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Week Ten Notes

by: Grace Gibson

Week Ten Notes 3330

Marketplace > Clemson University > Psychlogy > 3330 > Week Ten Notes
Grace Gibson
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About this Document

These are notes from lecture
Cognitive Psychology
Dr. Alley
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Grace Gibson on Saturday March 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 3330 at Clemson University taught by Dr. Alley in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Cognitive Psychology in Psychlogy at Clemson University.


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Date Created: 03/12/16
Spatial Cognition  e.g. is detroit or denver further west?  e.g. Describe exactly how to get to Moe’s from downtown  e.g. if you are in a new city, would you rather have accurate verbal directions or a map?  for some people, a survey map can be really confusing and sometimes verbal instructions can be simpler  however, verbal instructions can be limiting while maps allow more options  people will pick the way they prefer to get around: verbal or pictorial  maps have reversibility: if you know A -> B, then you know B <- A  maps are more flexible, but verbal instructions have landmarks  females are more likely to prefer verbal instructions because they tend to rely more on landmarks  is your internal representation of how to get somewhere on campus more like a visual map or a list of steps?  Tolman was against any idea of cognitive maps because he was a strict behaviorist o however, he had rats going through a maze and found that rats formed cognitive maps that encoded routes and environmental relationships o he found that he clearly couldn’t explain what the rats were doing with behaviorism o they don’t learn a set of behaviors, they actually form an internal representation of the maze o there were rats who just ran across the top of the maze and jumped down to their reward o cognitive maps are just an analogy because our cognitive maps may have missing or distorted information unlike survey maps  survey maps: accurately present distance and direction  network maps: present important intersections (nodes) and other minimal information needed for navigation o simplified versions of survey maps o nodes are like stops on the subway o originally created for the London transit system, which was so complicated everyone found it confusing o these would show stops and order, but not distance or extraneous information o good for showing limited information o more schematic: “distance” may be indicated by number of nodes rather than milage o shows relative but not absolute distances or exact directions o our cognitive maps are more like network maps than survey maps  cognitive maps: o limited information o schematic o rarely reflect absolute distances or direction o distance estimates are longer if there are:  there are more landmarks along a route (urban roads vs. rural roads)  more changes in direction  basically, the more “things” you remember on your journey, the longer you estimate the distance to be  heuristics: general problem-solving strategies that often lead to a good solution (rules of thumb) o tend to simplify or standardize elements in our mental maps o used for many spatial judgements o allow approximate but imprecise spatial judgement  using heuristics we tend to: o regularize angles to 90 degrees (Right Angle Bias) o remember things as more symmetrical (Symmetry Heuristic)  e.g. we think of slightly curved roads as straight o remember things as more vertical or horizontal (Rotation Heuristic) o tend to remember things such as landmarks and boundaries as more lined up than they are in reality (Alignment Heuristic)  e.g. tendency to line up the US and Europe Visual-Spatial Abilities  there appear to be at least five qualitatively different kinds of spatial abilities  each person could be good at a few of these and not as good at the others and people abilities are all independent in these abilities  Field independence: requires identification of orientation (e.g. vertical) while ignoring distracting information o people are influenced by irrelevant things in the room around them o field dependent person: if there are four photos and one is not skewed while the rest are, they skew the not skewed one to match the rest o field independent person would straighten the three skewed ones o Rod and Frame test is when we ask people to put things on a true horizontal or vertical o Water Level Task is when we show people a tilted container of water and ask if the water line is horizontal (if you’re not influenced by the container, you’ll recognize that the water line did not tilt with the container)  Mental Rotation: both timed and untimed tests; related to route learning o there is a sex difference here o predicts useful abilities like being able to find your way around  Spatial Visualization: complex, analytic, multi-step processing of spatial information o this is the ability to visualize particular things o e.g. paper folding, hidden object games o Embedded Figures Task is trying to find a shape in a pattern o men are often more correct than women  Spatiotemporal Ability: involves judgements about, and responses to, dynamic visual displays o add motion to it o e.g. being able to catch something with one hand (you’ve gotta put your hand in the right place and close it at the right time) o this often comes up in various types of sports o e.g. time of arrival judgements o e.g. judging when a target is coincident with a stationary line o e.g. velocity judgements  Spatial Location Memory (Object Location Memory Task) o e.g. identify if items have changed location from one situation to another o women are usually better at this task  Sex Differences o males are consistently better on most of these except Spatial Visualization (doesn’t appear to be any significant difference between males and females here)  males are more likely to use imagery when solving problems o females are usually better at Spatial Location Memory o sex differences have been found both lab and field tests  evolution and sex differences o Hunter Gatherer Theory of Sex Differences in Spatial Abilities  women have to devote a lot of time and energy to pregnancy and raising children  so men are more likely to hunt, take long trips, etc  women are more likely to be gatherers  so men made to develop spatial cognitive abilities to find the food, track the food, capture the food, and find their way back home o other species  male birds and mammals tend to perform better than females on tests of spatial ability in species in which the males have larger home ranges  but in species in which females range further (e.g. brood parasitic cowbirds) females tend to perform better than males  brood parasitic cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds’ nest and allow the other birds to incubate them and raise them  in these birds, females are all over the place looking for different nests and these females perform better than males on spatial abilities tests o sex differences in spatial abilities are associated with size differences in the hippocampus of mammals  sex differences in humans: o men tend to perform better on some test of spatial ability o the mean performance of men of the Mental Rotation Test is about one SD higher than women (this is a huge difference)  this test is highly correlated with being able to find your way around o meta-analysis confirms male advantage in mental rotation tasks, which is largest when there are time constraints o cross-cultural data shows that men scored significantly higher than women on mental rotation tasks  however, women outperformed the men on tests of object location memory in this study o there is more variation in males, resulting in more males at both extremes o sex differences in spatial ability can be affected by experience o e.g. mental rotation scores were changed by ten hours of playing tetris SEx Differences in Cognition  spatial abilities  math o men are generally better o from 1971-2008 men always did better on the math part of the SAT o if you look at performance on really high level math tests when do better o females do better in math (and all other subjects at school) o males get higher scores on math reasoning and problem solving tests (SAT or ACT) whereas females tend to do as well on tests involving lower level skills o sex differences are most obvious at highest levels of achievement and ability o but is also evident among preschoolers o males are more variable, resulting in more males at both extremes o so someone really bad at math is more likely to be male  Language o women tend to be better at fluency, spelling, grammatical usage, and reading  Episodic memory is on average better in females  within gender variability is typically much greater than between gender variability


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