This week, we are covering a lot of topics! Discussing them in more depth can help you to organize them more clearly in your mind. What are three of the most interesting or important concepts you gleaned from the readings? After making your own posts be sure to take time to read some of the posts of your classmates – this will help provide useful reviews and perspectives on many of the highlights from our readings
your PIN must be at least a minimum of 150 words to get credit for your response. Once you have posted your PIN, COMMENT on 2 of your peer’s PINS. COMMENTS must be at least a minimum of 50 words to earn credit.
“The Chapter 8: Cognitive Processes I. Studying Cognition A. Definitions 1. Cognitive processes are higher mental processes like perception, memory, language, and reasoning. 2. Cognition is a general term for all forms of knowing (e.g., attending, remembering, reasoning and understanding concepts, facts, propositions, and rules). 3. Cognitive psychology is the study of cognition. 4. Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field that extends the principles of cognitive psychology to other systems that manipulate information. B. Discovering the Processes of Mind 1. F. C. Donders devised the fundamental methodologies for studying mental processes. 2. He proposed that extra mental steps will often result in more time required to perform a given task. 3. Response selection requires more time than stimulus categorization, because response selection includes categorization of stimuli. 4. Reaction time is the amount of time it takes to perform particular tasks and is a measure commonly used in cognitive psychology today. C. Mental Processes and Mental Resources 1. Demands on mental resources may help determine if a process is serial or parallel. a) Serial processes require separate examination of each individual element in an array, one after another. b) Parallel processes entail the simultaneous examination of all elements in an array. 2. Reaction time is often used to try to determine the process by which (serial versus parallel) a specific mental activity is carried out. 3. A key assumption is that limited processing resources must be spread over different mental tasks. 4. Mental resources are limited, and it is possible to measure how these resources are being used. 5. Attention is responsible for distributing mental resources. Some processes place higher demands on these resources than others. 6. Controlled processes require attention, thus exacting greater demand. 7. Automatic processes generally do not require attention and can often be performed along with other tasks without interference. 8. The goal of much cognitive psychology research is to design experiments to confirm each component of models that combine serial and parallel, controlled and automatic processes. II. Language Use A. Language Production 1. Language production refers to what people say, as well as the complex processes they go through to produce the message. a) It includes writing, speaking, and signing. b) Speakers are language producers and listeners are language understanders. 2 Contains material excerpted and adapted from Gerrig, R.J., (2013). Psychology and Life (20th edition.) Boston: Pearson. 2. Audience design, shaping a message to fit an audience, requires that one must have in mind the audience to which an utterance is directed and what knowledge you share with members of that audience. a) The cooperative principle (H. Paul Grice) suggests that a speaker prepares to produce utterances that are appropriate to the setting and meaning of an ongoing conversation. There are four for cooperative speaking: (i) Quantity: Make your contribution as informative as is required, but not more than is required. (ii) Quality: Try to make your contribution one that is true. (iii)Relation: Be relevant. (iv)Manner: Be perspicacious, avoid obscurity of expression, avoid ambiguity, and be brief and orderly. b) Common ground is a presumption of the listener knowing all that the speaker knows. Judgments of common ground are based on three sources of evidence: (i) Community membership: Language producers make assumptions about what is likely to be mutually known. (ii) Copresence for action: Language producers make assumptions that information contained in earlier parts of a conversation (or past ones) are common ground. (iii)Perceptual copresence exists when a speaker and listener share the same perceptual events. 3. Speech Execution and Speech Errors a) Speech errors give researchers insight into the planning needed to produce utterances. (i) Speakers must choose content words that best fit their ideas. (ii) Speakers must place the chosen words in the right place in the utterance. (iii)Speakers must fill in the sounds that make up the words they wish to utter. b) Spoonerisms—one type of speech error—consist of an exchange of the initial sounds of two or more words in a phrase or sentence. Spoonerisms are more likely to occur when the error will still result in real words. c) Spontaneous and laboratory-induced errors provide evidence about processes and representations in speech execution. d) For example, spoonerisms are more common when they produce real words; this means some cognitive resources are always searching for errors. e) Recent research shows that particular sounds and speech can be dependent on expectations and previous sounds. B. Language Understanding 1. Resolving ambiguity involves detangling two types of ambiguity: a) Lexical ambiguity involves determining which of the various meanings of a word may be appropriate in this context. To eliminate this ambiguity is referred to as “disambiguating” the word. b) Structural ambiguity involves determining which of two (or more) meanings the structure of a sentence implies and is dependent largely on prior context for resolution. c) People use context to powerfully and efficiently resolve ambiguity. 