Cognitive Psychology

Topics: Memory, Psychology, Cognitive psychology Pages: 4 (1668 words) Published: March 28, 2011
Now that you are knowledgeable (presumably) about the principles of cognitive psychology, describe an everyday example/situation and explain it using cognitive principles. These may include problems with the design of a particular device, an observation of everyday behaviour etc. Explain the nature of your example in terms of the relevant cognitive principles that you have learned from the course, and if applicable, suggest some solutions using these principles. The link between your everyday example and the cognitive principles must be made explicit.

Having been musically trained, and having had experiences in performances, I thought it would be interesting to examine some concepts pertaining to the cognitive processes that goes through when I perform, as well as the preparation process prior to the performance. As the audiences watch a piano concert for instance, it might look like a really easy task of just reading the notes, and striking the keys on the piano. However, behind this seemingly easy process actually lays many cognitive principles. As a pianist, when it comes to practice for performance as well as the concert itself, I would say that one of the most important aspects would be to be able to pay full attention to what I am doing. According to a quote from William James (1890), attention refers to two characteristics – focalization and concentration. Focalization allows the pianist to determine what aspects to attend to, while concentration determines how much mental effort the pianist needs to invest on a task. (Reeds, 2010). Using the capacity model proposed by Kahneman (1973), we know it is assumed that the ability to perform mental work is limited by the person’s capacity, and that a person can actually control how much of this capacity would be allocated to different activities. Kahnman’s model also assumes that with higher levels of arousal, more capacity would be available. However this level of arousal...

References: Atkinson, R. C., & Shriffin, R. M. (1971). The control of short-term memory. Scientific American, 225, 82-90.
Kahneman, D. (1973). Attention and effort. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number seve, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 63, 81-97.
Perterson, L.R., & Perterson, M. J. (1959). Short-term retention of individual verbal items. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58, 193-198
Reeds, S. K. (2010). Cognition theories and applications. United States of America: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Yerkes, R. M., & Dodson, J. D. (1908). The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit-formation. Journal of comparative Neurology and Psychology, 18, 459-482.
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