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What is Cognitive Psychology?

by: Jeni Erickson

What is Cognitive Psychology? Psyc 3330

Marketplace > Clemson University > Psychology (PSYC) > Psyc 3330 > What is Cognitive Psychology
Jeni Erickson
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About this Document

introduction to cognitive psychology and information processing
Cognitive Psychology
Alley, Thomas
Class Notes
Cognitive Psychology, information processing




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jeni Erickson on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 3330 at Clemson University taught by Alley, Thomas in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see Cognitive Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at Clemson University.

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Date Created: 09/07/16
Cognitive Psychology  The study of how people learn, structure, and store knowledge.  Can also be defined as the study of attention, perception, memory, psycholinguistics, decision-making, problem solving, and other higher mental processes. Brief History of Cognitive Psychology  Ancient times thought of cognitive psychology more as philosophy.  The first known scientific based studies of psychology were concerned with cognition.  Behaviorism restricted psychology to only observable behavior, which hindered cognitive psychology.  Behaviorism lost it’s hold on psychology due to these three people. o Tolman- Said that spatial behavior was due to “cognitive maps” rather than a learned sequence of behavior. o Chomsky- said that language learning was not just a matter of reinforcement and punishment. This contradicted Skinner’s “Verbal Behavior”. o Breland- Came up with the “Misbehaviors of Organisms”. Said that behavior reflects evolution (instincts) instead of learning and reinforcement.  Cognitive Revolution began. o Neisser created the first psychology textbook in 1967. o 1980s- present  Cognitive approach dominates psychology  Development of connectionist models and cognitive neuroscience. The Information-Processing Approach  Generally uses a serial computer analogy, which means that when we process information, we must process it one thing at a time. o We have a limited capacity for information o There is a passive reception of information  Serial vs. Parallel Processing o Serial Processing is when we process one thing at a time o Parallel Processing is when we process more than one thing at a time.  Intentional/Fully Conscious vs. Automatic Processes o Intentional- takes your full concentration. o Automatic- you don’t need to extend a lot of focus. It pops out.  Data-Driven vs. Conceptually Driven Processes. o Bottom-up: determined by sensory processes. This is conceptually driven and it is when you imagine or make up something. o Top-down: Understanding or perception is guided by stored knowledge (memory) or other internal events.  You see what is expected to be there.  Tacit vs. Explicit Knowledge o Tacit-hidden o We know more than we can say  When you tell someone how to turn left on a bike you tell him or her to stay pedaling and just turn the handlebars, but you actually know that you have to lean your weight so you don’t fall off. That is the information that you know that you are not aware off. o Behavior often reflects unspoken or even miss-spoken knowledge. o Procedural knowledge is tacit.  Cognition vs. Metacognition o Cognition- the mental processes and activities used in perceiving, thinking, and remembering. o Metacognition- knowledge and beliefs about cognition including awareness, understanding, and monitoring of one’s own cognitive state and cognitive activities. Methods: Reaction Time  Reaction Time=Response Time o Commonly assumed to be a f (difficulty or number of cognitive steps) o A consistent difference in RT reflects a difference in Cognitive processing.  Simple RT vs. Choice RT o Simple RT: one must respond to one stimuli with one reaction  Light turns on … press button as fast as you can. o Choice RT: one must respond differently to two or more different things  Red light… press left button  Green light… press right button o Donders predicted that choice RT would take longer than Simple RT b/c choice RT requires a decision.  He was correct  Subtractive Method: The time required for a particular process can be estimated by adding that process to a task and measuring the increase in RT o Priming Effect is like getting warmed up mentally about a subject so the later knowledge will come easier/be faster.


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