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Chapter 8

Cognitive Psychology - In and Out of the Laboratory: Chapter 8

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Western University
Psychology 2135A/B
Robert Brown

Chapter 8 - Visual Imagery and Spatial Cognition - visual images: mental representation of a stimulus thought to share at least some properties with a pictorial or spatial depiction of the stimulus - besides visual, other mental images exist like auditory images, cutaneous (feeling) - visual images cannot be seen, counted, or controlled by others - distortions or biases can occur easily - those who use imagery are better able to recall information than those who do not - Martin et al., (1999) showed athletes who spends time mentally imagining an excellent performance tend to perform better - Ayduk et al. (2002) suggest imagery can be used to cope with negative emotional events by visualizing "cool" aspects of experience (e.g., where they were in space) Mnemonics and Memory Codes - many but not all involve construction of mental pictures or images Mnemonics - mnemonics: strategies to facilitate retention and later retrieval of information - method of loci: method that requires learner to visualize an ordered series of physical locations as mnemonic cues for a list of information - Bower (1970) gave principles for using the method of loci - 1. use a list of cues that you know well - 2. cues must be memory images of geographic locations - 3. associations must be formed between the items and cue locations - 4. associations between cue locations and items must be one to one - 5. use imagery, especially visual imagery, to form associative links - 6. use interactive images to link item and its cue location - 7. if study items more than once, same cue location used for a given item - 8. during recall, cue your own memory by using list of locations - 9. use same recall cues that you used during study - Ross and Lawrence (1968) showed students using method of loci could recall up to 92.5% of words after one presentation (38 out of 40) - another technique is interacting images - Kirkpatrick (1894) showed that recall improved when participants told to form images of words - Bower (1970) showed participants told to form images in paired-associates learning had better recall; showed to maximize effect, images should interact - another technique is pegword method - involves picturing items with set of ordered cues e.g., from a memorized rhyming list -- picture first item interacting with the first word on memorized list - Bugelski et al (1968) showed this method improves recall as long as participants given 4 seconds or more per item to form images - another method is recoding; adding extra words or sentences to mediate memory and material e.g., Every good boy deserves fudge - research shows mixed results - arranging material into categories helps organize material which can help recall - Arbuthnott (2005) showed using visualization that fake autobiographical memories could seem real, especially through repetition The Dual-Coding Hypothesis - dual-coding hypothesis: Paivio (1969); LTM can code information in two distinct ways, verbally and visually, and that items coded both ways are more easily recalled than items coded in only one way - verbal contains abstract, linguistic meaning - Paivio (1965) showed that in paired-association learning, pairs where both words were concrete objects were recalled better - due to formation of visual images - Paivio (1969) assumed visual imagery, unlike verbal labeling, increases as a function of concreteness; more concrete the noun, the richer the image - helps explain why pictures are often remembered better than words - Paivio also believed first noun in a pair serves as a conceptual peg for the second noun to hook on - problems are how well it explains workings of imagery mnemonics and what kind of explanations it provides for nonimagery mnemonics Relational-Organizational Hypothesis - relational-organizational hypothesis: Bower (1970); visual imagery aids memory by producing a greater number of associations - Bower (1970) showed that only participants using interacting images did better than participants using rehearsal in recall - showed that just visualizing imagery is not enough - the way imagery is used matters - interacting images presumably create more links Empirical Investigations of Imagery - Brooks (1968) showed that images and words use different kinds of internal codes - had people do visual or verbal task along with another visual or verbal task - those that had tasks of same kind had poorer performance, probably due to interference - Moyer (1973) found people faster to respond when two objects differed greatly - called symbolic-distance effect - occurred for both visual images and actual images Mental Rotation of Images - Shepard and Metzler (1971) showed that angle of rotation for objects was directly proportional to response time - time was same for rotations in plane and depth; suggest rotating a 3-D image instead of a 2-D one - mental rotation: form an image of a stimulus and then imagine how it would look as it rotates around a horizontal or vertical axis - Cooper and Shepard (1973, 1975) showed participants mentally rotated more recognizable stimuli e.g., letters - Cooper and Shepard (1973) showed can rotate clockwise or counterclockwise - at 180 degrees, much longer reaction time, possibly due to hesitant which way to rotate - Cooper (1975) showed that reaction did not change with complexity of polygon stimulus - suggests mental rotation of entire polygon instead of parts - Cooper (1976) showed that mental rotations are continuous in nature - participants mentally rotated stimulus - then show stimulus in some orientation - response times fast if mental rotations coincided with stimulus orientation - Tarr and Pinker (1989) and Gauthier and Tarr (1997) gave evidence of mental rotation in recognizing 2-D shapes drawn to resemble asymmetric characters - Biederman and Gerhardstein (1993) argue that when people see 3D shapes, as long as distinctive geons are there, people can recognize object without mental rotation Scanning Images - imaginal scanning: form a mental image and scan over it from one point to another - Kosslyn (1973) showed visual image preserves many spatial characteristics - had participants look at stimulus and form mental image of it - asked to find a particular aspect and was told where to start scanning - Lea (1975) argued that reaction times depended on number of items that had to be scanned, not the distance - Kosslyn et al (1978) reinforced idea of distance mattering - had participants visualize a much more complex stimulus - focus mentally on one object and told to scan to a second object by imagining small black speck moving across the map in a straight line - reaction times were related to distance - Pinker (1980) showed similar results with 3D objects - Tversky (1981) argued people's maps are systematically distorted due to heuristics - people try to line up things to make them more orderly - shows how mental images are not like mental pictures - Chambers and Reisberg (1992) showed that people who form images of same stimulus, but who give different meanings actually form different images - showed people ambiguous duck/rabbit stimulus - Knauff and Johnson-Laird (2002) showed how imagery could inhibit performance - for visual relations, performance was slowed relative to either control problems or visuospatial problems - mental effort to construct the visual images used up mental capacity that could have been solely focused on drawing a logi
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