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Cognitive psychology introduction

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Cognitive psychology introduction

Cognitive psychology is a relatively young branch of psychology, yet it has quickly grown to become one of the most popular subfields. Few Practical Application of Cognitive Psychology(Science),Thinking, decision-making/increasing decision making accuracy, problem-solving, learning /structuring educational curricula to enhance learning , attention,Memory/Improving memory, forgetting, and
language acquisition.
But what exactly is cognitive psychology?
What do cognitive psychologists do?

Cognitive psychology is a relatively young branch of psychology, yet it has quickly grown to become one of the most popular subfields. Few Practical Application of Cognitive Psychology(Science),Thinking, decision-making/increasing decision making accuracy, problem-solving, learning /structuring educational curricula to enhance learning , attention,Memory/Improving memory, forgetting, and
language acquisition.
But what exactly is cognitive psychology?
What do cognitive psychologists do?

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Cognitive psychology introduction

  1. 1. Cognitive Psychology by Col Mukteshwar Prasad(Retd), Mtech(IIT Delhi) ,CE(I),FIE(I),FIETE,FISLE,FInstOD,AMCSI Contact -+919007224278, e-mail -muktesh_prasad@yahoo.co.in for book ”Decoding Services Selection Board” and SSB guidance and training at Shivnandani Edu and Defence Academy,Kolkata,India
  2. 2. Cognitive Psychology  Cognitive psychology is a relatively young branch of psychology, yet it has quickly grown to become one of the most popular subfields.  Few Practical Application of Cognitive Psychology(Science)  Thinking,  decision-making/increasing decision making accuracy,  problem-solving,  learning /structuring educational curricula to enhance learning ,  attention,  Memory/Improving memory,  forgetting, and  language acquisition  But what exactly is cognitive psychology?  What do cognitive psychologists do?
  3. 3. A Closer Look at Cognitive Psychology  Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that studies mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember, and learn.  As part of the larger field of cognitive science, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including  neuroscience,  philosophy, and  linguistics.  The core focus of cognitive psychology is on how people  acquire,  process and  store information.  Cognitive Psychology revolves around the notion that if we want to know what makes people tick then we need to understand the internal processes of their mind.  Cognition literally means “knowing”.  In other words, cognitive psychology refers to the study of human mental processes and their role in thinking, feeling, and behaving
  4. 4. A Brief History of Cognitive Psychology  Until the 1950s, Behaviorism was the dominant school of thought in psychology.  Between 1950 and 1970, the tide began to shift against behavioral psychology to focus on topics such as attention, memory and problem- solving. Often referred to as the cognitive revolution,  this period generated considerable research on topics including processing models, cognitive research methods and the first use of the term "cognitive psychology."  Norbert Wiener (1948) published Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, introducing terms such as input and output.  * Tolman (1948) work on cognitive maps – training rats in mazes, showed that animals had internal representation of behavior.  * Birth of Cognitive Psychology often dated back to George Miller’s (1956) “The Magical Number 7 Plus or Minus 2.”  * Newell and Simon’s (1972) development of the General Problem Solver.  * In 1960, Miller founded the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard with
  5. 5. A Brief History of Cognitive Psychology  * Ulric Neisser (1967) publishes "Cognitive Psychology", which marks the official beginning of the cognitive approach.  According to Neisser, cognition involves "all processes by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used It is concerned with these processes even when they operate in the absence of relevant stimulation, as in images and hallucinations...Given such a sweeping definition, it is apparent that cognition is involved in everything a human being might possibly do; that every psychological phenomenon is a cognitive phenomenon.”  * Process models of memory Atkinson & Shiffrin’s (1968) Multi Store Model.  * Cognitive approach highly influential in all areas of psychology (e.g. biological, social, behaviorism, development etc.).
  6. 6.  The information processing approach is based on a number of assumptions, including:  Information made available from the environment is processed by a series of processing systems (e.g. attention, perception, short-term memory);  These processing systems transform, or alter the information in systematic ways;  The aim of research is to specify the processes and structures that underlie cognitive performance;  Information processing in humans resembles that in computers.
  7. 7. Mediational Processes  The behaviorists approach only studies external observable (stimulus and response) behaviour which can be objectively measured. They believe that internal behaviour cannot be studied because we cannot see what happens in a person’s mind (and therefore cannot objectively measure it).  In comparison, the cognitive approach believes that internal mental behaviour can be scientifically studied using experiments.  Cognitive psychology assumes that a mediational process occurs between stimulus/input and response/output.
  8. 8. The mediational (i.e. mental) event could be memory, perception, attention or problem solving etc. These are known as mediational processes because they mediate (i.e. go-between) between the stimulus and the response. They come after the stimulus and before the response. Therefore, cognitive psychologists’ say if you want to understand behaviour, you have to understand these mediational processes.
