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Chapter 1: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

by: Brittany Woody

Chapter 1: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology EXP3604

Marketplace > University of Florida > EXP3604 > Chapter 1 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
Brittany Woody
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These notes are feel to download for my classmates. The file includes notes from all of the chapter 1 lectures, the chapter in the book, and the additional videos.
Cognitive Psychology
Dr. Stagner
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brittany Woody on Tuesday January 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EXP3604 at University of Florida taught by Dr. Stagner in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 137 views.


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Date Created: 01/12/16
Monday, January 11, 2016 Chapter 1: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Part 1 - Elements of Psychology: organism, behavior, environment connection between organism and environment: sensation • • connection between organism and behavior: physiology • connection between environment and behavior: learning • cognitive psychology looks only at organism: encoding, memories, processing, retrieving, etc; processes cannot be measured or directly viewed - Cognition involves perception, paying attention, remembering, distinguishing items in a category, visualizing, understanding and production of language, problem solving, reasoning and decision- making • cognition includes “hidden” processes of which we may not be aware - Cognitive psychology: the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of the mind; cannot measure processes but propose theories on them; cognition refers to mental processes - Donders (1868): • measured how long it took someone to make a decision • used reaction-time (RT) experiment: measured interval between stimulus presentation and person’s response to stimulus • simple RT task: participant pushes a button quickly after a light appears vs. choice RT task: participant pushes one button if light is on right side, another if light is on left side • stimulus: light flashes; mental response: press button; behavioral response: press button • measuring mental response time: time between stimulus and response • choice RT minus simple RT = time to make a decision • choice RT is 1/10th of a second longer than in simple RT, therefore it takes 1/10th of a second to make this decision 1 Monday, January 11, 2016 • mental responses cannot be directly measured but can be inferred from participants behaviors - Ebbinghaus (1885/ 1913) • read list of nonsense syllables aloud and repeated until he could recite it without mistakes • after he learned it, he would take a break then relearn the list • when he took shorter breaks, he relearned the list faster; longer breaks required more repetitions of the list to relearn it • “savings”= original time to learn list minus time to relearn list; more savings when interval between learning and relearning the list was shorter • savings curve shows savings as a function of retention interval, elapsed time • savings curve: percents savings vs. time to relearn list Part 2 - John Watson’s problems with previous psychological experiments (above): • extremely variable results from person to person (savings would vary between people) • results are difficult to verify; only make inferences about processes - John Watson proposed behaviorism: eliminates the mind as topic of study and studies directly observable behavior - John Watson and Rayner (1920): “Little Albert” experiment classically conditioned fear in 9-month-old Albert: paired a neutral event with an • event that naturally produces some outcome; neutral event was white rat, other event was banging of a loud gong, which produced the natural response of Albert crying • rat was paired with gong: every time the rat was put in front of Albert, they would ring the gong; after many pairings, the neutral stimulus began to produce the crying response; Albert also cried when he saw a rabbit and a white stuffed animal 2 Monday, January 11, 2016 • showed that behavior can be analyzed without any reference to the mind; examine how pairing of one stimulus with another affected behavior - B.F. Skinner (1940-1960) • interested in determining the relationship between stimuli and response • developed operant conditioning: behavior is shaped by rewards or punishments (not only association, like in classical conditioning) • rewarded behavior is likely to be repeated; punished behavior is likely to not be repeated - Tolman (1938): reemergence in the interest in the mind, not just observable behaviors • trained rats to find food in a four-armed maze • two competing interpretations: - behaviorism: rats would learn to turn right to find food - Tolman believed they created a cognitive map in their mind and were able to find a specific arm; if this was correct, they would be able to find food even if they were reoriented in the maze • first, the rats were allowed to explore the maze; they then learned that if they turned right they would receive food; when the rats were moved to a different arm, they turned left instead to reach the food - showing that they had created a map of the maze - Controversy over language acquisition lead to decline in behaviorism • Skinner: children learned language through operant conditioning; children imitate speech and correct speech was rewarded • Chomsky: said children do not learn language through only through imitation and reinforcement because children say things they have never heard, and therefore could not be imitating, and because children say incorrect things even if they have not been rewarded: said language must be determined by an innate biological language process 3 Monday, January 11, 2016 Part 3 - to understand complex cognitive behaviors, we use measurable observable behavior, make inferences about the underlying cognitive activity, and consider what this behavior says about how the mind works - Cognitive Revolution: shift away from stimulus-response relationship and explains behavior as function of the mind - information-processing approach: a way to study the mind created from insights associated with the digital computer - compared mind processes to early computers in 1950s, which processed information in stages • how much information can the mind absorb? • how much of the incoming information does the mind attend to? - Cherry (1953): “dichotic” listening: participant heard two different audio messages in either ear of the headphones; participant asked to repeat one message- participants were able to only focus on one message at a time - Broadbent (1958): proposed flow diagram to represent what happens as a person directs attention to only one stimulus; said unattended information does not pass through the filter and was not processed; many inputs went through filter,only one moves to detector and then to memory - Modern research: start with what we know, ask questions about it, design experiment, obtain and interpret results, use results as bases for new research questions and experiments - Two kinds of models: • structural model: