Psychology 102: Cognitive processes
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Psychology 102: Cognitive processes

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An overview of cognitive psychology and the study of cognition.

An overview of cognitive psychology and the study of cognition.

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  • Image source; Remix of http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/File:Brain,_G_Reisch.png (public domain) and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EEG_mit_32_Electroden.jpg (GFDL by http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Aschoek ) by James Neill Acknowledgements: This lecture is based on 2008 lecture notes by Dr, Thea Vanags and the instructor slides and material provided by Pearson Education for Chapter 15 from Gerrig et al. (2008) Psychology and life (Australian edition).
  • Image source: Cover of Gerrig et al. (2008)
  • Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CabbageBG.JPG License: Public domain
  • Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CabbageBG.JPG License: Public domain
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  • Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Information_icon4.svg License: Public domain
  • Image source: Unkown
  • Image source: Gerrig et al. (2008)
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  • Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jeffinhotattow.JPG License: Public domain
  • Image source: Gerrig et al. (2008)
  • Fully human speech anatomy first appears in the fossil record in the Upper Paleolithic (about 50,000 years ago) and is absent in both Neanderthals and earlier humans (Lieberman, 2007). Image description: Woman in museum, USA License: Unknown
  • Image source: Gerrig et al. (2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008) Unfamiliar language – all the syllables run together Infants can detect word breaks at 8 months old
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Gerrig et al. (2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Information_icon4.svg License: Public domain
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Iimage source (left): Public domain Image source (right): Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Information_icon4.svg License: Public domain
  • Image source: http://www.mazes.com/NineDotsFourLines.html License: Unknown
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alnatura_Muesli_Kundin.jpg License: CC-by-A 2.0 Germany Author: &quot;Alnatura&quot; Availability heuristic: A person begins with a first approximation (anchor) and then makes adjustments to that number based on additional information. The availability heuristic is a phenomenon (which can result in a cognitive bias) in which people predict the frequency of an event, or a proportion within a population, based on how easily an example can be brought to mind.
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)
  • Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Information_icon4.svg Image source: Unknown (Vanags, 2008)

Psychology 102: Cognitive processes Psychology 102: Cognitive processes Presentation Transcript

