Essay on Cognitive Psychology

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Midterm Study Guide Outline

Chapter 1 – Introduction 1. History a. Early Cognitive Psychologists i. Donders (1868): Choice RT vs. Simple RT- how long it takes a person to make a decision. Simple- press a button when a light comes. Choice- push button when light on left or right was lit. Choice RT took 1/10 of a second longer which said that’s how long it takes to make a decision. 1st cognitive psychology experiment. Inferred by behavior ii. –mental chronometry- decision making iii. Ebbinghaus (1885): Forgetting Curve- nature of memory and forgetting. Plotted the time between learning something and forgetting. Sharp decrease initially and then wanes off. 1st memory experiment. Learned many lists in many intervals iv. Wundt (1897): First Psych lab- structuralism- overall experience is determined by combining elements into experience called sensations. 1. Introspection method- experiences and thought processes in response to stimuli. Structuralism- experience by sensations b. Behaviorists v. Watson- goal was to eliminate the mind as a topic of study and replace it with observable behavior. 2. Classical Conditioning: Little Albert- pairing one stimulus with another neutral stimulus causes change in response to neutral stimulus. Dogs and saliva. vi. Skinner- behaviorist 3. Operant Conditioning- how behavior is strengthened by positive reinforcers. Stimuli and responses. Rat & bar pressing. Children imitate speech they hear c. Against Behaviorism vii. Chomsky – argued against Skinner about Language- language development isn’t by imitation or reinforcement, but inborn biological program. Way the mind is constructed, rather than reinforcement. Children use incorrect grammar- “the boy hitted the ball” when they never heard that before. viii. Tolman – spatial maps in rats- rats use a cognitive map (conception of maze’s layout) rather than using food as a behavior to reinforce way d. Cognitive Revolution- in the 1950’s- shift away from behaviorist stimulus-response to understand operation of the mind. ix. Study the mind & behavior- think of it as information processing like the digital computer. Can only pay attention to some information when lots is present. x. Inferences xi. Information processing & early computers- goes from input -> input processor -> memory unit -> arithmetic unit -> output. Processed in stages xii. Broadbent – model of attention- many messages enter a filter which selects messages attending to further processing by a detector and then storage in memory. xiii. Cherry – dichotic listening task- presented with 2 messages simultaneously in both ears and had to focus their attention on one. People could focus on one ear and were unaware of what was in the other ear

2. Researching the Mind xiv. Behavior approach- football player gets hit and can’t remember events before the hit. Brain involved in consolidation. Relationship between stimuli and behavior e. Measure behavior: memory consolidation example- had a group learn a list and immediately learn a 2nd list, then 1 group learn it and have a 6 minute delay before the 2nd one. Participants in the delay remembered 48% while in the immediate 28%. The 2nd list interrupted the forming of a stable memory for the 1st one f. Physiological approach- to determine the biological process of consolidation. Possibly need chemical reactions for consolidation. xv. Measure the brain: memory consolidation example- remember pairs and then one group asked to sleep and one was tested immediately- measured the brain activity with fMRI. Found the hypothalamus in the storage of new memories. Immediate sleep helps strengthen the memory trace in hypothalamus. Different activity in both groups.

Research Methods

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