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PSYB57H3 (369)
George Cree (102)


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University of Toronto Scarborough
George Cree

PSYB57 – Chapter 1: How the Brain Gives Rise to the Mind 1. Cognitive psychology: internal representations (ideas, models inside the mind) - Observable VS unobservable behaviour 2. Philosophy: Rene Descartes – distinction btw mind and body (qualitatively distinct, ex, heat VS light) John Locke – thought is a series of mental images Bishop George Berkeley – disagreed with Locke! Argument: abstract concepts (“justice”, “truth”) cannot be conveyed by images! Oswald Kulpe – demonstrated that mental images do not always accompany mental activity A MENTAL IMAGE = SIGNALED BY THE EXPERIENCE OF PERCEIVING WHEN THE APPROPRIATE SENSORY INPUT IS ABSENT, CREATES THE EXPERIENCE OF “SEEING WITH THE MIND’S EYE” - Some types of mental activity (those that occur as you understand words) are unconscious  not accompanied by mental images William James: “Functionalist psychologist”, focused not on the nature of mental activity BUT on the functions of specific mental activities (p6) Introspection: process of internal perception, looking within oneself to assess one’s mental activity Wilhelm Wundt – focused on understanding the nature of consciousness (1) Characterizing basic sensations + feelings (feeling heat/cold, seeing red/blue) (2) Finding the rules whereby such elements are combined (simple sensations combined to form the perception of seeing an entire object) - HEAD OF 1 MODERN PSYCHOLOGY LABORATORY, GERMANY, LATE 19 CENTURY th Psychologists of Wundt’s school  (2) MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS (1) Mental activity can be broken down into more basic operations (perception of color, shape, location) (2) Developed objective methods for assessing mental activity (measuring amt of time people need to make certain decisions) Edward Tichener – Wundt’s student. Extended approach to cover not only sensations & feelings but also mental activity Behaviourists: psychology should not attempt to understand hidden mental events - Focus purely on immediately observable: stimuli, responses + consequences of those responses - SEVERE LIMITS: could not explain language, perception, memory, decision making Clark L. Hull – willing to purpose internal events that inferred directly from behaviour (motivation) B. F. Skinner + later behaviourists – reject all discussion of internal events! 3. Cognitive revolution: late 1950s – early 1960s - Directly tied to development of the computer (a tool that allowed researchers to specify the internal mechanisms that produce behaviour)  allowed mental activity to be studied more objectively than did introspection!! - Studying stimuli + response = only the beginning!  to understand what is going on: go inside to look at mechanism that underlies what you can observe directly Crucial distinction not btw hardware & software (programs) BUT btw LEVELS OF ANALYSIS! (The physics, function, information processing: the storage, manipulation, transformation of info) MENTAL ACTIVITY OFTEN DESCRIBED IN TERMS OF INFO PROCESSING - Descriptions at the different levels of analysis cannot be replaced by one another b/c they specify different kinds of things! BUT we can gain insights into characteristics of one level from the others 4. Mental Representation: a physical state that conveys info, specifying an object, event, category/its characteristics - A representation that conveys meaning within a processing system (system that inc various processes that interpret & operate on representations) - WOULD NOT REPRESENT ANYTHING IF IT DID NOT OCCUR WITHIN A PROCESSING SYSTEM TWO distinct facets: (1) Format – form of representation (drawing VS verbal description) (2) Content – meaning conveyed Mental Processing: transformation of info that obeys well defined principles to produce a specific output when given a specific input - Processing system: set of processes that work together to accomplish a types of task, using and producing representation as appropriate Ex, Many separate operations performed in a factory, but all work together  common goal! 5. Algorithm: step-by-step procedure that guarantees that a certain input will produce a certain output (1) Serial Algorithm: specific sequence of steps, one depending on the one before (2) Parallel Algorithm: operations that are performed at the same time Structure-process trade-off: create a theory that mimics another theory - Saul Sternberg: developed a method to examine how info is accessed in memory, hypothesized that people hold lists of items in
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