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Cognitive Levels of Analysis
Transcript of Cognitive Levels of Analysis
1. Outline principles that define the cognitive level of analysis. (for example, mental representations guide behavior, mental processes can be scientifically investigated)
2. Explain how principles that define the cognitive level of analysis may be demonstrated in research (that is, theories and/or studies).
3. Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the cognitive level of analysis (for example, experiments, observations, interviews).
4. Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the cognitive level of analysis.
A. Humans are information processors and that mental processes guide our behavior
B. The mind can be studied scientifically by developing theories and using a number of scientific research methods
C. Cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors
People are active information processors; they perceive and interpret what is going on around them. How they interpret perception is often based upon what they already know; there is a relationship between people's mental representations and the way they perceive and think about the world.
Take out a sheet of paper and draw a shoe.
To Know or To Think
The idea is that the mind is a complex machine, like a computer, using different processes to function.
Goal: to discover and understand possible principles underlying cognitive processes.
We need various research methods, both in the field and in the laboratory to gain information about this. Bartlett investigated how cultural and social factors influence memory.
Cognition -Refers to a process that is based on one's mental representations of the world, such as images, words and concepts. People likewise have different experiences and therefore each individual will have different mental representations of the world.
This information processing approach/principle can be seen in:
– assumed to operate through top-down processing; the role of schema (organized sets of associated information) shape perception and can increase efficiency of processing, but can also lead to distortions.
They allow us to take short-cuts in interpreting vast amounts of information.
Testable theories can be developed and derived from unobservable cognitive structures/processes, and inferences made.
These theories can be tested using a scientific and appropriate research method of experimentation.
Thus, the mind (cognitive functions, structures and processes) can be studied scientifically.
This information processing approach/principle can be seen:
Through memory processes such as the models of memory demonstrated by Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968).
An example of a cognitive process is schemas
Schemas are organized mental representations of knowledge of people, objects, events and actions
The schema theory is the cognitive theory of processing information
The information that a person is exposed to can be determined by the society and the culture that they are in.
Likewise, because people are in different societies and cultures, different people are exposed to different information.
Therefore individuals will have different schemas
Social and cultural factors are factors that is dependent on/varies depending on culture
Whereby these examples are acquired from gatekeepers; parents, peers, teachers etc.
Human beings are information processors and that mental representations guide behavior
Mental processes can and should be studied scientifically by developing theories and by using a variety of research methods
Social and cultural factors affect cognitive processes
Frederick Bartlett: in quest for a naturalistic study of memory,
examined how subjects remembered pictures and stories
From this he came to emphasize the constructive character
Outline what is a research method? / What is the purpose of research methods in Psychology?
Researchers need to have a method for collecting and analyzing data.
There are many different/various methods researchers and psychologists use to conduct their studies.
Research methods are ways that researchers use and manipulate to conduct their studies.
State the main research methods used in psychological research
There are 6 main research methods used in psychology, which consists of the following:
Sometimes in research, researchers incorporate the use of 2 or more research methods of investigation to explore the same aspect, as using 2 or more may be more suitable and effective in finding out the necessary aims of the researcher.
It also increases credibility.
There are 4 main types of triangulation:
Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968)
Information is examined from the outside world then received and encoded. Storage and representation of this information to ourselves.
Ways in which this information is manipulated and used by the individuals varies.
How we output information back into the world to be received by others.
a sensory register, where sensory information enters memory,
a short-term store, also called working memory or short-term memory, which receives and holds input from both the sensory register and the long-term store, and
a long-term store, where information which has been rehearsed (explained below) in the short-term store is held indefinitely.
Example of long term memory
Baddeley & Hitch (1974)
Craik and Tulving's (1975)
Dweck and Blackwell (2007)
You can grow your intelligence
in one study, students were given puzzles to solve and then praised. Then given harder puzzle and confidence falls. What happened to motivation?
The students that were prasied for their intelligence are more willing to return to the easier puzzle where they receive positive reinforcement.
Children thought the difficult puzzles meant that they were not smart.
Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968)
Aim: better understand how memory works
Findings: developed multi store memory model. Memory finds a linear path to enter long term.
