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Psychology 2036A/B

COG PSYCH – TEXT CHAPTER 1 1 Cog Psych – Text - Chapter 1 History, Methods, and Paradigms Cognitive Psych – concerned with how people acquire, store, transform, use and communicate info  Deals with our mental life, what goes on in our heads when we perceive, attend, remember, think, categorize, reason, decide, etc. Attention – mentally focusing on some stimulus Perception – interpreting sensory information to yield meaningful info Pattern Recognition – classifying a stimulus into a known category Memory – storage facilities and retrieval processes of cognition  Recognition & Recall Knowledge Representation – mental organization of the knowledge you have accumulated in your lifetime Problem with Cog Psych: How to study a naturally occurring phenomenon that is happening so quickly Answer: Try and isolate the phenomenon and bring it into the lab and find out with is essential and inessential  Challenge: make sure the lab tasks they develop really do preserve the essential workings of the processes under study Influences on the Study of Cognition Aristotle and Plato, greek philosophers wrote extensively on the nature of memory  Plato: storing something in memory as writing on a wax tablet o Compared the mind to an aviary in which many birds are flying o Memory retrieval to trying to catch a specific bird – sometimes you can Aristotle = empiricist position - sensory (along with Locke, Hume, Berkeley, Mill) Plato = nativist position - political (along with Descartes and Kant) Empiricism – knowledge comes from an individual’s own senses and experiences  Believe people are the way they are and have the capabilities they have mostly bc of previous learning  Association – two distinct ideas/experiences having nothing to do with each other could become joined in the mind simply bc they happened to occur or to be presented to the individual at the same time  Environment plays a powerful role in determining one’s intellectual and other abilities according to empiricists Nativists – emphasizes the role of constitutional factors over the role of learning in the acquisition of abiltiies and tendencies  Nativists attribute differences in individuals’ abilities from biologically endowed capacities and abilities  Some cognitive functions come build it (hard wired functions ie. ST memory) Structuralism - components Wilhem Wundt - Wundt wanted to establish a ‘science of mind’, to discover the laws and principles that explained or immediate conscious experience  Wanted to identify the simplest essential units of the mind (mental elements)  Once the elements were identified you could determine how these units combine to produce complex mental phenomena James Baldwin - created the first experimental psychological lab in Canada - known for his work on mental development in children and was a major influence in the work of Jean Piaget  First person to conduct controlled experiments with children (his own daughter) Introspection - Wundt - presenting people with various stimuli and asking them to describe their conscious experiences  Raw materials of consciousness were sensory and therefore ‘below’ the level of meaning  Any conscious thought/idea resulted from a combination of sensations that could be defined in terms of exactly four properties: o Mode (visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory) o Quality (colour, shape, texture) o Intensity o Duration - proper training people could detect and report the workings of their own minds Edward B. Titchener applied the term structuralism (elemental components) - prefer working in lab settings Functionalism – whole - opposite of structuralism William James - the way the mind works has a great deal to do with its function-the purposes of its various operations - people should take great care to avoid bad habits and establish good ones - relied on Darwinian evolutionary theory & tried to extend biological concepts - prefer working in real life situations COG PSYCH – TEXT CHAPTER 1 3 Behaviourism - observable stimuli and responses Pavlov – classical conditioning Thorndike – instrumental conditioning - branch of functionalism with a ban of unobservable subjective mental states and processes - disdain introspection because of its obviously subjective nature and its inability to resolve disagreements about theory. Watson - mental phenomena was lower than behavioural and physiological responses, such things as image and thoughts resulted from low-level activity of the glands or small muscles B.K Skinner - mentalistic entities shouldn’t be excluded bc they are difficult to study but because they are fundamentally different from behavioural events and activities  Mental events were are real and separate entities, they were triggered by external environmental stimuli and gave rise to behaviour mental representations – internal copies of external stimuli (internal depictions of info) Tolman - animals had both expectations and internal representations that guided their behaviour Gestalt Psychology (configuration or shape - whole) - psychological phenomena could not be reduced to simple elements but rather had to be analyzed and studied in their entirety - perception and problem solving - study people’s subjective experience of stimuli and focus on how people use or impose structure and order on their experiences - the mind imposes its own structure and organization on stimuli and organizes perceptions into wholes rather than discrete parts ie) 8 lines all formed into different figures The Study of Individual Differences Sir Francis Galton – individual differences  Measuring intellectual ability  Mental imagery assessed through questionnaires and tests The ‘Cognitive Revolution’ World War II - rejection of the behaviourist assumption - the ‘revolutionaries’ came to believe no complete explanation of a person’s functioning could exist that did not refer to the person’s mental representations of the world human factors engineering – needed to design equipment to suit the capacities of the people operating it person-machine system – machinery opera
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