Cognitive Psychology (Exam 3)
1. Why are concrete words remembered better than abstract words? Be sure to tie in Pavio’s dual coding theory.
Concrete words are better remembered because they can be visualized to represent a word. For example, when you think of the word juggler, you think of a person throwing bowling pins in a circle and switching between his or her hands. Words that are HH or HL are the best in recall because both use imagery to remember words in a paired associate task.
Paivio argued that concrete is better than abstract because it has 2 independent memory codes (1 for visual and 1 for verbal). 2 codes are better than 1 since recall is higher than one code and they are independent of each other becuase a person can forget one code without forgetting the other.
2. List 3 things/factoids that you know about how real images are stored in the mind. Be sure to provide 1 piece of evidence to support one of your facts.
A real image is stored by a gist/theme becuase it maintains important/relevant aspects of a picture. The duck and rabbit experiment is an ambiguous figure because there are multiple interpretations. Images are stored along importance because it is difficult to reinterpret mental images so people are more likely to recognize changes to one side rather than the whole image.
There is evidence that not every little detail is stored. In Figure 7.13 (page 170 in the book), there are fifteen drawings of a penny and only one is an actual representation. People perform poorly because real images are not stored with every single detail.
We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of republican ideology?
There is also evidence of topdown processing where a stored real image fills in details. There are more false positives for an organized scene because we mentally insert details that we expect to see in the scene (classroom visual experiment).
3. What is a false memory? Describe 2 things (factors) that increase the possibility of creating a false memory.
A false memory is a phenomenon where a person recalls something that did not happen. Psychologists see false memories occur during a time where long term memory is being tested, such as a criminal line up where someone has to identify a person responsible for a crime. If you want to learn more check out How long does each stage of digestion take?
Factors that increase the possibility of creating a false memory are: 1. Long delays between the event and memory for the event, 2. Repeated suggestions that the event occurred, 3. Perceived authority of source of suggestions, 4. Mental rehearsal of the imagined event, 5. Use of hypnosis or guided imagery We also discuss several other topics like What is a reliquary used for?
4. How do good and poor imagers compare in terms of their susceptibility to creating a false memory? Be sure to cite some research evidence supporting your answer.
Good imagers are good at discriminating between real and imagined pictures (reality monitering) and an individual will not be influenced of having a false memory no matter how many times he or she sees the image. Johnson, Raye, Wang, and Taylor conducted an experiment testing the frequency of pictures being shown and distinguishing between real and imagined (Figure 7.15 on page 173 in the book)We also discuss several other topics like What is the value of drift velocity of electron?
Poor imagers end of hallucinating becuase of an impairment of skills that discriminate real and imagined pictures partially caused by vivid images. Sack, van de Ven, Etschenberg, and Linden (2005) conducted an experiment with schizophrenics and found evidence of enhanced imagery for all of the sensory modalities. The individuals had their vividness of imagery tested with a scale ranging from “I perceive it perfectly clearly as if it were real” and “I think about it but I can not imagine it”.
5. Distinguish between analogue and propositional image representations. Be sure to use an example to contrast the two.
Analogue image representations take form of something very similar to a physcial object. Pylyshyn supported propositional theories, where an image is closer to being a description of a scene rather than a picture of it (verbal).
An example of an analogue image representation is a map and someone knows how to get from point A to point B using the map. An example of a propositional image representation is a verbal direction of how to get from point A to point B. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between catabolic and anabolic?
If you want to learn more check out What is the capital of new mexico?
6. How do the link, keyword, and method of loci systems of mnemonic strategies differ? Be sure to describe the procedures/steps involved in these 3 different strategies.
Link strategy is where an individual learns words through a chain of associations. With a link strategy, people form an image with an item, and associate it with the next item in which they interact with one another.
Keyword strategy is a 2 step process. First, an individual associates a spoken foreign word with an English phrase or a similar sounding word. Then the individual associates the keyword with the meaning of the English word. It is best to use an interactive image for the keyword.
Method of loci strategy is using the location of the word in 2 steps. The first set is to memorize the series of mental images in technological order and the second step is to associate the visual image of each item with a location in the series that the individual knows well.
7. Distinguish between the conjunctive, disjunctive, conditional, and biconditional rules of logic. Recall these were used to describe early categorization processes.