3 Contains material excerpted and adapted from Gerrig, R.J., (2013). Psychology and Life (20th edition.) Boston: Pearson. 2. Products of Understanding a) Research suggests that meaning representations that follow understanding of utterances (or texts) begin with basic units called propositions—the main ideas of utterances. b) Listeners often fill gaps in information with inferences. Inferences are logical assumptions made possible by information in memory. C. Language and Evolution 1. The evolutionary perspective on language examines the critical processes that humans evolved to make language possible. a) Some aspects of language, specifically language structures and audience design, have been researched in species other than humans. b) Researchers believe what sets humans apart from other species is our language allows many rules of complexity. 2. Attempts have been made to teach chimps sign language and to manipulate plastic symbols like a language. 3. Human language is far more complex and focused on audience design than anything these chimps have produced. D. Language, Thought, and Culture 1. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis suggests that differences in language create differences in thought. 2. Linguistic relativity is the most supported hypothesis of Sapir-Whorf. It suggests that structural differences between languages will generally be paralleled by nonlinguistic cognitive differences in the native speakers of the two languages. III.Visual Cognition A. Using Visual Representations 1. Reaction time required for mental manipulation of rotated visual images is in direct proportion to the degree the image had been rotated. 2. Consistency of reaction time suggested that the process of mental rotation is very similar to the process of physical rotation of objects. 3. People scan visualized images as if they were scanning real objects. 4. fMRI scans show perceiving and visualizing images uses the same brain structures. B. Combining Verbal and Visual Representations 1. Spatial mental models are often formed to capture properties of real and imagined spatial experiences. 2. In reading descriptive passages, people often form a spatial mental model to keep track of the whereabouts of characters. 3. When people think about the world around them, they almost always combine visual and verbal representations of information. IV.Problem Solving and Reasoning A. Problem solving and reasoning require a combination of current information and information stored in memory to work toward a particular goal, a conclusion, or a solution. B. Problem solving involves goal-directed thinking aimed at solving a problem that moves from an initial state to the goal by means of reasoning. 1. The formal definition of a problem space, or how a problem is defined in real life, 4 Contains material excerpted and adapted from Gerrig, R.J., (2013). Psychology and Life (20th edition.) Boston: Pearson. captures three elements: a) An initial state—the incomplete information or unsatisfactory conditions with which you start b) A goal state—the set of information or state of the world you hope to achieve c) A set of operations—the steps you may take to move from the initial state to the goal state 2. Well-defined problems clearly specify all three elements. 3. An ill-defined problem exists when the initial state, the goal state, and/or the operations may be unclear and vaguely specified. 4. Algorithms are step-by-step procedures that always provide the right answer to a particular type of problem. 5. Heuristics are shortcut strategies used to solve problems when algorithms are not available. 6. Think-aloud protocols ask participants to verbalize ongoing thoughts. 7. Problem solving can be improved by planning the series of operations that it will take to solve the problem. This assures that the small steps needed to solve the problem do not overwhelm processing resources. 8. Functional fixedness is a “mental block” that adversely affects problem solving by inhibiting the perception of a new function for an object. C. Creativity is the individual’s ability to generate ideas that are both novel and appropriate to the circumstances in which they were generated. D. Assessing creativity often focuses on one’s divergent thinking skills, or the ability to generate a variety of unusual but appropriate solutions to a problem. Convergent thinking is integrating different sources to come up a novel solution. It is often measured by tests that assess insight. E. Deductive Reasoning 1. Deductive reasoning is a process in which one draws logical conclusions between two or more statements or premises. 2. It requires reformulation of an interchange and defines the apparently logical relationships between statements that will lead to conclusions. 3. The belief-bias effect is a situation whereby prior knowledge, attitudes, or personal values cloud reasoning, and lead the person to accept invalid arguments. 4. Experience can improve the individual’s reasoning ability, such that when a posed problem is familiar in real life, you can use a pragmatic reasoning schema. F. Inductive Reasoning 1. Inductive reasoning is a form of reasoning that uses available evidence to generate likely, but not certain, conclusions. 