PSYC 213 Midterm 1 - PSYC 213 Midterm 1 Lecture 1 What is Cognition The act of thinking foundational to most actions and events Study it to learn what

PSYC 213 Midterm 1 - PSYC 213 Midterm 1 Lecture 1 What is...

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PSYC 213 Midterm 1 Lecture 1 What is Cognition The act of thinking, foundational to most actions and events Study it to learn what affects the way we perform mental activities Clive Wearing Episodic memory impaired but other functions are spared Cognitive activities or functions can dissociate Cognition is a collection of different abilities/processes (example for a lecture) o Perception: perceive sounds and view slides o Attention: pay attention to what the person is saying o Memory: use your memory of lecture: try to encode new info o Language: decode what prof is saying o Decision making: deciding to stay awake A brief History of cognitive Psychology Four major stops to study the mind o Philosophy: thinking about mental processes o Structuralism and Functionalism: determining how to study mental processes; how and why of experience o Behaviorism: study stimulus-response relationship; ignore mental processes o Cognitive Psychology: making inferences about mental processes Philosophical antecedents o Thinking about thinking goes back to ancient Greece o Introspection o Plato First early philosopher to consider the human mind o What did he think? We use our logic to understand the world around us The world is made of ‘reflections of our reality’ Rationalism: knowledge comes not just from observation but also is a priori Reason is the ultimate source of knowledge The innate nature of our minds o Aristotle Combined philo and scientific approaches to thinking Empiricism: all knowledge comes from experience and observation The basis of thought is forming association on observation Foundation of many psychological theories o Importance Key debates still around
Rationalism (influence on theory development) vs. empiricism(influence on experimental method) Innate vs. acquired abilities Nature vs. nurture Structuralism o Late 1800s o Focused on identifying basic building blocks of conscious experience with analytic introspection o Emphasized systematic, controlled observation for understanding structure of the mind o Wihlelm Wundt and Edward Titchener o Wundt First formal laboratory for psychological research in 1879 Goal: identify simplest essential units of mind/ consciousness like period table Method: introspection to ask WHAT is the mind made of? o Titchener Fan of Wundt Went to Cornell and established experimental study of psychology Used Wundt’s method of introspection with stricter method Only interested in what ‘is’ Immediate mental experience, empiricism All things can be broken down into elements Emphasized associated How mental elements combined to form complex thoughts o Emphasized Systematic, controlled observation The importance of understanding structure of the mind, and higher cognitive processes Big problem: experimental methods used to study structures of mind too subjective Functionalism o Late 1800s o

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