representation of physical structure; mimics form/ appearance of a given object (plastic model of brain, globe) • process model: represents processes that are involved in cognitive mechanisms, with boxes usually representing specific processes and arrows indicating connections between processes (diagrams, flow charts) 4 Monday, January 11, 2016 TED Talk: The Social Animal - Politicians have incredible social skills, but do not use them when making policy (do not consider people relationships, psychological situations, cultural differences, etc) - Mitt Romney goes into diner and learns everyone first name - People learn from people they love - Why are the most social people dehumanized when they talk about policy? View of human nature based on notion that reason is separate from emotion; view that we are rational and respond to incentives; people use assumptions of physics to measure human behavior - Children learn to make measurable achievements: high test scores, get into competitive colleges, make high salaries; do not develop philosophy of life - Study of the mind develops new view of human nature, three key insights • “while conscious mind write autobiography of species, unconscious mind does most of the work” • “emotions are at center of our thinking” people with strokes or lesions in emotion- processing parts of brain become helpless, emotions are foundation of reason • “we are not primarily self contained, we are social animals, we emerge out of relationships” feel emotions when you are watching others experience them - Non-measurable aspects of life are more meaningful: • mind-sight: the ability to enter into other people’s minds and learn what they have to offer • equipoise: ability to have the serenity to read biases in failures in your own mind; identify your own overconfidence • metis (Greek word for skill): “street smarts” sensitivity to physical environment, ability to notice patterns; soldiers could detect land mines in unexplainable ways • sympathy: ability to work in groups • blending: blending of concepts, source of innovation • limerence: hunger for transcendence, feeling when you are doing something you love or are in love 5 Monday, January 11, 2016 B.F. Skinner- Operant Conditioning and Free Will - Pigeon can tell the difference between the word “peck” and “turn” by learning which responses are rewarded - Skinner kept pigeons hungry so that food was a good reward - When pigeon pecked, it got food - “Schedule of reinforcement”: do not give reward every time, on schedule such as every tenth peck - Schedule of reinforcement is seen in gambling because reinforcement will eventually follow - External reasons for actions, not free will 6 Monday, January 11, 2016 Chapter 1 - Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of the mind - Cognition: the mental processes, such as perception, attention, and memory - Reaction time: how long it takes to respond to presentation of a stimulus - Simple reaction time (in Donder’s experiments): time to push a button as rapidly as possible when seeing a light - Choice reaction time (in Donder’s experiments): measured by using two lights and asking subjects to push the left button when they saw the left light go on and the right button when they saw the right light go on - He determined that the time it took to make a decision was one-tenth of a second - Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory of scientific psychology at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1879 - Wundt’s approach was called structuralism; according to structuralism, our overall experience is determined by combining basic elements of experience the structuralists called sensations - Analytic introspection: a technique in which trained subjects described their experiences and thought processes in response to stimuli - Ebbinghaus repeated lists of 13 nonsense syllables such as DAX, QEH, LUH, and ZIF to himself one at a time at a constant rate. He determined how long it took to learn a list for the first time, waited for a specific amount of time (the delay) and then determined how long it took to relearn the list. He made mistakes when he attempted to relearn the list, but learned it faster than the first time. - He used a measuring called savings to determine how much was forgotten after a particular delay. He calculated it as savings= (original time to learn the list) - (time to relearn the list after the delay) - Longer delays resulted in smaller savings - The plot of percent savings versus time is called a savings curve, and it shows that memory drops rapidly for the first 2 days after the initial learning and then levels off - William James taught the first psychology course and made significant observations about the mind in his textbook, Principles of Psychology 7 Monday, January 11, 2016 - Watson became dissatisfied with the method of analytic introspection because it produced extremely variable results from person to person, and because these results were difficult to verify because they were interpreted in terms of invisible inner mental processes - Watson proposed behaviorism, making two key points. First Watson rejects introspection as a method and second, observable behavior, not consciousness, is the main topic of study - Watson’s ideas are associated with classical conditioning, how pairing one stimulus with another, previously neutral stimulus causes changes in the response to the neutral stimulus - Skinner introduced operant conditioning, which focused on how behavior is strengthened by the presentation of positive reinforcers - Tolman experimented with mice by placing them in a maze to explore and then seeing if they could find food when oriented in a different way. The mice could find food, even when they had to take a different path, suggesting that they created a cognitive map of the maze - Tolman’s use of the word cognitive, and the idea that something other than stimulus- response connections might be occurring in the rat’s mind, placing Tolman outside of mainstream behaviorism - The 1950s is recognized as the beginning of the cognitive revolution’ a shift in psychology from the behaviorist’s stimulus- response relationships to an approach whose main thrust was to understand the operation of the mind - Information-processing approach: an approach that traces sequences of mental operations involved in cognition - Artificial intelligence: making a machine behave in ways that would be called intelligent if a human were so behaving - Structural models: represent structures in the brain that are involved in specific functions; they are representations of a physical structure - Process models: illustrate how a process operates; represent the processes that are involved in cognitive mechanisms, with boxes usually representing specific processes and arrows indicating connections between processes - Sensory memory: holds incoming information for a fraction of a second and then passes most of this information to short-term memory 8 Monday, January 11, 2016 - Short-term memory has limited capacity and holds information for seconds - Long-term memory is a high- capacity system that can hold information for long periods of time - Procedural memory is memory for physical actions 9


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