  • Psychology 102: Cognitive processes Dr James Neill Centre for Applied Psychology University of Canberra 2009
  • Reading Gerrig et al. (Chapter 8): Cognitive processes
  • The Brain: 1.5 kg of wet tissue
  • Cognitive Scenarios: A mysterious note At midnight, there's a knock on your door. When you answer, there is no one there, but you see an envelope on the floor. Inside the envelope is a handwritten message: “The cat is on the mat.” What do you make of this? Gerrig et al. (2008), p. 248
  • Cognitive Scenarios: Attention, Problem Solving, Memory... Kris is sitting at a desk reading some interesting papers to help with an assignment. Without removing her eyes from the paper she is reading, she reaches for a bag of sweets, unties a wrapper and pops a sweet into her mouth. Suddenly she stops and wonders: “What is happening here?” Gerrig et al. (2008), p. 248
    • Studying cognition
    • Language use
    • Concepts & their organisation
    • Problem solving & reasoning
    Overview
  • Studying cognition
    • Cognitive science
    • Cognitive psychology
    • Cognition
    • Processes of attention
    • Framing decisions
    • Consequences of decision making
      • Decision aversion
    Decision making
  • Cognitive Science
  • Cognitive Psychology
    • Processes of knowing
      • Attending,
      • Remembering
      • Reasoning
    • Content of the processes e.g.,
      • Concepts
      • Memories
    Cognition
    • Thinking
    • Knowing
    • Remembering
    • Communicating
    Cognition
    • Discovering the process of mind
      • F.C. Donders: Reaction time
        • The amount of time it takes experimental participants to perform particular tasks
    Studying cognition
    • Serial processes
      • Carried out in order, one after the other
    • Parallel processes
      • Carried out simultaneously
    Mental processes & resources
    • Attentional processes
      • Distribute the limited processing resources over different tasks
    • Controlled processes
      • Require attention
    • Automatic processes
      • Do not require attention
    Mental processes & resources
  • Language use
    • Language production
    • Audience design
    • Speech execution & errors
    • Language understanding
    • Language & evolution
    • Linguistic relativity
    • Visual representations
  • What people say, sign, and write and the processes they go through to produce the message
      • Speakers versus listeners
    Language production
  • Shaping a message depending on the audience
      • H. Paul Grice
      • Cooperative principle
        • Speakers should produce utterances appropriate to the setting and meaning of the ongoing conversation
    Audience design
    • Herbert Clark
      • Common Ground
        • Community membership
        • Linguistic co presence
        • Physical co presence
    Audience design
    • Spoonerism
      • “You have tasted the whole worm!”
      • “Tips of the slung”
    • Processes
    • Representations
    Speech execution & speech errors
    • Resolving ambiguity
      • Lexical ambiguity
      • Structural ambiguity
    • Products of understanding
      • Representations
      • Propositions
    Language understanding
    • Fully human speech anatomy first appears in the fossil record ~50,000 years ago.
    Language & evolution
    • May have evolved with walking, running, tool making, & complex group organisation.
    • Language structure
      • Washoe & ASL
      • Sue Savage-Rumbaugh
        • Bonobos
    • Audience design
      • Dorothy Cheny & Robert Seyfarth
        • Veret monkeys
    Cross-species comparisons
    • Language structure
      • Washoe & ASL
      • Sue Savage-Rumbaugh
        • Bonobos
    • Audience design
      • Dorothy Cheny & Robert Seyfarth
        • Veret monkeys
    • Language structure
      • Washoe & ASL
      • Sue Savage-Rumbaugh
        • Bonobos
    • Audience design
      • Dorothy Cheny & Robert Seyfarth
        • Veret monkeys
  • Language development
    • Babbling stage : 4 months, sounds like “ah-goo”
    • One-word stage : ~1 year old.
    • Telegraphic speech : Before 2nd birthday, “want juice”
    • Complete sentences : 2+ years
  • Language development
    • We learn language before learning numbers
    • Between 1 and 18, we learn on ~10 words/day or 3,500 per year.
    • Vocab of ~60,000 by end of high school
    Time Life Pictures/ Getty Images
  • Language development
    • Operant Learning (Skinner) - language development can be explained on the basis of learning principles such as association, imitation, and reinforcement.
    • Inborn Universal Grammar (Chomsky) - the rate of language acquisition is so fast that it cannot be explained through learning principles, so most of it is inborn.
  • Phonemes
    • The smallest, distinctive sound unit
    • bat, has three phonemes b · a · t
    • chat, has three phonemes ch · a · t
  • Morpheme Smallest unit of language that conveys meaning
    • Bat
    • Pre
    • Un
    • Undesirables – 4 morphemes
      • Un-desir-able-s
  • Grammar - the rules
    • Semantics – how we get meaning from the sentence, e.g.,
      • add “ed” and it happened in the past
    • Syntax – rules for making a grammatically correct sentence
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Ed
  • Semantics & syntax
    • They are hunting dogs.
    • They are hunting dogs.
    • They are hunting dogs .
    • What are the relations between language, thought, and culture?
    • Linguistic relativity proposes that the structure of language has an impact on the way in which an individual and culture perceives, thinks, and acts in the world e.g., temporality (past, present, future), gender, taxonomies; i.e., language precedes and shapes thought
    Linguistic relativity (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis)
  • Visual representations Perception Imagery Frontal cortex Temporal cortex Parietal Cortex Occipital cortex Perception-Imagery
  • Spatial Mental Model Combining verbal & visual representations
  • 5 minute break – have a stretch
  • Concepts & their organisation
    • Concepts
    • Categories & hierarchies
    • Prototypes
    • Category boundary members
  • Concepts
    • Group similar “things” together in our mind
    • Concept of “chair”:
  • Concept categories are hierarchically organised
    • Hierarchies help to organise items in categories
    Animals Domesticated Wild Dogs Cats Mixed breed Pure breed Heeler x Husky “ mad dog Holly”
  • Prototypes
    • Mental image or best example of a category