Conclusion: too simple, doesn't include flashbulb memory
Baddeley and Hitch (1974)
To prove the existence of 2 separate short term memory (STM) stores controlled by a central executive.
Baddeley and Hitch asked participants to me true/false decisions about spatially arranged letters, they were also given strings of digits to repeat after T/F tasks.
Showed that there are multiple stores available in STM.
STM is a multi-store system, more complex then originally thought
The Godfathers of Cognitive Psychology
Prove that memory is reconstructive and schemas influence recall. Demonstrate role of culture in schema processing.
Participants were British students.
Participants were presented with a Native American folk story. The participants were then asked to recite the story multiples times after certain time frames. No participants knew the aim and purpose of the task.
The participants’ recalled version of the story left out or replaced details related to Native American Culture e.g. Canoe -> Boat.The British students filled in the gaps in their memory with their own cultural schema. Average word count of the recalled story dropped from 330 words to 180 words.
People reconstruct the past by trying to fit it into existing schemas.
More complex the information, the more likely elements are forgotten/distorted.
People try to find a familiar pattern in experiences, past or new.
People uses existing schemas to fill in the gaps of their memory, subconsciously.
Memory, according to Bartlett, is an imaginative reconstruction of experience.
Craik & Tulving – Levels of Processing study (1968)
Test the theory of Levels of Processing.
Participants were presented with 60 words and one of three questions to the words. The questions were designed to activate different levels of processing. e.g. Is the word in capital or small letters? (Structural processing). e.g. What is the meaning of this word? (Semantic processing). Participants were then given a pool of 180 words in which the original 60 words were mixed into. They had to pick out the original 60.
Participants mostly picked out words that were asked with questions that triggered Semantic processing.
Shows that Semantic processing can lead to better recall.
Darley and Gross (1983)
Darley and Gross (1983) performed an experiment in which they showed participants videos of a girl playing in a poor environment and then a wealthy environment. They then saw the girl take an IQ test, and were told to judge the girl on her performance on this test. The 'poor' girl was judged to do poorly, while the 'wealthy' girl was judged to do good. This study demonstrated how human beings actively process information based on a few details to form an overall impression that may not be correct. (Schema Theory).
These Schemas (mental representations of knowledge) provide guidelines for interpretation of incoming information.
used MRI scans to observe the exact damage to H.M.'s brain. H.M. suffered amnesia due to a brain operation where the hippocampus and adjacent areas had been removed to eliminate his epilepsy. Although a small part of the hippocampus had been spared, it was not enough to support storage of new explicit memories.
Principle 1: Humans are information processors and that mental processes guide our behavior
Principle 2:The mind can be studied scientifically by developing theories and using a number of scientific research methods
Principle 3:Cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors
Example 1: Read list of words and have student write down as many as they can remember.
Example 2: Read over Anderson and Pichert (1978)
Example 3: http://www.exploratorium.edu/memory/dont_forget/playing_games.html?_sm_au_=iVV63WQJVsZj5n26
Protection from physical harm
Deception includes, but is not limited to:
Intentionally misleading participants about their status
Giving false information about the investigators or the research purpose
Omitting information about the real purpose of the research
Privacy is the right to be left alone; the right of an
individual to withhold himself and his property from
public scrutiny. Privacy derives from the concepts of
individual freedom and autonomy and involves the
ability of an individual to control the release or
dissemination of information that relates to himself or
Confidentiality is the right to rely on the trust or
discretion of another; the right of an individual to
control access to and disclosure of private information
entrusted to another. Confidentiality derives from a
relationship when an individual gives private
information to another, on the condition or with the
understanding that the other will not disclose it, or
will disclose it to the extent that the individual directs
Debriefing is a critical part of any experiment or psychological study that involves human participants. It is a procedure that is conducted after the experiment or study has been concluded. Debriefing involves a structured or semi-structured verbal conversation between the researcher and the subjects whereby an array of topics are addressed and discussed, and the subjects are given an opportunity to ask questions. There are multiple components of the debriefing process.
During the debriefing process, subjects are informed about what the hypothesis for the experiment was as well. If the subject has any misconceptions about the study, the researcher takes reasonable steps to correct those misconceptions during the debriefing process.
