Cognition Final Study Guide

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Cognition Final Study Guide

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History and Perspectives
Who were the structuralists? * Wundt and Tithcener * Their goals: sought to discover the laws and principles that explain our immediate conscious experience. Wanted to identify the simplest essential units of the mind and to determine how these units combine to produce complex mental phenomena. * Method: The study of conscious mental events and function of mental operations. The method was introspection. * Their contributions: launched the field of research psychology. Found consciousness is a stream

Who were the functionalists? * William James * Their goals: To understand the function of the mind and the ways in which mental functions let individuals adapt to their environment.

Who were the behaviorists? * Believed that Psychology cannot study consciousness – the mind is a black box. * Their goals: Study only what you can see and measure.

What was the cognitive revolution? * The 1960’s * A new series of psychological investigations was mainly a rejection of the behaviorist assumption that mental events and states were beyond the realm of scientific study. * This challenged the fundamental tenet of radical behaviorism, that concepts such as “mental representation” were not needed to explain behavior. * Mental processes are invisible – how can we study them? * The influences: the return of mental events as the subject of research

What is the information processing approach? * Uses computer as a metaphor for how the mind works. * Thinking is a step-by-step process (serial processing) * The products of each stage serve as input to the next
Stimulus -> Input ->Storage -> Output -> Response

Research Methods
The continuum...
Naturalistic
Observation …... controlled observation …. quasi-experiments... experiments

High ecological validity Low ecological validity
Low experimental control High

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