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University Degree: Cognitive Psychology

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  1. Richard Gregory Suggests That Perception is a Process of "Hypothesis Testing". Critically Evaluate This Claim.

    However, not all hypothesis testing occurs at a conscious level. K�lpe (1904) puts forward the idea of 'mental operations' occurring during perceptual processes. He presented displays of different colours and told participants to concentrate on a certain dimension of the display, like the positioning of the letters. When K�lpe asked his participants to describe a different aspect of the display, like the colour of a certain letter, they could not. K�lpe concludes that despite all of the information from the presented display reaching the participants eye, a careful selection process comes about between the 'reception' of this information and the participant's perception, resulting in only some of the information being perceived and remembered.

    • Word count: 1711
  2. How do we Remember?

    Plastic Changes in the brain Short-term memory persisting for minutes to hours could be mediated by a variety of short-term plastic changes in synaptic transmissions, involving presynaptic inhibition. Another possibility is that there is ongoing feedback connections between neurons, which may reverberate within a closed loop of neurons and be sustained for some period of time. This would not involve any physical changes in the nerve cell, and the short-term memory is simply maintained by ongoing neuronal activity. Long-term memory may be stored by a persistent functional change in the brain.

    • Word count: 1152
  3. Processing speed in different ages and different complexity of tasks.

    This time, the speed of processing spatial information will be examined in term of a cognitive ability. This ability varies for different individuals with different personality, intelligence, gender, and age, etc. It was also different for different information circumstances: such as the complexity of task content, how familiar the subject gets with the context, where the task takes on etc. The age-related slowing was supported by Surwillo (1968) who earlier suggested that the slower performing in the elderly might be explained by an age-related decrease in the speed of an internal timing mechanism responsible for coordinating neural activities.

    • Word count: 1786
  4. The pros & cons of cognitive behavioral therapy being used as a tool to defeat depression & discrimination.

    Constructive change is realized through positive, progressive thought, self esteem building education, applying proactive coping skills, mentoring, and positive communication efforts. Precautions "Cognitive-behavioral therapy may not be suitable for some patients. Patients who do not have a specific behavioral issue they wish to address and whose goals for therapy are to gain insight into the past may be better served by psychodynamic therapy. Patients who undergo CBT must also be willing to take a very active role in the treatment process.

    • Word count: 1965
  5. What are the main features of pathological worrying and how does worrying contribute to generalised anxiety disorder?

    Borkovec et al 1983 (cited in Davey, 1994) defined pathological worry as "a chain of thoughts and images, negatively affect-laden and relatively uncontrollable; it represents an attempt to engage in mental problem-solving on an issue whose outcome is uncertain but contains the possibility of one or more negative outcomes." They found worry is highly related to feelings of fear and anxiety. Patients characterised what they felt when they worried; anxiety, tension and apprehension were rated most highly. The chronic worrier constantly engages in negative thinking, in the lab and in daydreaming (Pruzinsky and Borkovec, 1990, cited in Davey, 1994).

    • Word count: 1719
  6. Discuss the role of bottom up and top down processes in visual perception.

    This theory is completely concept driven, and thus only those objects stored in memory can be seen and novel objects cannot be perceived at all. Since one object needs various templates to represent all the different shapes and sizes that result from viewing a 3D object, it requires an almost infinite numbers of templates to be stored, and accessed. Feature theorists solve the problem by breaking an image into basic features, which are compared with similar patterns in the memory.

    • Word count: 2003
  7. The processes of memory and how it effects a persons memory as they age.

    Memory can have such an effect on a person that it is something not to underestimate. It can have dramatic effects on a person if it recalls certain situations from the past that may have effected a person in a life changing situation or something that may have had a certain effect a person. This essay will explore the benefits and problems with the process of memory and how memory effects a person as they get older. By exploring various studies and criticisms from various critics this essay will outline the pros and cons of memory and the effects of memory in relevance to when a person ages.