Researchers do not need to share all of the details of the study prior to its beginning, as that knowledge could impact the data collection and subsequent results. But after the experiment is completed, researchers do need to inform participants of the true nature of the study as part of debriefing.
Participants must be given information relating to:
• Purpose of the research.
• Procedures involved in the research.
• All foreseeable risks and discomforts to the subject. These include not only physical injury but also possible psychological.
• Benefits of the research to society and possibly to the individual human subject.
• Length of time the subject is expected to participate.
• Person to contact for answers to questions or in the event of injury or emergency.
5. Evaluate schema theory with reference to research studies
6. Evaluate two models or theories of one cognitive process (for example, memory, perception, language, decision-making) with reference to research studies.
7. Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process (for example, Alzheimer’s disease, brain damage, sleep deprivation).
8. Discuss how social or cultural factors affect one cognitive process (for example, education, carpentered-world hypothesis, effect of video games on attention).
What is a good education?
How is it different in other cultures?
Before Industrialization, what would have been a good education?
Culture affects how people remember, why they remember, when they remember, what they remember and whether they find it necessary to remember at all.
In memory studies where participants are asked to memorize random words that are NOT related to each other, people from Western cultures usually do better.
Such tasks are meaningless to non-Western people.
Cole & Scribner (1974)
Cole and Scribner(1974) studies the development of memory among tribal people in rural Liberia
Aim: To investigate free recall in two different cultures, the USA and the Kpelle people in Liberia
Procedure: For the test in Liberia, the researchers used objects that would be familiar to the Liberian children. The list of words belonged to four distinct categories. American children were given free recall tests matching their culture. The researchers presented the words to the participants and asked them to remember as many of them as possible in any order (free recall). In the second part of the experiment, the researcher presented the same objects in a meaningful way as part of a story.
Results: In the free recall test, the non-schooled participants hardly improved their performance after the age of 9 or 10. They remembered around 10 items on the first trial, and around two more after 15 practice trials. Liberian school children performed as school children of the same age did in the USE. They also used similar memory strategies.
In the second part of the experiment, the non schooled Liberian participants recalled objects well because they grouped them according to the roles they played in the story.
School children in Liberia and the USA used chunking and recalled items according to categories. The non-schooled Liberian children did not use the categorical structure of the list to help them remember. This indicates possible cultural differences in cognitive processes such as categorization and memory.
Evaluation: The extent of which it is culture or schooling (or both) that influenced memory and categorization in thy is not entirely clear. The experimental method was used and it can help to establish cause-effect relationship, but since the independent variable was culture (or schooling) it may be difficult to say anything definite about cause-effect relationships.
Evans & Schamberg (2009)
Richard and Gross
Aim: Investigate whether the regulation of emotion will affect memory.
Procedure: 53 subjects were split into 2 groups
One group was told to suppress their emotion while watching a film about and argument between two parents with the presence of a little girl.
The other group was asked to watch the film.
Results: The group that was suppressing their emotion throughout the film (regulation of emotion) had poor recall. They did a natural observation and compared the memory of those who regulate and freely express their emotions. Those who express their emotions have better memory.
The Cognitive Cost of regulating emotions took up the capacity for memory encoding.
Those who express their emotions have better memory.
Ecological validity was low in the initial experiment, because it was in lab conditions.
Their methodology not scientific so they make a big assumption that regulating emotion took up the capacity of memory encoding.
Schema is a cognitive framework or concept that helps organize and interpret information, often through the act of stereotyping and generalizing.
The schema theory is widely recognize, as it is applicable to every individual. As there have been numerous studies based on it, it has achieved a considerable level of creditability and reliability. It was the theory that triggered expansive research and experiments on cognitive psychology. Its disadvantages include the fact that it has not been biologically proven (as a result, psychologists do not know how people acquire schemas in the first place).
Anderson & Pichert (1978)
Brewer & Treyens (1981)
Aim: Bartlett aimed to determine how social and cultural factors influence schemas and hence can lead to memory distortions
Procedure: Participants were of English background.
Were asked to read "War of the Ghosts", a native american folk tale.
Tested their memory of the story using serial reproduction and repeated reproduction, where they were asked to recall it 6 or 7 times over various retention intervals.
