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Chapter 5

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Psychology 2990A/B
Karen Dickson

Chapter 5-Psycology and Education Basic Assumptions of Cognitive Psychology  Cognitive psychology a theoretical perspective that focuses on the mental processes underlying human learning and behaviour. Five assumptions of cognitive psychology: 1. Cognitive processes influence the nature of what is learned (how people interpret their experiences affects what they learn from those experiences.)  Information processing theory a theoretical perspective that focuses on the specific ways in which individuals mentally think about and “process” the information they receive. o People learn better when they can relate it to something o People can learn several things at once when they can be put into an organized pattern 2. Students are selective about what they process and learn 3. Meaning is constructed by the learner, rather then being derived directly from the environment  Construction a mental process in which a learner takes many separate pieces of information and uses them to build an overall understanding or interpretation of an event  Constructivism a theoretical perspective that proposes that learners construct a body of knowledge from their experiences- knowledge that may or may not be an accurate representation of external reality. 4. Prior knowledge and beliefs play a role in the meanings that people construct. 5. Students are actively involved in their own learning Basic Terminology in Cognitive Psychology  Memory  Storage the process of “putting” new information into memory  Encoding changing the format of new information as it is being stored in memory (ex. changing a story from auditory to visual in your mind).  Retrieval the process of “finding” information previously stored in memory A Model of Human Memory Memory has three components: 1. A sensory register 2. A working (short-term) memory 3. A long term memory The Nature of the Sensory Register  Sensory register a component of the memory that holds incoming information in more or less its original, unencoded form.  Has a large capacity for information  Information doesn’t last long (Probably less then a second for visual input and two or three seconds for auditory input.) Moving Information to Working Memory: The Role of Attention  Attention the focusing of mental processes on particular environmental stimuli  Whatever students pay attention to (mentally) moves into working memory  Attention has a limited capacity  Cocktail party phenomenon hearing 2 conversations but only being able to pay attention to one  People can do 2 or 3 well-learned tasks at once (walk and chew gum) but only one task that takes a lot of concentration. The Nature of Working (Short-Term) Memory  Working memory the component of memory where new information stays while it is mentally processed (a temporary holding bin for new information).  Working memory has a short duration: if something is in your working memory but you don’t do anything to help remember it, it will only last for 5 to 20 seconds. o Maintenance rehearsal repeating information to oneself to retain it in working memory  Working memory has limited capacity Moving Information to Long-Term Memory  Storing new information in long-term memory usually involves drawing on old information already stored there The Nature of Long-Term Memory  Long-term memory the component of memory that holds knowledge and skills for a relatively long period of time  (Indefinitely) Long Duration the exact duration has not been determined, some believe that long-term memory weakens over time while others believe it lasts forever but it just difficult to retrieve  Unlimited Capacity  Interconnectedness related pieces of information in long-term memory are often connected with another (ex. concept map horse Calgary Stampede summer road trip ext.). o Quality of concept links When creating a concept map, the quality of the links is at least as important as having well-chosen or well understood concepts. Critiquing the Three-Component Model Some people believe that memory isn’t divided into three components but instead reflect different activation states of a single memory. Active information is what you are paying attention to and process and inactive is everything else. Long-Term Memory Storage The Various Forms of Knowledge  Declarative knowledge knowledge related to “what is” and how things are (ex. information encoded in the form of imagery, verbal or semantically.)  Procedural knowledge how to do something  Information encoded in multiple ways is more easily retrieved from long- term memory How Declarative Knowledge is Learned Rehearsal  Rehearsal can put something into short term memory but it is believed that if it repeated enough is can eventually sink into long-term  Downfall of rehearsal is rote learning learning information verbatim without attaching any meaning to it Meaningful Learning  Meaningful learning A cognitive process in which learners relate new information to the things they already know  Three conditions that facilitate meaningful learning: 1. The student has a meaningful learning set an attitude that one can make sense of information one is studying 2. The student has previous knowledge to which the new information can be related 3. The student is aware the previously learned information is related to new information Organization  Involves making connections among the various pieces of information they need to learn Elaboration  Elaboration A cognitive process in which learners expand on new i
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