
Cognitiverevolution: a movement in psychology that culminated after WWII, characterized by a belief in the
Chapter 1. History, Methods, and Paradigms
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6:29 PM
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Document Summary

Cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology concerned with how people acquire, store, transform, use, and communicate information. Cognitive processes include attention, perception, pattern recognition, and memory. Attention: cognitive resources, mental effort, or concentration devoted to a cognitive process.  perception: the interpretation of sensory information to yield a meaningful description or understanding.  pattern recognition: the classification of a stimulus into a category. Memory: the cognitive processes underlying the storage, retention, and retrieval of information. Recognition: the retrieval of information in which the processor must decide whether the information presented has been previously presented. Recall: the retrieval of information in which the processor must generate most of the information without aids.  reasoning: cognitive processes used in transforming given information, called premises, into conclusions. Reasoning is often seen as a special kind of thinking.  problem solving: the cognitive processes used in transforming starting information into a goal state, using specified means of solution.