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psy450- 7 9 17- richards.doc

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University of Toronto St. George

Chapter 7 Cognitive PsychologyEmergence of Cognitive Psychology Cognitive Psychology is the most prominent school of experimental Psychology Unlike Behaviourismarose simultaneously in USBritain BUT role of British figures Kenneth Craik Frank George W Grey Walter late Donald BroadbentAlan Turings work Before this time psychologists didnt ignore cognition Gestaltists paid a lot of attention Spearman in his intelligence work1923 Piaget in Cognitive Development1920s Even Alfred Binet1890s as early as 1850s Traditional philosophytreated LOGICCOGNITION synonymous QUESTION why did Cognitive Psychology appear so revolutionary in 1950s this is a view sustained by most historians1Cognitivismseen as breaking behaviourisms hold on experimental psychologyreplacing it as most productive theoretical orientationie rebellion against entrenched behaviourism story2 Adoption of new set of theoretical conceptsnew technical language Cognitive Psychologists thinking about thinking in NOVEL ways important Late 1930stechnology approaching current level of complexity Radio tv aeroengineering WWIIintensified inventionsradarneed to coordinate radar with airdefenses codebreaking machines Turings work Manhattan projectFeature of Innovationseverescalating level of mathematical calculationsdevelopment of evermore versatile calculating machines Brought to forefront Design problemscontrol and integration of complex technical systems plus interaction between human and machine TechnologyMathematicsTheoretical concern with design principlesall interwoven and underlie Cognitive Psychology Not initiated by psychologists but electrical engineers Claude Shannon Norbert Weiner J von Neumann Turing Craik Cambridge Electronic Computerinvention that finally integrated everything together 1940sw 1948 transistor making computer possible3 central ideas came from Computerthat alter conceptualization of cognition1INFORMATIONaPrior 1940notion of measuring info was absurdbShannon 1948endowed information with precise technical meaning enabling it to be quantifiedinformation can be measured in terms of the uncertainty it eliminatesBinary Logiciie how many yesno10 decisions required to specify the infoequivalent to OnOff states of electrical switchesiiBits binary digit of information cInformation Theorychannelstorage capacitynoisy signalimportant innovation was redundancysurplus informationiIf signal only contains precise minimum of info necessary any interference will be meaningless additional redundant info ensures successful transmission despite degree of degradationiiEx short form in writing English equivalent to texting someone a short formbecause written English has many letters which is redundantdMeasuring informationfirst entered Psychology in psychophysicsreaction time RT studiesiEx Study RT as function of the info in stimulus arrayhow much longer it takes to react to 1 of 8 possibilities than to 1 of 4iiOther questions whats the info capacity of STM How fast is info of different kinds processediiiNow questions that couldnt be asked became of direct practical importanceeEventual outcome of studying cognition was to study human information processing2FEEDBACKaTolmanstriven to incorporate purpose into Behaviourist theoryiDifficult before 1940s purposiveness was incompatible with scientific determinism suggested that something later in time could cause something earlier in timecounters unidirectionality of timenotion of causeeffect sequenceiiAnd hence 1940s technology provided what looked like nonmysterious solutionnotion of negative feedback
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