Cognitive psychology- branch of psychology that is concerned with studying the
What is the mind?
The mind creates and controls mental functions such as perception,
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
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.
Wrote a textbook- Principles o Psychology was more concerned in introspections
about the operation o his own mind.
Abandoning the study