Conjuctive> “and”; both attritubutes are required; example coffee cups need to have a handle and liquid
Disjunctive> “or”; either attribute required; at least one attribute, can have both though; X or Y
Conditional> “if,then”; if 1st attribute holds (is true), then the 2nd attribute must hold; looking for a reason to kick out of category; stay by default if item does not have either attributes
Biconditional> “If, then (both directions)”, “if and only if”; If 1st attribute holds, then the 2nd attribute must hold. If the 2nd attribute holds, then the 1st attribute must hold. If neither holds, the other is irrelevant
8. List 3 benefits (or consequences) of forming categories discussed in class.
Reduces complexity of environment
The means by which objects are identified/recognized
Reduces need for constant learning
Allows us to decide what constitutes an appropriate action
Enables us to order and relate classes of objects and events
Makes our lives easier, processing system more efficient
9. List the 4 different types of categories talked about in class. Describe the differences and give examples for 2 of them.
Prototype When a new object has been encountered, we compare it and see how close it comes to the center (average/ideal) of the category; general combination (ideal representation) that stands for each category; one of the most popular (more than exemplar)
Feature Frequency Concerned with matching features between novel and category patterns; count the number of similar features between each category; example: encounter a new object, we count the number of similar features between each category> most shared features goes into that categeory
Exemplar specific examples of category members;encounter examples in memory; another most popular
Mental models/implicit theories generic knowledge structure guides our thinking; example: schemas explain sterotyping and scripts (kind of schema), which is a sequence of events associtated with highly familiar activity
10. Distinguish between and describe the characteristics of the superordinate, basic, and subordinate levels of categorization. Give an example of a categorical hierarchy (with levels appropriately labeled) to illustrate these differences.
Superordinate largest; at the top; most general
Basic level intermediate level; the most important level
Subordinate smallest; at the bottom of the hierarchy; the most specific category
Basic level articles of clothing: sweaters, pants, shirts, shoes
Subordinate specific kinds of clothing: cashmere, crewneck, v neck, cable knit; jeans, jeggings, khakis, dress pants; tshirts, polo, button down; heels, boots, tennis shoes, flats 11. Give three reasons why the basic level of categorization is the most important of the levels. Be sure to be precise and complete in your wording.
It is the most basic level of perception becuase it is hardwired in our brain. Basic level is more likely to form a concrete prototypical (average) image because you can easily visualize a table (basic level) than furniture (superordinate). Identification and subsequent categorization are fastest at this level rather than superordinate or subordinate because of the use of sentence verification task. Sentence verification task is when a participant is given a sentence and he or she has to respond with whether it is true or false.
12. Describe the prototype theory of categorization. Be sure to explain the idea/notion underlying it, cite 2 pieces of research evidence supporting it, and point out 1 limitation/problem.
Prototype theory uses the center of the category to compare a new and old object. Membership is graded because some members are better representatives than other
members (typicality effect) because the better members are closer to the center. When a new object has been encountered, we compare the new object and see how close to the center it is. If it close to the center, then the new object is a prototype of the old one.
Two pieces of evidence are sentence verification (Rosch et. al) and “think about” tasks (Rosch et. al). Sentence verification produces an object where the participant has to list as many objects related to the category. The objects that are closer to the center are written first, so it must be using a prototype. “Think about” tasks are were participants are given made up sentences and the experiementer rewrites and manipulates the sentences. The finding for “think about” tasks is that when people rate how silly the sentences are, they have to think about the prototype and what’s appropriate to the prototype.
13. What is the exemplar theory of categorization? How does it differ from the prototype theory? Exemplar theory is having specific examples of category members in the memory. When an individual encounters examples, it is stored in the memory and pull out a specific example when encountering something new. If the new example matches the specific example, then the new example goes along with the specific.
Exemplar theory differs form prototype theory because exemplar is an object that is specific to the example stored in the memorywhereas prototype is comparing a new object to see how close it comes to the center of the category.
14. In sentence verification studies (e.g., True or false? A robin is a bird?), researchers have revealed four general/summary findings. List and describe 3 of those 4 findings.
Responses are faster for true sentences than false sentences. When given a sentence that is true (A robin is a bird), you respond faster because you associate robin to bird based on similar features. If you are given a sentence that says “A robin is a dog”, you will not respond as fast because you know that it is not true.
Responses are faster for familiar than unfamiliar categories. If you have a member of a category, for example a robin, that best fits the category of a bird because of similar features, you will categorize robin faster than say a chicken. A chicken is a bird, but not what you typically think a bird is (e.g., a flying animal).
Responses are faster for basic level than superordinate or subordinate levels.