2. It allows access to tried-and-true methods that speed current problem solving. a) Analogical problem solving occurs when one comes to understand a current situation through its analogy between features of the current situation and those of previous ones. b) Past experience permits generalization of a solution from an earlier problem to a new problem. c) Caution must be employed with inductive reasoning; the belief that a solution has worked previously may impair problem solving in the current situation. 5 Contains material excerpted and adapted from Gerrig, R.J., (2013). Psychology and Life (20th edition.) Boston: Pearson. d) Mental sets are preexisting states of mind, habit, or attitude that can enhance the quality and speed of perceiving and problem solving, under some but not all conditions. e) Inductive reasoning tends to generate activity in left-hemisphere brain structures. f) You engage in confirmatory and disconfirmatory testing as a means to locate a mental model that explains your assumptions. g) Deductive reasoning tends to generate activity in right-hemisphere brain structures. V. Judgment and Decision Making A. Definitions 1. H. Simon suggests that decisions and judgment might not be as good, as rational, as they always could be, but that they result from applying limited “rational” resources to situations that require immediate action. We have modest abilities and live in complex environments. 2. Judgment is the process by which you form opinions, reach conclusions, and make critical evaluations of events and people. Judgments are often made spontaneously, without prompting. 3. Decision making is the process of choosing between alternatives, selecting and rejecting available options. 4. Judgment and decision making are interrelated processes. B. Heuristics and Judgment 1. Heuristics are informal rules of thumb that provide problem-solving shortcuts. They reduce the complexity of making judgments and generally increase the efficiency of thought processes, and they are often correct. a) Most researchers accept a dual-process model of judgment and decision-making. One process is fast, efficient, and automatic, and the other is slower, deliberate, and conscious. b) The availability heuristic suggests that people often make decisions based on readily available information in memory. The availability heuristic may lead to faulty decisions because of two factors: (i) Memory processes can bias decisions. (ii) Information stored in memory is often inaccurate. c) The representativeness heuristic suggests that people use past information about similar present circumstances. It may lead to faulty decisions when the typical past is unlike the present. (i) It causes you to ignore other relevant information. (ii) You fail to be guided by accurate representations. d) The anchoring heuristic suggests that people often compare up and down from an original, often arbitrary, starting point. This may lead to insufficient adjustments when making a probability, price, or cost decision. C. The Psychology of Decision Making 1. A frame is a particular description of a choice, most often perceived in terms of gains or losses. a) Framing a decision in terms of gains or losses can influence the decision that is made. 6 Contains material excerpted and adapted from Gerrig, R.J., (2013). Psychology and Life (20th edition.) Boston: Pearson.Pr
Respond to these 2 threads;
Reply to each post with corresponding thread
Respond to these 2 threads;
Reply to each post with corresponding thread
Week three post
Hello everyone! This week was very insightful and taught me so much about the human mind! The topic area that I found the most relevant to me was the section on retrieval cues how to best use them to remember things! This has allowed me to better understand my own ability to learn and given me perspective on how I can better study for school. I specifically want to improve my ability to recall memories and use recognition to help with this. I’m considering introducing encoding specificity into study routine. I feel that I need to attach cues to my recall and that this will assist me greatly. I often times spend way more time than the average person studying material and obtaining good grades. I am starting to realize just how much of this psychology class is actually applicable to the real world. I plan to use this for the rest of my life. Thank you for this material!
Learning and Memory
Hello everyone, I really enjoyed this weeks reading about learning and memory. I really struggle with memory and I learned about retroactive interference which occurs when the acquisition of new information makes it harder to remember older information. Now this is something that I have always struggled with because I feel as I learn I tend to just forget the things that I learned last year unless I write them down and go back and review. But I have always known there are strategies you can do to help or improve your memory such as Method of loci or Elaborative rehearsal which is something I will look into. Also, another interesting concept was observational learning. This is something that a lot of people do but in watching shows about detectives and such I think some people have way better observational skills than others. Also I feel as children always look to what the adults are doing and mock that. Humans and animals amaze me in watching their learning process and how they retain memories.
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