    • Word count: 1317
  8. Reductionism represents an intellectually-bankrupt approach to the understanding of brain-behaviour

    Few modern neurophysiologists deny the existence of hopes, beliefs, desires and consciousness as Weiss did, but many still believe that psychology's laws of behaviour can be reduced to the laws of neurophysiology. Is psychology really in danger, as E.O.Wilson put it, of being "cannibalised" by biology? In lower organisms there are many examples of a successful reduction from behaviour to "brain". For example, habituation of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia calafornica is understood at every level from the behaviour (Pinker et al., 1970), down to the nervous system (Kandel, 1979), the individual neurones (Kupfermann et al., 1970), the synapse (Castellucci et al., 1970), the molecular biology and neurochemistry (Castellucci and Kandel, 1974)

    • Word count: 2224
  9. Viewing behaviors from different perspective.

    Thus, they cannot memorize all the materials, so they will feel anxiety. Furthermore, students will expect their results would be bad, so they feel anxiety when they take a test. In case 2, a large number of people are so fearful of snakes that we would consider them to have a phobia. This case reflects the behavioral perspective. Behavioral perspective focuses on observable activities, stimulus and response. According to case 2, the stimulus will be snakes and the response will be phobia.

    • Word count: 521
  10. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

    rTMS (rapid rate) can give up to 50 pulses per second. The shape of the coil determines the properties of the magnetic field along with the way TMS is applied and where on the scalp. Either round of figure-of-eight coils are used. Applications of TMS Cortical stimulation such as of the motor cortex is possible with TMS, and is easy to study because the output is easily measurable - twitches in muscles. The Motor-evoked potential in the muscle produced by a stimulus (TMS) can be measured with electromyographic equipment. Connectivity between areas of the brain can be studied, for example transcallosal inhibition (TCI)

    • Word count: 711
  11. Is Language Sufficient to express Human Thought, or is there Thought beyond Language

    This results in a mental link between the picture and the word. However, if we can only think in language, how would a child with no language be able to think? If we allowed the child to grow up in a language-less world, would he be unable to think, or would his thoughts be simpler or more complex. I believe that we can't take the example of a baby too far as much of the things done by a baby are reflex and therefore do not involve thought. However, the issue of whether a person living without communication due to being deprived of language surrounding it when growing up is an interesting one.

    • Word count: 1789
  12. The digital computer is an inappropriate model of the visual perceiver." Discuss

    But is the ability to make sense of the real world in a similar way to ourselves really something that machines are incapable of? With the technology that we possess is it not possible to model the human visual system? Clearly the problem is not one of a lack of information. Television cameras can be considered to be an accurate enough representation of the input which our eyes afford us. Effects of binocular disparity cues can be overcome with the use of more than one camera and we can easily enable these cameras to be mobile to simulate any movements that we may make when assessing a scene.

    • Word count: 3348
  13. Discuss the significance of the unconscious and/or emotions and/or intuition in learning.

    Emotional State depends very much on outside events. There are several primary emotions - anger, sadness, fear and enjoyment and these all affect our learning in different ways. Emotions and feelings can block the learning process. They ways in which a teacher teaches and treats pupils (encouragement or humiliation) Emotional intelligence expands ones abilities into 5 areas - knowing ones emotions (self-awareness), managing and containing them, motivating oneself (emotional self-control), being aware and recognising emotions in others and effectively handling relationships (managing emotions in others, empathy and sensitivity).

    • Word count: 1839
  14. Discuss what we can learn about children's event memory from the way they respond in interviews.

    It can easily be argued that all interviewers or researchers are biased in some way as they are trying to prove or disprove a theory, hypothesis or event. This therefore makes it very difficult to be impartial. In cases where an interviewer suspects child abuse it is particularly difficult not to be biased because of the strong feelings that this may cause. Therefore it is crucial that interviewer bias and its effect on children's event memory are investigated. It is unlikely that biased interviewers will ask questions that may provide an alternate explanation for any allegations, they will not ask

    • Word count: 1559
  15. The Effect of Levels of Processing on Recognition Memory.

    However, we also use stored information to drive a car or structure a formal letter. Craick and Lockhart (1972) proposed a "Levels of Processing Theory" which suggested that the way in which information is encoded has some bearing on how easy it is to retrieve at a later date. They assumed that the attentional and perceptual processes that occur at the time of learning determine information stored in long-term memory. There are many different levels of processing, ranging from shallow or physical analysis (e.g. detecting specific letters in words) to deep or semantic analysis (Eysenck and Keane, 2000)

    • Word count: 2375
  16. Envisage a feasible design or designs so as to enable the 'bathing experience' to be as easy and enjoyable as possible for an 'elderly' person.

