Ltms525 cognitive chapt-7 Cognitive Theory


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Review of Chapter 7 Cognitive Theory

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  • Edward Chace Tolman was a prominent learning theorist. He proposed that learning is an internal process that isn’t reflected in an organism’s behavior. His example was the experiment with 3 groups of rats. Group one was reinforced with food each time they completed a maze. Group two rats received no reinforcement for successful performance. Group three rats were not reinforced during the first 10 days in the maze but on the 11 th day they began to receive reinforcement. The results showed that groups 2 and 3’s performance improved. Group 3’s performance passed group 1’s performance. Group 3 learned as much as group1 during the first 10 days even though the two groups had been performing differently. Tolman termed this latent learning for this unobservable learning. Tolman’s view was that reinforcement influences performance rather than learning. In other words it increases the likelihood that a learned behavior will be exhibited. Learning is purposeful in that an organism will behave in order to achieve an end result. In other words Behavior has a purpose. Tolman stressed the goal-directed nature of behavior and his theory is sometimes referred to as purposive behaviorism. According to Tolman once an organism learns that certain behaviors produce certain kinds of results, it begins to form expectations about the outcomes of its behaviors. Rather than reinforcement affecting the response that it follows, the organism’s expectation of reinforcement affects the response that it precedes (This is a similarity with Social Cognitive Theory). When an organism’s expectations are not met, its behavior may be adversely affected. Example Two groups of rats ran a maze. One group (experimental group)received bran mash another (control group) received sunflower seeds. On the 10 th day the experimental group was switched to sunflower seeds and began running the maze much slower. Tolman would say the rats expectations of reinforcement was no longer being confirmed. Tolman proposed that rats and many other species develop cognitive maps of their environments: They learn where different parts of the environment are situated in relation to one another. Pg. 152, figure 7.2.
  • -Gestalt psychology was advanced by such theorists as Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler and Kurt Koffka. Gestalt Psychologists emphasized the impotance of organizational processes in perception, learning, and problem solving and believed that individuals were predisposed to organize information in particular ways. -Several basic ideas to emerge from Gestalt psychology: -Perception is different from reality (this can be seen in blinking lights of a roadside sign) Wertheimer concluded that perception of an experience is sometimes different then the experience itself. A combination of stimuli may show a pattern not evident in any of the stimuli alone. -On page 154 Figure 7.3a and 7.3b is an example of an organism structures and organizes experience. The lines are identical in both figures but the way you group them is different. -Gestaltists suggest that organisms (especially humans) are predisposed to structure their experiences in similar and therefore predictable ways. There are several principles to describe how people organize their experiences. The law of proximity principle is that people tend to perceive as a unit those things that are close together in space. Page 154 (dots) The law of similarity is that people tend to perceive as a unit those things that are similar to one another. P. 155 fig 7.4 a and b The law of closure is that people tend to fill in missing pieces to form a complete picture. Figure 7.3b, Figure 7.5 The law of Pragnanz is that people organize their experiences as simply, concisely, and symmetrically, and completely as possible. Gestalt psychologists believe that learning involves the formation of memory traces Pg. 156 figure 7.7 Gestaltists proposed a different view of how organisms solve problems. Problem solving involves mentally combining and recombining various elements of a problem until a structure that solves the problem is achieved.
  • Paired associate learning involves learning pairs of items. Le papier, Juneau is the capital of Alaska, are examples. The first item in the pair is the stimulus, and the second is the response. -Serial learning is characterized by a particular pattern. There is usually a learning curve for which people learn the first few items and the last few items more quickly and easily than they learn the middle items. The alphabet would be a common example. Children learn the first letters and the last letters before they learn the middle letters. The first items in a serial learning curve to be learned is called the primacy effect. The last item to be learned quickly is called the recency effect. -Overlearning is when you learn information and continue to practice material after mastery. -Distributed practice which is spreading study time out over several occasions which leads to better learning than massed practice which is when study time occurs all at once. The further apart the study sessions are, the better one’s recall for the learned information is apt to be over the long run. -Retroactiave inhibition – learning two sets of paired associates in succession. Learning the second set makes recalling the first set difficult. -Proactive inhibition –learning two sets of paired associates in succession. Difficulty in recalling the 2 nd as well as the first. -Retroactive facilitation or proactive facilitation – learning one set of information that actually improves the recall of information learned at another time. Example: after learning the stimulus-response pair “house-dragon,” you would probably learn “house-monster” fairly easily. There are a number of characteristics that affect the ease of learning and remembering verbal material: -items are more quickly learned when they are meaningful or easily associated with other ideas -items are easier to learn and remember when they are pronunceable -concrete items are easier to learn and remember than abstract items ex: turtle, hammer, sandwich vs truth, joy, experience -items that evoke mental images are more memorable than those that are hard to visualize People will go out of their way to make information meaningful when they are trying to learn it. People organize what they learn. When people use free recall (recall items of a serial learning task in any order) they usually do not recall the items in the original presentation order. Usually the recall represents a organizational scheme of some kind.
  • People often change, or encode, information in some way to make it easier to learn When people focus on learning ideas rather than on learning information word for word, their learning is faster and their recall more accurate
  • The assumptions underlying contemporary cognitive theories of learning are radically different from those underlying behaviorism. Almost all research within the cognitivist perspective is conducted with human beings, and theories obtained from the research are not usually generalized to other species. Cognitive theorists believe that learning involves an internal, mental change rather than the external behavior change that many behaviorists describe. Thus, learning can occur without being reflected in an individual’s observed performance. People are active participants in the learning process and control their own learning. A humans beings knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions are not isolated from one another but are instead all associated and interconnected. Cognitive psychologists share with behaviorists the beliefs that the study of learning must be objective and that learning theories should be based on the results of empirical research. Also, like behaviorists they recognize that they have no way of knowing that learning has occurred until they see a behavior change of some sort. Cognitivists differ from behaviorists in one critical respect—By observing the responses that people make to different stimulus conditions, they believe they can draw reasonable inferences about the nature of the internal mental events that lead to those responses.
  • Cognitive theories focus on: How people think about the information they receive from the environment How they perceive the stimuli around them How they put what they’ve perceived into their memories How they find what they’ve learned when they need to use it Together these theories are collectively known as information processing theory. Dual-Store Model of Memory – pg 168 figure 7.9 This model is that information is input to the sensory register where it is held for a short time and then it must be processed on to short-term working memory where it is then moved on to long-term memory. Information goes between short-term and long-term memory. If information is not processed on it is assumed to be lost. Sensory Register – This is the first component of the dual-store model. This holds incoming information long enough for it to undergo preliminary cognitive processing. Ex: sparkler leaves a light trail behind it. This is your sensory register holding the light for a short time after you’ve seen it. There are 3 characteristics of the sensory register: Capacity is unlimited Forms of storage – information is stored in the same way it was sensed: visual input stored in visual form, auditory input in an auditory form Duration – The amount of time information is held in the sensory register is brief.
  • To move information from the sensory register to working we must pay attention to it. Pg 171
  • Levels of processing model of human memory – information coming in is processed by a central processor (similar to the central executive aspect of working memory). This central processor has limited capacity. It can only hold so much at one time. Information temporarily held there is what we are aware of at any given time. Learning is more effective when it is elaborative – that is, when the learner adds information to the material to be learned in such a way that the new material is encoded more precisely and meaningfully and completely. Activation is when working and long term memory are not necessarily separate entities but may instead simply reflect different activation states of a single memory. A key idea of activation theory is that activation almost invariably spreads from one more piece of information to associated pieces.
  • People combine new information with information already in long-term memory.
  • Pg. 183-186 Some theorists argue that working memory and long term memory are both components of a single storage mechanism rather then two separate. In the dual-store model, information must go through working memory before it can be stored in long-term memory.
  • People control their own learning Memory is selective Attention is essential for learning -Strategies for holding students’ attention: -Include variety in topics and presentation styles -Provide frequent breaks, especially when working with young children -Ask questions -Minimize distractions when independent work is assigned -Seat students near the teacher if they have difficulty staying on task -Monitor student behaviors People can process only a limited amount of information at a time The limited capacity of working memory is not necessarily a bad thing
  • Ltms525 cognitive chapt-7 Cognitive Theory

