Cognitive approach

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  • The Cognitive Approach
    • Main assumptions/ outline
      • Assumes that our thought processes effect the way in which we behave
        • Stimulus (external factor) affects response (human behaviour)
          • Our behaviour can be explained as a series of responses to external stimuli
        • As opposed to genetic factors
        • Important to understand mediational processes
          • Occur between stimulus and response
            • Our behaviour can be explained as a series of responses to external stimuli
      • Origins
        • 1950s/60s
          • Dissatisfaction with the behaviourist approach
            • Simple emphasis on external behaviour rather than internal processes
          • Development of better experimental methods
          • Comparison between human and computer processing of information
        • Neisser's book "Cognitive Psychology"
          • Established the human mind as similar to computers
      • Human behaviour can be explained as a set of scientific processes
      • Scientific study of the mind as an information processor
      • Tries to build up cognitive models of the information processing that goes on inside people's minds
        • Perception
        • Attention
        • Language
        • Memory
        • Thinking
        • Consciousness
    • Cognitive processes
      • Tries to build up cognitive models of the information processing that goes on inside people's minds
        • Perception
        • Attention
        • Language
        • Memory
        • Thinking
        • Consciousness
      • The senses
        • Taste: quickest
        • Hearing: delicate = easy to damage. 8x as much range as your eye
      • Basic, automated
        • Sensation
        • Attention
          • Filtering and selecting important information from the environment
          • We have a 45 minute attention span
        • Memory
          • Process of storing and retrieving and working with information
        • Perception
      • Complex, intentional
        • Intelligence (IQ)
        • Language
        • Thought
        • Decision making
          • The ability to weigh information and make a conclusion most suitab le to apply
            • Involves higher level processing
        • Knowledge
          • The storing of general information and algorithms
      • Information processing mode;
        • Input (senses), cognitive processes, output (behaviour)
        • Explains how humans receive, interpret and respond to information
    • Computer metaphor
      • Computer: input, processing (storage), output
        • Receives all input
        • Can do the same calculation repeatedly
        • Can't lose information (unless corrupt or damaged)
          • Can choose to permanently delete info
        • Emoitonless
        • Only knows as much info as has been input
      • Brain: senses, cognition (memory), behaviour
        • Only pays attention to a very small amount of info
        • Can only perform certain calculations at different times and speeds
        • Can easily misplace info and experience difficulty recalling it
        • Can't deliberately push something unpleasant from your mind
        • Emotions ahve a strong impact on functioning
        • Can try to place together memories to fill in the gaps
      • Structuralism
        • A method of analysing the human mind in terms of the simplest definable components and then to find how these components fit together to form more complex experiences, and correlate to physical events
        • E.g. multi store model
    • Schemas
      • Cognitive framework containing all the information you know about an object, action, or concept
        • Mostly occurs with little or no effort
      • When information is consistent with a schema, it is assimilated
        • Strengthens the schema
      • When information is inconsistent with a schema, the schema changes to accommodate it
        • Hard to do
          • Can prevent us from learning
          • We're more likely to pay attention to info we can easily assimilate
      • Different types of schema
        • Role
        • Event
        • Self
      • Can lead to stereotyping
      • Helps organise and interpret info: allows for shortcuts
      • Introduced by Jean Piaget
      • Bartlett's 1932 War of the Ghosts study support
    • Cognitive neuroscience
      • The use of scnaning technique ro locate he physical basis of cognitive processes and to identify brain injuries
      • Emergence: post mortem. 1970s: scanning techniques developed
        • Post mortem
          • Detailed internal examination
            • Determines why they died
      • Lesion studies
        • Patients with brain damage are examined
          • Determines which structure is damaged and how this influences the patients behaviour
      • EEG
        • Placing electrodes on the subject's scalp in order to non-invasely measure the electrical activity in their brain
          • Excited = higher amplitude
          • Can use to diagnose epilepsy, insomnia, ADHD etc
          • High temporal resolution
      • ERP
        • Like EEG, uses electrodes attached to the scalp, but also stimulus - looks for electrical activity in response
          • High temporal resolution: 10ms
      • MRI
        • Enables us to see the structures of the brain in detail
          • Can detect brain damage
            • Alzheimers
          • High spatial resolution: 1-2mm detail
      • PET
        • Picture of the "working brain"
        • Helps to identify damage and tumours
        • Radioactive tracer decays = gamma rays. These are detected by the scanner = produces image of the activity in areas of the brain
      • fMRI
        • Allows to see structures and functioning
          • Pcitures of slices of the brain
            • Spatial resolution
          • Colour: neurological activity
            • Termporsal resolution

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