Serial reproduction: The first participant reading the story reproduces it on paper, which is then read by a second participant who reproduces the first participants reproduction, and so on until it is reproduced by 6 or 7 different participants.
This study experimented with the technique of manipulating peoples schemata by assigning them different perspectives.
Repeated reproduction: the same participant reproduces the story 6 or 7 times from their own previous reproductions. (in intervals)
Results: Both methods led to similar results.
Memory is very inaccurate.
When people remember stories, they typically "omit" some details and introduce translations and distortions.
Limitations: Bartlett did not explicitly ask participants to be as accurate as possible in their reproduction and experiment was not very controlled.
Aim: to see whether a stereotypical schema of an office would affect memory of an office.
Method: participants were taken into a university office and left for 35 seconds before being taken to another room. They were asked to write down as much as they could remember from the office
Results: participants recalled things of a typical office according to their schema. They did not recall the wine and the picnic basket :)
Learning means formation of a memory - growing new connections or strengthening existing connections between neurons to form neural networks.
To find out what areas of the brain are involved in memory, researchers cut away brain tissue (LESIONING) and experimented with rats/animals by making them run through a maze. Lesioning continues until the animal can no longer solve the maze.
Because researchers cannot do this to human beings, (lesioning) they perform these tasks on people who already have brain damage.
LTM (Long term memory) is split into EXPLICIT MEMORY (aka declarative memory) which consists of fact-based information that can be consciously retrieved. Focuses on "knowing what"
Explicit memory is divided into 2 subsystems
Semantic memory - memory for general knowledge, i.e. Mick Jagger is a singer in the Rolling Stones
Episodic memory - memory for personal experiences and events
LTM is also split into IMPLICIT MEMORY, which contains memories that we are not consciously aware of
Implicit memory is divided into several subsystems
Procedural memory - non-conscious memory for skill, habits, and actions. Focuses on "knowing how"
Emotional memory - not yet well understood.
seems that emotional memories may be formed via the limbic system and that they may persist even when brain damage has destroyed other memories.
Scoville and Milner (1957)
There are three different types of schemas
Scripts – provide information about sequences of events that occur in particular contexts
Self-Schemas – organize information we have about ourselves
Social Schemas – represent information about different groups of people
Schemas contain stereotypes and expectations acquired during life
Multi-Store Model - Atkinson & Shiffren
Working Memory Model - Baddeley & Hitch
With reference to relevant research studies, to what extent is one cognitive process reliable • (for example, reconstructive memory, perception/visual illusions, decision-making/heuristics)?
Reliability of memory
Researchers have demonstrated that memory may not be as reliable as we think. Memories may be influenced by other factors than what was recorded in the first place, due to the reconstructive nature of memory. Reconstructive memory is the process of putting information together based on general types of stored knowledge in the absence of a specific memory representation.
Sigmund Freud was convinced that forgetting was caused by repression. According to Freud, people who experience intense emotional and anxiety-provoking events may use defense mechanisms, such as repression, to protect their conscious self from knowing things that they cannot cope with. They send the dangerous memories to the unconscious, which means that they will deny it has ever happened. However, the memory will continue to haunt them in symbolic forms in their dreams until a therapist is able to retrieve the memory using specific techniques. Some researchers claim that these techniques can create false memories, which people consequently believe to be true.
Loftus and Palmer
Name: Reliability of eyewitness testimony
Researchers: Loftus and Palmer
Definition: Memory can be defined as capacity to retain and store information
Aim: The aim of this study is to investigate how information supplied after an event, influences a witness’s memory for that event.
Method: The study consists of two laboratory experiments, one was about the speed estimation and the second one was a response to the question: “Did you see any broken glass?” She designed an experimental procedure in which she manipulated questions after showing participants a film, in order to see how this affected what they remembered.
Results: In the first experiment which was about the estimation of speed, the results showed that the phrasing of the question brought about a change in speed estimate. With smashed eliciting a higher speed estimate that contacted, and in the second experiment, results showed a significant effect of the verb in the question on the mis-perception of glass in the film.
Conclusion: This research suggests that memory is easily distorted by questioning technique and information acquired after the event can merge with original memory causing inaccurate recall or reconstructive memory.
