120ALecture2Handout

120ALecture2Handout - Psych 120A Cognitive Psychology...

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Psych 120A Cognitive Psychology Lecture 2 Spring, 2009
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What is Cognitive Psychology? The study of behavior that requires knowledge or intelligence e.g. Perception, memory, language , problem solving. .. A way of studying behavior Analyzing it in terms of mental representations and processes Cognitive psychology tries to specify nature of mental representations and processes e.g. Miller’s notion of a memory “chunk”
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What is Cognitive Psychology? It is a science !
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Computology Observe: what? software? hardware? keyboard? Key problem: not easy to see computation/processing: Derive a theory: at what level? Turing machine is good description, but is it in there? Test: write program? make new computer from How would you figure out how a computer works?
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Psychology Observe phenomena (which?) (behavior, neurons). Key problem: not easy to see mental processing: Derive theories to explain (in what terms?) (reflex, representations, processes, neural activation). Test predictions of theories (how?) How would you figure out how mind/brain works?
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History: What people actually did Until late 1800's: Just a bunch of philosophers sitting around thinking! Aristotle: mind is in the heart. Nativist vs. Empiricist: of course its both! Devil is in details.
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History: German Psychophysicists (1800’s) Fechner, Weber, Helmholtz: The full method! Q: what is smallest (change) in stimulus detectable? Approach: present stimuli, see if change detected! But: only applied to low-level sensory processing, not cognition.
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History: Wundt (starting 1879) Emphasized actual experiments (and depts, journals, students) But: introspection method strongly determined results (one step above .sitting around thinking. ..) Structuralism : find “atoms” of cognition. Introspection
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William James didn't actually run many experiments. . But somehow he had a lot of damn good insights!
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2009 for the course PSYCH 120A taught by Professor Harley during the Spring '07 term at UCLA.

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120ALecture2Handout - Psych 120A Cognitive Psychology...

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