Cognitive Psychology Lab

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Lab Report 1 – Perception
In perception, word superiority can be defined as a phenomenon in which a single letter can be identified more accurately and more rapidly when it appears in a meaningful word then when it appears by itself or in a meaningless string of unrelated letters (Matlin 2005). There are two very different kinds of processing involved in perception. The first of these processes is called bottom-up processing, which emphasizes the importance of information from the stimuli registered on sensory receptors (Matlin 2005). The second of kind of processing is known as top-down processing, which emphasizes the influence of concepts, expectations, and memory (Matlin 2005). My results were not consistent with Reicher's results; my results were actually the opposite of what Reicher believed to be true. My results were, however, very close in numbers when comparing the target letter in a word sample to the isolated letter sample. Parallel processing can be defined as a type of cognitive processing in which many signals are handled at the same time (Matlin 2005). Parallel processing, in conjunction with top-down and bottom-up processing, is used to create the word superiority effect. Parallel processing is used to process many things at one time, such as a string of letters and/or words. Word superiority, on the other hand, says that we identify certain words and letters if they are meaningful. Therefore, one could use parallel processing when reading a sentence or paragraph, all the while picking out certain letters or words, which are meaningful to that person. Thus, parallel processing can be used to explain the word superiority effect and how it works. One way in which top-down processing can affect my processing is when I am driving. When driving, one uses top-down processing in order to assess the situation and to make quick, important descisions. It was adaptive when seeing a familiar road sign and stopping in time. It was less adaptive when seeing...
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