    1. 1. LTMS 525: How Humans Learn
    2. 2. Cognitive <ul><li>Purposive Behaviorism (Tolman) </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is internal </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior is purposive </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations affect behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Learning = organized body of information </li></ul>
    3. 3. Gestalt Psychology <ul><li>Organizational processes- perception, learning, problem solving, predisposed to organize </li></ul><ul><li>Perception is different from reality </li></ul><ul><li>Whole is more than sum of the parts </li></ul><ul><li>Structures and organizes experience </li></ul><ul><li>Predisposed to organize experiences in certain ways </li></ul><ul><li>Problem Solving – restructuring and insight </li></ul>
    4. 4. Verbal Learning <ul><li>Paired associate learning </li></ul><ul><li>Serial learning </li></ul><ul><li>Overlearned material is recalled later </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed practice is more effective than massed practice </li></ul><ul><li>Learning in one situation often affects learning and recall in another situation </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of material affect the speed of learning </li></ul><ul><li>People impose meaning on new information </li></ul><ul><li>People organize what they learn </li></ul>
    5. 5. Verbal Learning <ul><li>People often use encoding strategies to help them learn </li></ul><ul><li>People are more likely to learn general ideas than to learn words verbatim </li></ul>
    6. 6. General Assumptions <ul><li>Some learning processes may be unique to human beings </li></ul><ul><li>Learning involves the formation of mental representations or associations that are not necessarily reflected in overt behavior changes </li></ul><ul><li>People are actively involved in the learning process </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is organized </li></ul><ul><li>Objective, systematic observations of people’s behavior should be the focus of scientific inquiry, however, inferences about unobservable mental processes can often be drawn from behavior. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Information Processing of Human Memory Dual-Store Model Sensory Register
    8. 8. Moving Info to Working Memory How do we move information to working memory?
    9. 9. Alternative Views of Human Memory What do we do to organize our memory and how can we use this in instructional design?
    10. 10. Moving Info to Long-term Memory Connecting New Info with Prior Knowledge
    11. 11. Challenges to Dual-Store Model How do we store what we learn?
    12. 12. Educational Implications What does this mean to teaching and learning?
    13. 13. Homework and Questions <ul><li>Readings : Read Ch 8, 9,… if time Ch 10 </li></ul><ul><li>In Discussion Board : Discuss a strategy you have used or are aware of for capturing and holding students’ attention. </li></ul>