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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

4 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY270H1
Professor
Christine Burton

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Chapter 1 – Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive psychology – the study of how people perceive, learn, remember and think about information.
Philosophical Antecedents of Psychology: Rationalism vs. Empiricism
Earliest roots of psychology - 2 different approaches to understanding the human mind:
ophilosophy – seeks to understand the general nature of many aspects of the world, in part through
introspection, the examination of inner ideas and experiences (in-ward, within)
ophysiology – seeks a scientific study of life-sustaining functions in living matter, primarily through
empirical (observation-based) methods
2 approaches to the study of the mind are
orationalism – believes that the route to knowledge is through logical analysis (i.e. contemplation)
oempiricism – believes that we acquire knowledge via empirical evidence – obtain evidence through
experience and observations (i.e. experiment/observation)
Most scientist today synthesize the two – use both
Contrasting ideas of ratinalism and empiricism became prominent with French rationalist, Rene Descartes and
the British empiricist John Locke
oDescartes – viewed the introspective, reflective method as being superior to empirical methods for
finding the truth
oLocke – has more enthusiam for empirical observation, believed human born without knowledge and
therefore must seek knowledge through empirical observation/experiences – “tabula rasa”, blank slate
oKant – combined Descartes and Lockes views – must both work together in the quest for truth –
accepted today
Psychological Antecedents of Cognitive Psychology
Early Dialectics in the Psychology of Cognition
oStructuralism – seeks to understand the structure (configuration of elements) of the mind and its
perceptions by analyzing those perceptions into their constituent components
i.e. perception of flower=analyze in terms of colours, geometric forms, size etc.
Wundt – founder of experimental psychology, he used various methods in his research – one of
which was introspection
Introspection – looking inward at pieces of information passing through consciousness
(i.e. sensations when looking at flower, analyze out own perceptions)
Wundt had followers i.e. Tichener – helped bring structuralism to USA – structuralism
was criticized
oFunctionalism (Alternative to Structuralism) – seeks to understand what people do and why they do it.
Focus on the process of how and why the mind works rather than on its contents.
Functionalism led to pragmatism – knowledge is validated by its usefulness – what can you do
with it? Pragmatists are concerned not only with knowing what people do; they want to know
what we can do with our knowledge of what people do
Leader in functionalismJames – book,principles of psychology included discussions about
attention, consciousness and perception
John Dewey was another early pragmatist who influenced contemporary thinking in cognitive
psychology – pragmatic approach to thinking and schooling
oAssociationism (Integrative Synthesis) – examines how events or ideas can become associated with one
another in the mind to result in a form of learning
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Description
Chapter 1 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Cognitive psychology the study of how people perceive, learn, remember and think about information. Philosophical Antecedents of Psychology: Rationalism vs. Empiricism Earliest roots of psychology - 2 different approaches to understanding the human mind: o philosophy seeks to understand the general nature of many aspects of the world, in part through introspection, the examination of inner ideas and experiences (in-ward, within) o physiology seeks a scientific study of life-sustaining functions in living matter, primarily through empirical (observation-based) methods 2 approaches to the study of the mind are o rationalism believes that the route to knowledge is through logical analysis (i.e. contemplation) o empiricism believes that we acquire knowledge via empirical evidence obtain evidence through experience and observations (i.e. experimentobservation) Most scientist today synthesize the two use both Contrasting ideas of ratinalism and empiricism became prominent with French rationalist, Rene Descartes and the British empiricist John Locke o Descartes viewed the introspective, reflective method as being superior to empirical methods for finding the truth o Locke has more enthusiam for empirical observation, believed human born without knowledge and therefore must seek knowledge through empirical observationexperiences tabula rasa, blank slate o Kant combined Descartes and Lockes views must both work together in the quest for truth accepted today Psychological Antecedents of Cognitive Psychology Early Dialectics in the Psychology of Cognition o Structuralism seeks to understand the structure (configuration of elements) of the mind and its perceptions by analyzing those perceptions into their constituent components i.e. perception of flower=analyze in terms of colours, geometric forms, size etc. Wundt founder of experimental psychology, he used various methods in his research one of which was introspection Introspection looking inward at pieces of information passing through consciousness (i.e. sensations when looking at flower, analyze out own perceptions) Wundt had followers i.e. Tichener helped bring structuralism to USA structuralism was criticized o Functionalism (Alternative to Structuralism) seeks to understand what people do and why they do it. Focus on the process of how and why the mind works rather than on its contents. Functionalism led to pragmatism knowledge is validated by its usefulness what can you do with it? Pragmatists are concerned not only with knowing what people do; they want to know what we can do with our knowledge of what people do Leader in functionalism James book, principles of psychology included discussions about attention, consciousness and perception John Dewey was another early pragmatist who influenced contemporary thinking in cognitive psychology pragmatic approach to thinking and schooling o Associationism (Integrative Synthesis) examines how events or ideas can become associated with one another in the mind to result in a form of learning www.notesolution.com
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