Cognitive psychology 2 nd ed
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Cognitive Psychology, 2 nd Ed. Chapter 1. Defining Cognitive Psychology. The study of human mental processes and their role in thinking, feeling, and behaving. Experimentation versus mathematical models and computer simulations.

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Cognitive Psychology, 2 nd Ed.

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Cognitive Psychology, 2nd Ed.

Chapter 1


Defining Cognitive Psychology

  • The study of human mental processes and their role in thinking, feeling, and behaving.

  • Experimentation versus mathematical models and computer simulations.

  • Information processing—the mind is analogous to the software of a computer and the brain to its hardware.


Information processing

  • Information as a reduction of uncertainty (h = log2N).

  • Meaning, not information in the mathematical sense, is the focus of human mental life.


Defining Cognitive Science

  • The study of the relationships among and integration of cognitive psychology, biology, anthropology, computer science, linguistics, and philosophy.

  • These disciplines bring different methodologies to common questions.


Core Concepts

  • Mental representation

  • Stages of processing

  • Serial versus parallel processing

  • Hierarchical systems

  • Cognitive architecture

  • Memory stores

  • Consciousness


Mental representation

  • An unobservable internal code for information.

  • Mental images are one kind of mental representation.

  • Other kinds are unconscious and abstract.

  • Provide the basis for all cognitive abilities and knowledge about the world.


Stages of processing

  • Processes modify mental representations in a series of stages.

  • Encoding, storage, and retrieval are stages of processing in memory, for example.


Serial versus Parallel Processing

  • At a given stage of processing, cognitive operations may be either serial or parallel.

  • Simultaneous operations are parallel not serial.

  • Is retrieval from memory serial or parallel?


Hierarchical Systems

  • Mind as a hierarchy of component parts analogous to bodily systems.

  • Nervous system divides into peripheral and central branch. Peripheral divides into autonomic and sensory, etc.

  • Mind divides into perception, memory, and motor output. Memory divides into sensory, short-term, and long-term. Long-term divides into declarative and nondeclarative.


Consciousness

  • Self-knowledge—knowledge of self in addition to knowledge of objects, events, and ideas external to self.

  • Informational access—capacity to be become aware of and able to report on mental representations and processes.

  • Sentience—capacity for raw sensations, feelings, and subjective experience.


Research Methods

  • Behavioral measures—reaction time and proportion of errors.

  • Verbal protocols—concurrent, think aloud protocols or other verbal reports.

  • Physiological measures—EEG, ERP, PET, fMRI.


Method of Subtraction

  • Used to isolate the properties of a single stage of processing.

  • Assumption of pure insertion:

    Control-Stages 1 and 2

    Experimental-Stages 1, 2, and 3

    Adding 3 does not affect 1 and 2


Strong Theories of Cognition

  • Account for a large number phenomena with as few assumptions as possible.

  • Are based on ecologically valid experiments.

  • Are based on converging evidence including behavioral, verbal reports, physiological, and mathematical models/computer simulations.


Symbolic models

Design of digital computer

Symbolic representations

Local representations

Serial processing

Connectionist models

Structure of brain

Associations among simple units

Distributed representations

Parallel processing

Cognitive Architectures


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