Evaluation: Loftus and Palmer argue that two kinds of information go into a person's memory of a complex event. One way in which we could criticize this argument is to recognize that it is not only the type of question asked but also many other factors which could influence your memory of an event. The main strength of Loftus' argument is its wider implications.
Name: Reliability of the memory
Researcher: Frederic Bartlett
Definition: Bartlett argued that memory is reconstructive and that schemas influence recall. One of the methods used was serial reproduction, where one person reproduces the original story; a second person has to reproduce the first reproduction, etc. The method is meant to duplicate the process by which rumors and gossip are spread, or legends are passed from generation to generation.
Aim: To demonstrate the role of culture in schema processing.
Method: The story in Bartlett’s study is based on a Native American legend. He asked the participants to read the story twice. None of the participants knew the purpose or the aim of the experiment. After 15 minutes, Bartlett asked the participants to reproduce the story from memory. He asked them to reproduce the story a couple of times more when they had the opportunity to come into his laboratory.
Results: He noticed how each participant’s memory of an experience changed with each reproduction. It appeared that “War of the Ghosts” was difficult for people from western cultures to reproduce because of its unfamiliar style and content.
Bartlett found some characteristic changes in the reproduction of the story.
The story became shorter – after six or seven reproductions it was reduced from 329 words to 180.
The story remained a coherent story no matter how distorted it was compared to the original. Bartlett said this was because people interpreted the story as a whole.
The story became more conventional – that is, it retained only those details that could be assimilated to the shared past experience and cultural background of the participants.
Conclusion: According to Bartlett, people reconstruct the past by trying to fit it to existing schemas. The more complicated the story, the more likely it is that elements will be forgotten or distorted. Bartlett explained this as people’s efforts after meaning – that is, people try to find a familiar pattern in experiences – past or new ones. According to Bartlett, memory is an imaginary reconstruction of experience, which is exactly what modern research supports.
Suggests that memory is an active reconstruction process.
Ian Hunter confirmed Bartlett's findings in his replication of the study.
The results are not entirely reliable as the intervals of time at which the story had to be recalled are unknown and could have been different for each participant.
Demand characteristics could have created bias because the participants had been told what the experiment was about, when giving their informed consent, before taking part in it.
These factors add up to a lack of internal validity.
Additionally, he did not explicitly ask his participants to be as accurate as possible.
10. Discuss the use of technology in investigating cognitive processes • (for example, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans in memory research, fMRI scans in decision‑making research).
MRI(magnetic resonance imaging):
- It is a medical imaging technique used in reaiology to visualize detailed internal structure.
- MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to align the magnetization of some atoms in body, and radio frequency fields to systemically alter the alignment of this magnetization.
- Strong magnetic field gradients cause nuclei at different locations to rotate at different speeds. 3-D spatial information can be obtained by providing gradients in each direction.
(can identify soft tissue and each part of body which could not be identified by CT imaging)
fMRI (functional MRI) : upgraded version of MRI which can picture the images of actual functional parts of our body. (psychologists usually take fMRI photos of participants' brain)
- can identify which part of brain is in charge of which part of central nervous system.
PET:can differentiate the malignant and benign tumors or cancers.
use absorption and activity of glucose to identify photos of CT/MRI
11. To what extent do cognitive and biological factors interact in emotion (for example, two factor theory, arousal theory, Lazarus’ theory of appraisal)?
The procedure is actually quite simple. First you arrange things into different groups. Of course one pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities that is the next step, otherwise you are pretty well set. It is important not to overdo things. That is, it is better to do too few things at one time than too many. In the short run this may not seem important but complications can easily arise. A mistake can be expensive as well. At first the whole procedure will seem complicated. Soon, however, it will become just another facet of life. It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future, but then one can never tell. After the procedure is completed one arranges the materials into different groups again. Then they can be put into their appropriate places. Eventually they will be used once more and the whole cycle will then have to be repeated. However, that is a part of life.
Every Saturday night, four good friends get together. When
Jerry, Mike, and Pat arrived, Karen was sitting in her living
room writing some notes. She quickly gathered the cards and
stood up to greet her friends at the door. They followed her
into the living room but as usual they couldn't agree on exactly
what to play. Jerry eventually took a stand and set things up.
