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Chapter 1

CH.1 cognition.docx

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Dwayne Pare

CH.1: The Scope of Cognitive Psychology  Henry Molaison (contributed his brain) could rmr events prior to the surgery but he seemed completely unable to recall any event tht as offered after his operation  This field defined as scientific study of acquisition, retention and use of knowledge. Self- concept depends on knowledge and emotions rely on memories. A Brief History The Years of Introspection  19 century- Wilhelm Wundt and his student Edward B. Titchener launched the new enterprise of research psychology, defining their field for the first time as an endeavor separate from philosophy or biology.  Introspect is to look within, to observe and record the content of our own mental lives and sequence of our own experience. Some thoughts are unconscious, so introspection was limited as a research tool hence introspection can tell us nothing about unconscious events. It’s hard to tell what others are thinking. The Years of Behaviorism  Introspection is hard to observe so it’s better to observe behaviours  Data concerned with behaviour are objective data.  Stimuli in the world are in the same objective category: these are measurable, recordable, physical events  Mentalistic notions are beliefs, wishes, and expectations that need to be ruled out when observing behaviour because they can’t be directly observed.  Behaviorist movement: it contains many principles concerned with how behaviour changes in response to various stimuli (including stimuli we call rewards and punishments)  Late 1950s, psychologists were convinced that a great deal of behaviour could not be explained in these terms as in they couldn’t be explained with reference only to objective, overt events (such as stimuli and responses) because the ways ppl act, and ways tht they feel, are guided by how they understand or interpret the situation, and not by the objective situation itself.  Subjective entities play a pivotal role in guiding behavior so we must consider these entities if we want to understand behaviour  If a friend requests the salt, your response will depend on how you understand your friend’s words. It’s the reason why a rigid behaviorist perspective will not allow us to explain your behaviour. The Roots of the Cognitive Revolution  If we wish to explain or predict behaviour, we need to make reference to the mental world- the world of perceptions, understandings, and intentions because hw ppl act is shaped by how they perceive the situation, hw they understand the stimuli, etc.  Kant’s transcendental method: you begin with observable facts and then work backwards from these observations. Sometimes this method is called inference to best explanation.  Study mental processes indirectly, rely on fact that these processes (invisible and with consequences): measurable delays in producing a response, performances that be assessed for accuracy, errors that can be scrutinized and categorized. By examining these (and other) effects produced by mental processes, we can develop and then test hypotheses about what the mental processes must have been Research in Cognitive Psychology: An Example Working Memory: Some Initial Observations  Working memory is to emphasize that the memory you use for information that you are actively working on. Working memory holds information that you are actively working on. It holds info in an easily accessible form so that the information is, at your fingertips, instantly available when you need it.  Working memory is hypothesized to have a small capacity with only a few items held in this store  Span test: read a list of items to person starting from small up until when they can’t report back accurately. After 7-8 then ppl make mistakes. Working Memory: A Proposal  Alan Baddely and Graham Hitch proposed a model to explain both this finding and many other results. Their model starts by stipulating that working memory isn’t a single entity. Instead, working memory has svrl different parts so they prefer to speak of working
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