Week One Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Grace Gibson on Thursday January 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 3330 at Clemson University taught by Dr. Alley in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 92 views. For similar materials see Cognitive Psychology in Psychlogy at Clemson University.
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Date Created: 01/14/16
Cognitive Psychology the study of how people learn, structure, store, and use knowledge the study of how our brains work the study of attention, perception, memory, psycholinguistics, decision making, problem- solving, and other higher mental processes mainly how we use our brain in everyday, ordinary, and commonplace mental activities example: we had to remember where and how to get to class and how to get there at what History of Cognitive Psychology questions about cognition have been central to philosophy since ancient times e.g. once you learn something, how do you remember it? how do you figure stuff out? how do you know parallel lines never meet? many of the first known scientific studies in psychology concern cognition psychology is a very recent science since psychology is a science, it is different from philosophy Dondes, Wundt, and Ebbinghaus are some of these early psychologists Wundt’s lab (technically the University of Leipzig) was often considered to represent the birth of psychology as its own discipline Wundt was largely doing cognitive psychology the rise of behaviorism, which attempted to restrict psychology to observable behavior, impeded cognitive psychology o psychology might have sort of started as cognitive psychology (studying memory or perception or something) but it almost got snuffed out by behaviorism o behavior wants us to only study things that are observable but attention, memory, and decision making are not always (rarely) observable o Watson made behaviorism famous and infamous by studying the psychology of sex with his grad students o the rigorous methods of behaviors put off the rise of cognitive psychology and led to its decline o behaviorism eventually loses its hold on psychology around WWII and up into the seventies o when it came to military scouting and things, they found it was very easy for someone to be looking at a screen and appear to be observant, but they’re not actually paying attention at all so the military did do some cognitive studies reasons behaviorism lost its hold on psychology: o in 1948 Tolman, mainstream behaviorist, found that spatial behaviors are due to cognitive maps rather than learned sequences of behavior he was doing studies of learning in rats he eventually realizes we can’t understand how rats are learning just by observing them clearly the rats are forming some sort of internal representation to solve the maze he noticed the rats could jump up and go in a straight line and jump down to where the prize was they didn’t just learn the sequence of behaviors it took to solve the maze; they formed a cognitive map o in 1959 Chomsky found that language learning is not a matter of reinforcement and punishment, as claimed in Skinner’s Verbal Behavior Chomsky did a book review of Skinner’s book on language and pointed out some flaws in the logic behind language learned just through observation we know language is not just learned by observation because kids say things they’ve never heard, they use incorrect grammar, etc… o in 1961 Breland’s Misbehavior of Organisms stated that behavior reflects evolution, not simply learning or reinforcement realizes behaviorism doesn’t always work to train animals this paper was written by Skinner’s students behavior reflects evolution; not simply learning or reinforcement there was a commercial where they wanted a raccoon to put money in a piggy bank they didn’t anticipate any trouble but the rat wouldn’t let go of the coin washing the coins like they wash their food because they were associating their money with food o in the 1950s the development of the information processing approach arose and they started to consider computers as “thinking machines cognitive psychologists were quick to note that computers were a lot like people in some ways they really thought we were like physiological computers the decline of behaviorism and computers led to the cognitive revolution behaviorism really died out because they insisted on limiting psychology to observable behaviors 1955 was the beginning of the Cognitive Revolution (really throwing out behaviorism and embracing cognition) Neisser wrote the first textbook on Cognitive Psychology o this was a momentous event because he really reshaped the field of psychology by bringing together what were previously just different areas of experimental psychology (memory, logic, perception, etc…) 1980’s to Present a cognitive approach comes to dominate psychology o social cognition is the most common area of social psychology o cognitive therapy is part of clinical psychology development of connectionist (PDP) models and cognitive neuroscience o what happens if we do brain scans of people trying to get their way through a maze? (stuff like that) gradual replacement of the IP