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Information Processing Approach. Define cognition and differentiate among the stage, levels-of-processing, parallel distributed processing, and connectionist models of information processing. Developed by W. Huitt (1999). The Cognitive System. Cognition can be defined as.

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Information Processing Approach


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Information Processing Approach

Define cognition and differentiate among the stage, levels-of-processing, parallel distributed processing, and connectionist models of information processing...

Developed by W. Huitt (1999)

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The Cognitive System

Cognition can be defined as

"the act or process of knowing in the broadest sense; specifically, an intellectual process by which knowledge is gained from perception or ideas" (Webster's Dictionary).

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Information Processing Approach

While cognitive psychology is the dominant school of thought today, the information processing approach is the dominant view within this area.

The information processing approach focuses on the study of the structure and function of mental processing within specific contexts, environments, or ecologies.

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Information Processing Approach

There are four major theories of how we humans process information:

  • Stage approach
  • Levels-of-processing theory
  • Parallel distributed processing theory
  • Connectionistic models
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The model is based on the work of Atkinson and Shriffin (1968) and proposes that information is processed and stored in three stages:

Atkinson, R., & Shiffrin, R. (1968). Human memory: A proposed system and its control processes. In K Spence & J Spence (Eds.). The psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory (Vol. 2). New York: Academic Press.

The Stage Theory

The focus of this model is on how information is stored in memory.

  • Sensory memory
  • Short-term memory
  • Long-term memory
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The Levels-of-Processing theory is based on the work of Craik and Lockhart (1972).

Craik, F., & Lockhart, R. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Thinking and Verbal Behavior, 11, 671-684. .

The Levels-of-Processing Theory

The major proposition is all stimuli that activate a sensory receptor cell are permanently stored in memory.

According to these researchers, the issue is not storage, but retrieval.

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The Levels-of-Processing Theory

Rather than hypothesize that information is processed in stages, Craik and Lockhart believe that retrieval of information is based on the amount of elaboration used as information is processed.

This is done on a continuum from perception, through attention, to labeling, and finally meaning.

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Parallel Distributed Processing Theory

The parallel-distributed processing model states that information is processed simultaneously by several different parts of the memory system, rather than sequentially as hypothesized by Atkinson-Shiffrin.

The stage-theory model discussed in this course differs slightly from that first proposed by Atkinson and Shriffin in order to incorporate this principle.

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The connectionistic model proposed by Rumelhart and McClelland (1986) extends the parallel-distributed processing model.

Rumelhart, D., & McClelland, J. (Eds.). (1986). Parallel distributed processing: Explorations in the microstructure of cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Connectionistic Theory

This model emphasizes the fact that information is stored in multiple locations throughout the brain in the form of networks of connections.

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Connectionistic Theory

It is one of the dominant forms of current research in cognitive psychology and is consistent with the most recent brain research.

It is also consistent with the levels-of-processing approach in that the more connections to a single idea or concept (i.e., the more extensively elaboration is used), the more likely it is to be remembered.

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The Information Processing Approach

While there is much disagreement among the various schools of thought related to how human beings process information, there are a few general principles about which almost all researchers agree:

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The Information Processing Approach

The amount of information that can be actively processed by the system at a given point in time is constrained in some very important ways.

Limited capacity assumption

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The Information Processing Approach

Bottlenecks, or restrictions in the flow and processing of information, occur at very specific points.

Limited capacity assumption

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The Information Processing Approach

Required to oversee the encoding, transformation, processing, storage, retrieval and utilization of information.

Control mechanism

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The Information Processing Approach

Not all of the processing capacity of the system is available; an executive function that oversees this process will use up some of this capability.

Control mechanism

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The Information Processing Approach

When one is learning a new task or is confronted with a new environment, the executive function requires more processing power than when one is doing a routine task or is in a familiar environment.

Control mechanism

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The Information Processing Approach

As we try to make sense of the world around us, we constantly use information that we

Two-way flow of information

  • gather through the senses (often referred to as bottom-up processing)
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The Information Processing Approach

As we try to make sense of the world around us, we constantly use information that we

Two-way flow of information

  • information we have stored in memory (often called top-down processing)
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The Information Processing Approach

This is a dynamic process that we use to construct meaning about our environment and our relations to it.

Two-way flow of information

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The Information Processing Approach

This principle is somewhat analogous to the difference between

Two-way flow of information

  • inductive reasoning
  • deductive reasoning

OR

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The Information Processing Approach

This principle is somewhat analogous to the difference between

Two-way flow of information

  • information we derive from the senses
  • information generated by our imaginations
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The Information Processing Approach

A human infant is more likely to look at a human face than any other stimulus.

Genetic preparation

Language development is similar in all human infants.

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The Information Processing Approach

The human organism has been genetically prepared to process and organize information in specific ways.

Genetic preparation

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The Stage Theory

We will focus on the stage theory in this course as work has been done to identify how to apply it to classroom and academic learning.