Cognition And Language 1 _Bryant Fall 07_

Cognition And Language 1 _Bryant Fall 07_ - Lecture Outline...

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Lecture Outline Topics in Cognition Types of mental representations and their organization Imagery Concepts Networks of associations Attention: Selecting the content of thought Expertise: How is good thinking achieved? Problem solving Heuristics and biases in thinking
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Topics in Cognition The study of cognition typically includes the topics of perception, consciousness, memory, attention, thinking, and language. We have previously visited the first three of these topics in this course, leaving the latter three as the subject of this lecture and the next.
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What Is Thought? Within cognitive psychology, thinking is considered to be the manipulation, for some purpose, of the mental representations generated by perception and memory. The result of thinking is the generation of additional new mental representations. However, it is not so easy to distinguish thinking processes from processes of perception and memory. Experts solve problems in large part by rapidly perceiving the problem situation appropriately. Memory processes heavily influence the answers people produce in problem solving and reasoning tasks.
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Main Approaches to the Study of Thinking Examine types of mental representations and how they are manipulated. Images, categories, schemas, conceptual networks Give people reasoning tasks or problems to solve and study the mental processes that occur.
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Inferring Cognition from Performance: The Use of Imagery in Thinking Subjects are shown a stimulus (e.g. “R”) that is rotated between 0 and 360 o , each must decide whether the letter is normal or a mirror image. Such tasks activate the visual cortex, suggesting an actual rotation of the stimulus.
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Thinking With Imagery
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Categorization The formation of categories or concepts is one of the primary ways that we organize information about our world. Mental representations of groups of entities In general we categorize people, objects or events together when they have important qualities in common. If you know the category of an object, you can apply knowledge (to infer characteristics) in dealing with the object. Can it be eaten? Should I smile now? That is, categorization is functional.
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Zimbardo Concepts Part 1
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We categorize objects by: Comparison with defining features Some concepts are clearly defined (e.g., salt). Other concepts are “fuzzy” (e.g., bachelor). Similarity/dissimilarity to prototypes Prototypes are a model based on abstraction of the characteristics of the category. Since categorization is functional, the use of
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Cognition And Language 1 _Bryant Fall 07_ - Lecture Outline...

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