approach with ideas of embodied cognition and evolutionary psychology (drawing parallels between how the brain and basic computers work) The Information Processing Approach psychologists generally used a serial computer analogy and made these assumptions: o serial processing o limited capacity of CPU (central processing device that could do only one thing at a time) o computers can’t do an infinite amount of material in a short time (we can’t read and have a conversation) o output of one stage serves as the input for the next stage o passive reception of information computers could play chess and beat just about anybody which seems like high level processing so we made analogies between humans and computers to try and understand our brains our goal was to analyze the sequence of distinct steps (stages) used in cognition we used a lot of flowcharts to do this however, humans aren’t mechanical devices and it is clear that we are capable of doing more than one thing at a time Reaction and Response Time (RT) RT is a common way to study cognitive psychology (seeing how fast we react to a stimulus) a difference in RT could be important a consistent difference in RT reflects a difference in cognitive processing commonly assumed that if RT takes longer, it is more difficult or takes more cognitive steps the time required for a particular process can be estimated by adding that process to a task and measuring the increase in RT o this is called Donders’ subtractive method o with this we can measure how long it takes to do a mental task simple RT vs. choice RT o in choice RT, one must respond differently to two or more different things o Donders predicted that choice RT would take longer than simple RT because it’s another step in cognitive processing why would it take more or less time to answer certain questions? o we might be primed for questions we already know more about o we don’t want the priming effect to play a role, so we mix up when we ask the questions o some of this has to do with how we organize information in the brain Five Key Distinctions in Cognitive Psychology 1. Serial vs. Parallel Processing a. serial processing is doing one thing at a time b. parallel processing means two things that can be done at the same time c. it can be difficult to differentiate between task-switching and simultaneous processing (we may appear to do more than one thing when we are actually switching between tasks very quickly) d. we might be doing one task while doing another impaired one 2. Intentional (fully conscious) vs. Automatic Processes . for example, playing an oboe vs. reading a word 1. intentional processing requires attention and effort 2. automatic is like driving a long time on the interstate 3. Data-Driven vs. Conceptually-Driven processes . also called bottom up vs. top down processing 1. data driven is based on what we observe (determined by sensory processes and current inputs) 2. conceptually driven is what we have in our head (understanding or perception is guided by stored knowledge such as memory or other internal events such as explanations and concept 3. reading is a great example of data driven processing; but even reading is not fully bottom up (nobody noticed what a word was misspelled on the powerpoint) 4. Tacit (hidden) vs. Explicit Knowledge . explicit knowledge is knowledge we can tell to someone 1. tacit (hidden or implicit) knowledge is the stuff we cannot describe like recognizing faces or tying your shoe 2. much but not all procedural knowledge is tacit 3. behavior often reflects unspoken, or even misspoken knowledge 5. Cognition vs. Metacognition . metacognition: the knowledge and beliefs about cognition, including awareness, understanding, and monitoring of one’s own cognitive state and cognitive activities 1. we have theories and beliefs about our own cognitive processes 2. e.g. we know we are more likely to remember five numbers than eighteen and we think we know how we’d remember them too 3. kids’ memories aren’t faulty or bad, it’s just that they don’t know that repeating data points over and over helps you remember them (metacognition) 4. an example of metacognition could be recognizing that you don’t know something in class as well as you should Themes in Cognitive Psychology (see more in the textbook) cognition is active (e.g. we selectively seek out information) o humans and animals don’t just lie about and wait for information to come to us the cognitive processes are remarkably efficient and accurate o on the whole, humans are pretty good at cognition o we are fairly accurate and don’t make many errors or mistakes cognition has been shaped by evolution o without our memories and attention and what not, we would not be as likely to survive and reproduce positive information is easier to deal with than negative information o what is vs. what is not o we are more likely to notice if something appears than is something is missing (perception) Cognitive processes are interrelated and highly interdependent o attention, memory, language, and perception are all being used taking notes in class cognition uses both top down and bottom up processing
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