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PSY270H1 (153)
Chapter 1

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University of Toronto St. George
Kristie Dukewich

Chapter 1 Cognitive psychology- branch of psychology that is concerned with studying the mind What is the mind? The mind creates and controls mental functions such as perception, attention,memory,emotions,language,deciding,thinking,and reasoning. The mind is a system that creates representations of the world so that we can act within it to achieve our goals Studying the mind It was thought it wasn’t possible for the mind to study itself but Donders was the first to come up with a cognitive psychology experiment. His experiment measured reaction time. Part 1: He measured the simple reaction time which was measuring how long it took for a person to press the button j when he saw the lights go on. Part 2: He measured the choice reaction time which was measuring how long it to decided between pressing j if the left light goes on and k if the right light goes on. He measured the time difference between them, which was 1/10 of a second and realized that that is how much time it took to decided what button to push. Importance: First cognitive psychology experiments and also showed that mental responses cannot be measured directly but must be inferred from behavior. For example donder’s inferred how long it took form the reaction times and from observing behavior. Ebbinghaus’s memory experiment Wanted to measure the time of course of forgetting. What he did was learn nonsense syllables and kept memorizing them until learned. After that he would go for a while without going over them and wanted to see how long it took to remember them based on the period of delay he took. He came up with a way of measuring how much was saved in his memory based on how many trials it took him initially – the trials required to relearn/initial trials. What he found was the longer the time the more trials needed. He also found that after the first two days there was great loss but it leveled off after that. Wundt Wundt followed the school of structuralism – our experience is determined by combining basic elements of experience called sensations. Wundt wanted to see all the sensations involved in creating experience. He used introspection, which trained PS(participants) to describe their experience and though processes in response to stimuli. William James Wrote a textbook- Principles o Psychology was more concerned in introspections about the operation o his own mind. Abandoning the study
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