Finally, they began to play. Karen's recorder filled the room
with soft and pleasant music. Early in the evening, Mike noticed
Pat's hand and the many diamonds. As the night progressed the
tempo of play increased. Finally, a lull in the activities
occurred. Taking advantage of this, Jerry pondered the arrangement
in front of him. Mike interrupted Jerry's reverie and said,
"Let's hear the score." They listened carefully and commented
on their performance. When the comments were all heard, exhausted
but happy, Karen's friends went home.
The two boys ran until they came to the driveway. "See, I told you today was good for skipping school," said Mark. "Mom is never home on Thursday," he added. Tall hedges hid the house
from the road so the pair strolled across the finely landscaped yard. "I never knew your place was so big," said Pete. "Yeah, but it's nicer now than it used to be since Dad had the new stone
siding put on and added the fireplace." There were front and back doors and a side door which led
to the garage which was empty except for three parked 10-speed bikes. They went in the side door, Mark explaining that it was always open in case his younger sisters got home earlier than
their mother. Pete wanted to see the house so Mark started with the living room. It, like the rest of the downstairs, was newly painted. Mark turned on the stereo, the noise of which worried Pete.
"Don't worry, the nearest house is a quarter of a mile away," Mark shouted. Pete felt more comfortable observing that no houses could be seen in any direction beyond the huge yard.
The dining room, with all the china, silver and cut glass, was no place to play so the boys moved into the kitchen where they made sandwiches. Mark said they wouldn't go to the basement
because it had been damp and musty ever since the new plumbing had been installed. "This is where my Dad keeps his famous paintings and his coin collection," Mark said as they peered into the den. Mark bragged that he could get spending money whenever he needed it since he'd discovered that his Dad kept a lot in the desk drawer. There were three upstairs bedrooms. Mark showed Pete his mother's closet which was filled with furs and the locked box which held her jewels. His sisters' room was uninteresting except for the color TV which Mark carried to his room. Mark bragged that the bathroom in the hall was his since one had been added to his sisters' room for their use. The big highlight in his room, though, was a leak in the ceiling where the old roof
had finally rotted.
The multistore model of memory (also known as the modal model) was proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) and is a structural model. They proposed that memory consisted of three stores: a sensory register, short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM).
Information passes from store to store in a linear way, and has been described as an information processing model (like a computer) with an input, process and output.
multi store model of memory diagram
Information is detected by the sense organs and enters the sensory memory. If attended to this information enters the short term memory.
Information from the short-term memory is transferred to the long-term memory only if that information is rehearsed (i.e. repeated). If maintenance rehearsal (repition) does not occur, then information is forgotten, and lost from short term memory through the processes of displacement or decay.
Atkinson’s and Shiffrin’s (1968) multi-store model was extremely successful in terms of the amount of research it generated.
However, as a result of this research, it became apparent that there were a number of problems with their ideas concerning the characteristics of short-term memory.
Building on this research, Baddeley and Hitch (1974) developed an alternative model of short-term memory which they called working memory (see fig 1).
Baddeley and Hitch (1974) argue that the picture of short-term memory (STM) provided by the Multi-Store Model is far too simple. According to the Multi-Store Model, STM holds limited amounts of information for short periods of time with relatively little processing. It is a unitary system. This means it is a single system (or store) without any subsystems. Working Memory is not a unitary store.
For example: Schema Theory, Multi-Store Model, Levels of Processing Theory
Glanzer and Cunits (1966)
Baddeley and Hitch (1974)
The Amygdala in 5 minutes
How do cognitive and biological factors interact in emotion? There is an interaction between the two, but how much do they interact. According to the two-factor theory and the appraisal theory, cognitive and biological factors interact in emotion to an extent that is less than half.
The two-factor theory (also known as Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory and dual-factor theory) states that there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction, while a separate set of factors cause dissatisfaction.
The Two-Factor Theory
According to Richard Lazarus, stress is a two-way process; it involves the production of stressors by the environment, and the response of an individual subjected to these stressors. His conception regarding stress led to the theory of cognitive appraisal.
Sachter and Singer Experiment