Response speed varies from item to item within a category. For example, “A penguin is a bird” vs. “A robin is a bird”. Not all members are equally good (typicality effect) because you associate robin as a bird because it is a better representation of what’s more typical for a bird than a penguin.
15. Distinguish between the following effects: category size effect, reversal of category size effect, typicality, and semantic facilitation/priming.
Category size effect people generally classify members into smaller catergories faster than classifying into larger categories; example: “Collie is a dog” “Collie is an animal”; both are responded as yes; “Collie is a dog” was responded faster because dog is a smaller category
Reversal of category size effect People classify objects faster in larger categories than smaller categories; not as common
Typicality Some members are a better representation than others in the category
Semantic facilitatio/priming noeds are unactivated; when an individual encounters something, primes a concept and facilitation is hleping the concept become activated; the decision about 1 concept is faster than another decision and the earlier recognition of concept helps recognize later concepts; example: “Collie is a dog”> yes (primes for doberman), “Doberman is a dog” > yes (already activated from collie)
16. Describe the Feature Comparison model of semantic LTM. Be sure to describe how it works and how it differs from the Hierarchical Network model. Then state one good thing (e.g., a finding it accounts for) and one bad thing (e.g., one problem it has or one finding it does not account for) about the model. Feature Comparison/overlap model seeks to account for classification times. It assumes that the meaning of words can be represented in the memory by a list of features that are used to define categories. Defining categories varies in the extent it is associated with a category. The model has two stages. The first stage compares all features of two concepts to determine how similar a concept is to the other concept. If the comparison shows that the concepts are either very similar or dissimilar. The second stage is necessary if the degree of similarity is between two extremes. The model proposes we should only examine defining features to determine if a member has the necessary features for that category.
Feature comparison model differs from the hierarchical network model because it provides an explanantion of why some false statements are evaluated more quickly than others.
One good thing about the feature comparison model is category size effect is used becuase there is overlap with common features in objects that are in smaller categories (explains typicality). The downside of feature comparison model is that the model relies on overlap calculations that can’t empirically support that people distinguish defining features.
17. Describe the notion of a semantic network (i.e., the parts and how they work) and explain what spreading activation is and how it operates in a semantic network.
Semantic network is a theoretical system (model) that is typically represented by diagrams that shows concepts and their semantic relationship to other concepts. Spreading activation is a key assumption with semantic networks.
Spreading activation is an emphasis on concepts joined together by the links that display relationships between the concepts. It is basically the new and improved version of the hierarchical network model, and was proposed by Collins (who also proposed the hierarchical network) and Loftus. It operates in a semantic network by assuming that when a concept is being processed, an activation spreads out along the paths of a network. As the activation travels outword, the effectiveness decreases. An example of activation occuring is when hearing red, it activates the related concepts of orange and fire. There is less activation with sunset and roses because the paths are farther away from the center.
18. Describe the notion of a schema. How is a script related to a schema?
A schema is “a cluster of knowledge that represents a general procedure, object, percept, event, sequence of events, or social situation”. We use a model collection, presuming we encounter the knowledge to produce the clusters, and we use the models to understand and store what we experience.
A script is related to a schema because it refers to what we know about our routine activities and makes up the events for the routines. Think of it as a play or a movie. The “restaurant” script is a great example because it specifies what we know about going to a restaurant. You know that you, as the customer, goes to a restaurant because you are hungry and will pay for
a meal. Possible props include: tables, chairs, food, a menu, a bill, credit card, etc., and supporting actors are waiters, busboys, and a hostess. Results are that you have less money and are no longer hungry while the owner has more money. By the time you enter and leave a restaurant, you follow a sequence of events (schema) while following what happens during the events (script).
19. Distinguish between technical and content accuracy in memory research. Which is more important? Technical accuracy recalling exact details as it was experienced
Content accuracy recalling meaning or essential content of what was experienced
It depends on a particular memory situation as to which is more important and the demands of the situation.
20. Bartlett, in his work with schemas, found that semantic longterm memories were reconstructive not reproductive. What does that mean? Be sure to describe the results of his work to support your answer. Background on Bartlett’s study: he gave people legends or tales to read and then after a distractor task, told to reproduce from memory and write exactly what the legend was about (technical accuracy). He believed that the results were reproduced at different intervals of time to see what happens with memory.
He realized that memory is reconstructive because participants didn’t recall the original passage in a strict sense (technical accuracy). The reason they did not recall many details (omissions) is because while the time interval increases, the overwhelming tendency to add to or alter the stories also increases.