Theories of Knowledge and Psychological Applications

Topics: Dual-coding theory, Neural network, Artificial neural network Pages: 11 (3238 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Theories of Knowledge and Psychological Applications

Robin A. Finlayson
University of Saskatchewan
Ed.Psy: 855.3: Advanced Educational Psychology
October 16, 1996

How individuals are able to obtain knowledge is something that psychologists have studied for a number of years. The ability to store and retrieve knowledge provides individuals with the propensity to form logical thought, express emotions and internalize the world around them. In order for a psychologist to understand the theories of knowledge it is necessary to investigate the aspects of the theories. In this paper we examine the history , the basic construct, the similarities of the theories and how those theories relate to psychological therapies. History of the theories

The neural network model attempts to explain that which is known about the retention and retrieval of knowledge. Neural network models have been examined for a number of years. In the mid 1940's and 1950's the first of the network models began to appear. These publications introduced the first models of neural networks as computing machines, the basic model of a self-organizing network (Arbib, 1995).

In 1943 McCulloch and Pitts published their model theory ( Arbib, 1995). In 1948 Rashevsky proposed a number of neural network models to explain psychological phenomena. During this era not enough was known about the brain, subsequently he was considered ahead of his time. Rashevsky relied heavily upon complex mathematical equations within his model, consequently many people simply did not understand his theoretical perspective ( Martindale, 1991). In 1958 Rosenblatt proposed his theory on neural network models which focused on perception. The theory elicited a great deal of interest; however it was considered too simple to sufficiently explain all aspects of perception (Arbib, 1995).

As a result of the lack of acceptance, neural network models "fell out of fashion"(Martindale, 1991, P.12). For a nine year lapse no neural network model theories were developed. In 1967 the network approach was again examined. Konorski developed a useful network model that focused primarily on Pavlovian conditioning as opposed to cognition. Grossberg developed his neural network theory during the years of 1969, 1980, 1987, and 1988. Grossberg developed a powerful network theory of the mind but, like the Rashevsky model, Grossberg's theory was comprised of complex mathematical terms and was therefore extremely difficult to understand. His neural network models are only now being recognized as truly revolutionary (Martindale, 1991).

Many new theorists would enter the field of neural network models, but it was the work of Rumelhart, Hinton, and McClelland that would simplify the way we would view such models (Arbib, 1995). It was in 1986 that Rumelhart, Hinton, and McClelland developed their network model. It was and still is regarded as one of the most notable network theories. This is true because they structured their theory in a clear, concise, and intelligible manner (Martindale ,1991).

Neural network models have evolved during the past sixty years. The initial theories were extremely difficult to comprehend and they were not interchangeable with a broad range of topics. Today's theories are simpler to understand because they are less complex. The theories are capable of encompassing numerous topics.

The dual coding approach is one that believes that knowledge is a series of complex associative networks. Within these networks we find imaginal and verbal representations. These verbal and nonverbal representations are means that facilitate the retrieval and storage of knowledge (Paivio, 1986).

The individual who was at the fore front of the development of the dual coding theory was Allan Paivio. He did research in the area of verbal and nonverbal representations during the 1960's. Research papers that dealt with topics of verbal and imaginal processes were:...

References: Arbib, M. (1995). The hand book of brain theories and neural networks.
Cambridge, MA: MIT press.
Lusebrink, V. (1990). Imagery and visual expression in therapy. New
York: Plenum press.
Martindale, C. (1991). Cognitive psychology a neural-network approach.
Belmont,CA: Brooks/Cole.
McClelland, J., & Rumelhart, D. (1988). Explorations in parallel
distributed processing. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.
Paivio, A. (1986). Mental representations a dual coding approach. New
York: Oxford University Press.
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