Psyc 250 - What is Cognitive Psychology 1 The scientific...

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What is Cognitive Psychology? 1. The scientific study of how we attend to and gain information in the world, how that information is represented, stores, and processed in both the functional (mind) and neurological (brain) senses, how that information is internally transformed and operated upon in different contexts, and how that information can be communicated. 2. Focus on various mental processes. 3. Understand the state of information: how we process it, how it resides internally, and how it is expressed in the service of a goal. 4. Fractionating mental behavior: look at smaller aspects of the mind. Take on one process at a time. The Brain: 1. Dorsal Lateral Prefrontal Cortex = seat of behavior. - associated with ignoring irrelevant information 2. Cerebellum = associated with timing, motor control, and balance 3. The Simon Effect = "opposite-side" type trials - Reasons? Humans tend to respond to the world in relation to themselves (egocentric) - Mental procedures in each trial: o Instructions o Input (stimulus) o Identify the input o Translation (what you should do) o Make a decision about response (use voice, hit a button, etc.) o Execute decision Historical Perspectives in Cognitive Science: 1. How can we examine something that we can't see? e.g. Properties of the mind and human thought. - we can interpret observations, collect data, and make models of behavior. - How do we develop models? A. Rationalism: Rene Descartes: "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am) - Rene Descartes: you are the best assessor of what is going on in your head. - Wilhelm Wundt, Edward Titchener: collected reported thoughts (or "- aloud" protocols) from trained participants. - Structuralism: what are the basic components of thought? - Introspection: mental phenomena can be understood by careful thought and logic.
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- You need to sit down and infer why you did what you did. - Eg. - free association B. William James: - Functionalism: What is the function of consciousness (rather than the components of it?) - Consciousness is a state of being that changes, and can not be reduced to specific elements. - It makes more sense to study consciousness (and behavior) as a whole rather than reducing it to uninteresting parts. C. The Good: o Easy to collect data o Results are often enlightening D. The Not So Good: o Many cognitive phenomena are subconscious o Can all thought be verbalized? o
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Psyc 250 - What is Cognitive Psychology 1 The scientific...

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