  9. 9. Cognitive approach Summary Key features methodology Mediational Process Lab Experiments Information Processing Introspection(Wundt) Computer analogy Memory Psychology(Kohelberg,Piaget) Nomothetic (Studies in group) Interviews(KF,HM) Schema Case Studies(Piaget) Machine Reductionism Computer Modeling
  10. 10. Cognitive approach Summary Basic Assumptions Areas of Application  Cognitive psychology is a pure science, based mainly on laboratory experiments.  Behavior can be largely explained in terms of how the mind operates, i.e. the information processing approach.  The mind works in a way similar to a computer: inputting, storing and retrieving data.  Mediational processes occur between stimulus and response.  Moral Development (Kohlberg, Piaget)  Eyewitness Testimony  Memory  Forgetting  Selective Attention  Perception  Child Development (Piaget)  Language Acquisition  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy  Learning Styles (Kolb)  Information Processing  Cognitive Interview  Education (Vygotsky, Bruner, Piaget)  Abnormal Behavior (e.g. Depression
  11. 11. Cognitive approach Summary Strengths Limitations  Scientific  Highly applicable (e.g. therapy, EWT)  Combines easily with approaches: • behaviorism + Cog = Social Learning • Biology + Cog = Evolutionary Psy  Many empirical studies to support theories  Ignores biology (e.g. testosterone)  Experiments - low ecological validity  Humanism - rejects scientific method  Behaviorism - can’t objectively study unobservable behavior  Introspection is subjective  Machine reductionism
  12. 12. Important People in the History of Cognitive Psychology  Gustav Fechner  Wilhelm Wundt  Edward B. Titchener  Hermann Ebbinghaus  William James  Wolfgang Kohler  Edward Tolman  Jean Piaget  Noam Chomsky  David Rumelhart  James McClelland
  13. 13. Major Topics in Cognitive Psychology  Perception  Language  Attention  Memory  Problem-Solving  Decision-Making and Judgment  Intelligence
  14. 14. Major Topics in Cognitive Psychology  Studying what’s happening in a person thoughts is not always the easiest thing to do.  Very early in psychology’s history, Wilhelm Wundt attempted to use a process known as introspection to study what was happening in a person’s mind.  This involved training people focus on their internal states and then write down what they were feeling, thinking, or experiencing.  This approach being subjective, did not last long as a cognitive research tool.  To study the human mind, cognitive psychologists have developed different models to represent how the thinking works.  One of the most popular of these is the information-processing model.  In this approach, the mind is thought of much like a computer.  Thoughts and memories are broken down into smaller units of knowledge.  As information enter the mind through the senses, it is then manipulated by the brain that must then determine what do to with the information.
  15. 15. Units of Knowledge  Cognitive psychologists often break down these units of knowledge into three different types: concepts, prototypes, and schemas.  A concept is essentially a larger category of knowledge.  Similar items are grouped together in the mind under this broad category.  You have concepts for things that are concrete such as a horse or a dog, as well as concepts for abstract ideas such as love, beauty, and gravity.  A prototype is the most prominent and recognizable example of a particular concept.  For example, what comes to mind when you think of a bed.  If a large, four-poster bed immediately springs to mind, that is your prototype for the concept of a bed.  If a futon, crib, or platform bed pops into your mind, then that would be your prototype for that concept.  A schema is a mental framework that you use to understand and interpret the world around you.  Concepts serve as the building blocks that help build schemas, which are mental models for how you expect from the world around you.
  16. 16. Units of Knowledge  A schema is a mental framework …… you expect from the world around you.  You have schemas for a wide variety of objects, ideas, people, and situations.  In some cases, however, you will encounter information that does not quite fit into your existing schemas or dramatically challenges the ideas you already hold.  When this happens, you can either assimilate or accommodate the information.  Assimilating the information involves broadening your current schema or even creating a new one.  Accommodation the information by changing your previously held ideas altogether.  This process allows you to learn new things and develop new and more complex schemas for the world around you.
  17. 17. How is Cognitive Psychology Different?  How is Cognitive Psychology Different?  Unlike behaviorism, which focuses only on observable behaviors, cognitive psychology is concerned with internal mental states.  Unlike psychoanalysis, which relies heavily on subjective perceptions, cognitive psychology uses scientific research methods to study mental processes.  Who Should Study Cognitive Psychology?  Because cognitive psychology touches on many other disciplines, this branch of psychology is frequently studied by people in some different fields. The following are just a few of those who may benefit from studying cognitive psychology.  Students who are interested in behavioral neuroscience, linguistics, industrial-organizational psychology, artificial intelligence, and other related areas.  Teachers, educators, and curriculum designers can benefit from learning more about how people process, learn, and remember information.  Engineers, scientists, artists, architects, and designers can all benefit from
  18. 18. References  Neisser, U. (1967). Cognitive Psychology. Meredith Publishing Company.  Sternberg, R. (2003). Cognitive Psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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