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Psychology 2010A/B - The Human Mind - Ch 1 & 3 notes

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Psychology 2010A/B
Terry Biggs

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Psychology 2010A Midterm Text Book Notes Chapter 1 - Cognition is the mental action of knowing - The amount of information provided by a given event can be quantified in terms of bits o “binary digit” o Most basic unit of information o Event that occurs in a situation with two equally likely outcomes = 1 “bit” of information Information Theory - Information reduces uncertainty in the mind of the receiver - Amount of information provided is proportionate to the probability that that particular message will occur - * Information provided by a particular message is inversely related to the probability of its occurrence; the less likely it is, the more information is there - Hick (1952) o Time taken to respond to a stimulus o Response time slowed as number of stimulus alternatives increased o Stimulus information linked with processing time; more information, more time needed to respond Limitations of information processing: - Amount of time it takes for information to flow through the nervous system (NS) - Amount of visual information a person can process at one time o More information, longer it takes to process - People deal with information overload by attending to only some of the available signal information Models of Information Processing - Broadbent’s Filter Model o Theory based on the idea that information-processing is restricted by channel capacity  Maximum amount of information that can be transmitted by an information- processing device o 1. 2 or more signals occur at once and enter sensory buffer together o 2. Buffer extracts simple stimulus characteristics o 3. Filter selects messages that share basic physical characteristics and passes them to limited capacity system o 4. Any messages not selected decay over time - Ears function as separate channels for information input; selective attention - Waugh and Norman’s Model o Introspection: “looking inward” to observe one’s own thoughts and feelings o Primary memory: what we are aware of in the immediate present moment (aka: STM) Psychology 2010A Midterm Text Book Notes o Secondary memory: knowledge acquired at an earlier time that is stored indefinitely and absent from awareness - Distinction between STM and LTM based on introspective evidence (seldom “trusted”) - Brown-Peterson Task o Experimental paradigm where subjects are given a set of items and a number o Subjects begin counting back by 3s from that number and asked to recall items at particular intervals - Participants’ ability declines as number of interfering items increases Ecological Validity - Gibson (1950, 1966) o Argued that stimuli used in psychological experiments impoverished compared to real- life stimuli o Ecological approach: psychological inquiry that reflects real world conditions o Meaning of objects/events perceived through affordances  Potential function/uses of stimuli in the real world o Information pickup: perceive information directly - Neisser (1976) o Cyclical model of cognition o Perceiver possesses schema (category) that represents what is expected to find thus directing exploration of it o Perceiver also encounters unexpected information so modifies schema o Perceptual cycle: schemata guide exploration of the world and are shaped by what we find there Metacognition and Cognitive Psychology - Knowledge about the way cognitive processes work; understanding our own processes Chapter 3 - Visual agnosia: an inability to identify objects visually even though they can be identified by other senses - Weiskrantz (1986) o Blindsight studies suggest that we may be able to perceive visual objects even when we have no conscious experience of them - William James (1890, 1983) o People are not actually aware of all things in their environment of which they could be aware - Encoding: the process of transforming information into one or more forms of representation - Subliminal perception o Consistent with Wicken’s view Psychology 2010A Midterm Text Book Notes o Occurs when an observer is unaware of perceiving a stimulus, yet the stimulus can still have an impact on his/her behaviour  Entity in external environment that can be precieved by an observer o Limen = threshold - Backward masking: presenting a stimulus, called the target, to the participant and the masking the target with another stimulus - Time difference between the first stimulus and the masking stimulus is the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) - Priming: tendency for some initial stimuli to make subsequent responses to related stimuli more likely - Marcel (1974) o “when an indirect measure of perceptual processing is used, such as associated effects of the undetected word on a subsequent task, all participants show effect of undetected stimuli” o Direct vs. indirect measures: participants’ reports that they have seen a stimulus, as
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