Cognitive Perspective - Historical And Cultural ConditionsPresentation Transcript
The Cognitive Perspective
Progress in brain scanning technology
1895: Discovery of the x-ray technique by Roentgen – because of the basic level of technology it’s use was limited then.
With the development of computerized technology more sophisticated techniques have come about (CAT, PET, MRI), all assessing different aspects of brain activity. Even Echography (ultrasound) to scan newborns.
Such scanning technology contributed to the development of cognitive science by combining artificial intelligance (AI) with computer simulation (CS).
Computer science takes the view that human beings are information processors and aims to build simulation models of cognitive and neurological processes in order to understand how we process information.
Noam Chomsky: 1959
Published a review of B.F. Skinner’s book on Language.
Skinner argued that the behavioural model of language acquisition as a stimulus-response process was over-simplistic.
Chomsky claimed that it did not account for many of the things known about language.
Chomsky instead suggested that language aquistion is better understood in terms of the cognitive processes invoolved.
This was a very influential challenge to behavioursim and marked the rise of cognitive psychology.
Since WWII the development of psychology differed between countries.
The dominance of research of a German origin lessened.
Many of the researchers moved to the USA (for both safety and opportunities)
Gernerally in the 20 th century, there was an increasing division between science and faith
They were two different and at times opposing ways of understanding the world.
Psychology was trying to be seen as a true science, and adopted the position that religion was unnecessary or unhelpful in understanding human behaviour.
With the emphasis being on an experimental method (and with the use of computer modelling and solving socially important problmes – such as how to help fighter pilots to be more effective), cognitive psychology was quickly embraced in western cultures.
Using computers as a model from which to understand human functioning is also appealing to those from cultures that seek to explain human experience scientifically rather than spiritually, and focus on the individual rather than the collective experience.
Use of computers as a model
With the developmnet of technology in the later 1950s and 1960s, psychologists became interested in how computers might be used to understand human mental processes.
Cognitive psychologists increasingly understood mental events in terms of models of information processing, with the brain corresponding to the hardware (the computer) and mental processes, such as thinking and memory, to the software (the programs).
Therefore, much of modern day cognitive psychology relies on the computer metaphor – where the human is seen primarily as a complex information processor.