    • Closer something is to the prototype of a category, the easier it is to recognise as being in the category
  • Prototypes
    • When an item is placed in a category, our memory of it later shifts towards the category prototype!
    • Categories can have blurry boundaries
  • Category boundary members
    • Give your neighbour the name of an object that you think is very unrepresentative of its category.
    • Can your neighbour guess the category you are thinking of?
  • Problem solving & reasoning
    • Problem solving methods
    • Obstacles to problem solving
    • Reasoning
      • Deductive
      • Inductive
    • Judging and deciding
    • Thinking that is directed toward solving specific problems
    • Moves from initial state to a goal
    Problem solving
  • Problem solving
    • Problem space
      • Initial state
      • Goal state
      • Set of operations
    • Well-defined problem
    • Ill-defined problem
    Problem solving
  • Problem solving: Trial & error
    • Just keep going until you get it right!
    • Can be inefficient – and no guarantee it will work, but some element of trial and error persistence is often key to solving problems.
  • Problem solving: Algorithms
    • Step-by-step procedures that always provides the right answer
    • Follow a series of pre-defined steps guaranteed to work
  • Problem solving: Heuristics
    • Cognitive strategies / Mental shortcuts (“rules of thumb”)
    • Shortcuts to solving complex inferential tasks
    • May or may not provide the right solution
    • Availability heuristic : Judgment based on information readily available in memory
    • Representative heuristic : Assigns an object to a category on the basis of a few characteristics
    • Anchoring heuristic : Insufficient adjustment up or down from an original starting value when judging the probable value of an outcome
    Problem solving: Heuristics
  • Problem solving: Insight
    • Insight – a flash of inspiration!
  • Problem solving
    • Think-aloud protocols
      • Verbalising ongoing thoughts while working on a task
    • Functional fixedness
      • The inability to perceive a new use for an object previously associated with some other purpose
  • Obstacles to problem solving
    • Confirmation bias – eagerness to search for ideas that confirm what we think
    • Fixation – inability to see a problem from a different perspective
  • Obstacles to problem solving
    • Functional fixedness – think only of what an item is usually used for
    • Mental set – use the mindset that has worked before
  • Reasoning
    • Process of thinking in which conclusions are drawn from a set of facts
      • Directed toward a given goal
  • Deductive reasoning
    • Drawing conclusions by logically following two or more statements
    1. All men are mortal 2. Socrates is a man 3. (Therefore,) Socrates is mortal
  • Belief bias
    • Prior knowledge, attitudes, or values distort (pre-existing beliefs) can distort logical reasoning and lead to invalid conclusions
  • Belief bias: Examples
    • Students like to drink
    • Lecturers are not students
    • Lecturers do not like to drink
    • Lecturers like to study
    • Students are not lecturers
    • Students do not like to study
    • Goes beyond the confines of current evidence; makes conclusions about the unknown based on probability estimates derived from available evidence and past experience.
    • e.g., All parties I ever been to are boring, therefore Jim's upcoming party will be boring too.
    Inductive reasoning
    • We make numerous judgments and decisions based on our intuition, seldom using systematic thinking.
    • Judgment : Forming opinions, reaching conclusions, and making critical evaluations
    • Decision making : Choosing between alternatives
    Judging & deciding
  • Judging & deciding: Heuristics
    • Representative heuristic – judge the likelihood of something in terms of how well it matches our prototype
    • Availability heuristic – we base our judgements on how available the information is to us mentally.
  • Overconfidence
    • Tendency to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgements
    • e.g., on the stock market, both the seller and the buyer may be confident about their decisions on a stock.
  • Exaggerated fear
    • Opposite of overconfidence: exaggerated fear about what might happen
    • The 9/11 attacks saw a decline in air travel due to fear
    AP/ Wide World Photos
  • Framing decisions How information is presented affects decisions and judgements, e.g.,
    • Which is most fear-inducing?
      • A disease will kill 1 person per million.
      • The fatality risk is .000001%
    • What's a better way to market beef?
      • 25% fat
      • 75% lean
  • Belief perseverance
    • Clinging to initial conceptions after the information on which they were based has been discredited.
    • If you see that a country is hostile, you are likely to interpret their ambiguous actions as a sign of hostility (Jervis, 1985).
  • Review questions
  • What is cognition? The process and content of “knowing”, including thinking, remembering, and communicating.
  • How do we mentally organise information?
    • We mentally organise information using concepts which are stored in hierarchically organised categories.
  • What are the components of language?
    • Language is made up of phonemes, morphemes, syntax and semantics
  • What are 4 techniques we use for problem solving?
    • We use trial-and-error, algorithms, heuristics and insight to solve problems
  • What are the obstacles to problem solving?
    • Our problem solving is impaired by the confirmation bias, fixation, functional fixedness, and mental set.
  • What errors do we make in judgment and decision making due to cognitive bias?
    • Our judgment and decision making is affected by heuristics, overconfidence, exaggerated fear, and belief perseverance.
  • Next week
    • Lecture – No lecture
    • Tutorials – No tutorials
    • Essay – Time to get going!
    • Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P. G., Campbell, A. J., Cumming, S. R., & Wilkes, F. J. (2008). Psychology and life (Australian edition). Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.
    • Jervis, R. (1985, April 2). Quoted in D. Goleman, Political forces come under new scrutiny of psychology. The New York Times , pp. C1, C4. (p. 396)
    • Lieberman, P. (2007). The evolution of human speech: Its anatomical and neural bases. Current Anthropology , 48 (1), 39-66.
    References