    The Increasing Older Adult Population The need for data when designing for the older adult is becoming more important as the population ageing process continues in the world. The number of people in the world over 65 years of age is predicted to grow by 88% over the next 25 years (almost one million people a month), and approximately one in ten people, or 800 million people, will be over 65 years of age in 2025. Figures for the UK in 1995 showed that 18.2% of the population was over pensionable age, which translates into over 10.5 million people.

    • Word count: 9250
  17. Consider the Relationship Between Thought and Language, from Developmental, Evolutionary, and Neurop

    A third view regards thought and language as originally quite separate activities which come together and interact at a certain point of development (about two years old) and is associated with Vygotsky (1962). Until the end of infancy, it is possible to encounter precursors of language that seem unrelated to intellectual operations (such as babbling) and elements of thought that occur without any language (such as actions,perceptions or images). However, the intermingling of language and thought provides the child with a uniquely human form of behaviour in which language becomes intellectual and thinking becomes verbal.

    • Word count: 1928
  18. Does language determine the way we think?

    This weaker version incorporates the idea that although language may not determine thought, it may influence perception and cognitive processing to an extent (Harley, 1995). Although this concept has often been dismissed as being "too vague too be useful" (Harley, 1995, p. 346), Hunt and Agnoli (1991) state that it can be quantified and evaluated using cognitive models which were unavailable to Whorf. Early evidence for the linguistic relativity hypothesis came from Whorf's (1956) many anthropological observations. However, the work of Whorf has faced considerable criticism.

    • Word count: 2178
  19. Old Age: A Process of Growth and Decline, a Life -Span Developmental Perspective.

    3). Loss of function of some kind is no doubt a dominant theme across the life span. However as Adams (1991, p. 323) found, within this life span perspective, development over the life course involves both a process of growth and decline. Other research such as studies conducted by Berg and Sternberg (1992, p. 221) in conceptions of intelligence across the life span also support these findings. This discussion will argue that old age is a period of decline but at the same time it is also a period of growth and development. In this discussion the attributes of cognitive processing, memory, subjective well-being, wisdom and to a lesser extent intelligence will be reviewed.

    • Word count: 2145
  20. Discuss the validity of early and late selection models of attention.

    A number of alternative theories have been subsequently suggested which shall be considered briefly. Human and animals cannot process all sensory information from the environment because they have a limited capacity system, we know this because human performance suffers when overloaded by multiple inputs, i.e. when trying to drive a car and talk on the phone it is difficult to attend fully to both stimuli. This means "decisions" have to be made about what to process, we therefore selectively attend, but the question is do we attend early or late in the sensory information processing system?

    • Word count: 1735
  21. Individual Differences Between Self-Reports of Imagery and Spatial Ability.

    The images required by the measures almost always hinge on items recalled or constructed from long-term memory (see VVIQ; Marks, 1973., QMI; Betts, 1909, cf. Dean & Morris, 2003) where as spatial tasks require the manipulation of imagined objects, which themselves, are arbitrary and unfamiliar. In line with Dean & Morris (2003) problems with existing measures could thus arise because images evoked from long term memory could possibly be the result of processes independent of those used when perceiving and imagining items required in tests of spatial ability.

    • Word count: 3285
  22. Definitions of terms containing the morph, morph

    Unconsciously is also a polymorphic word, because it contains more than one morpheme. Monomorphic words, of course, only have one morpheme. Morphemes can also be divided into lexical morphemes and grammatical morphemes. The lexical are utilised in the construction of new words, i.e., compound words and affixes. The grammatical are used to "express grammatical relationships between a word and its context". Here context refers to the meaning, situation and concept. Where a morpheme is an abstract concept, a morph is what occurs in speech.

    • Word count: 593
  23. Theories of human learning and memory.

    The approach has also been criticised for its concentration on the structure of memory with a concomitant lack of attention to the processes involved (Eysenck and Keane, 1995). In contrast to the above Craik and Lockhart (1972, cited in Eysenck and Keane, 1995) focused on the processes involved in long term memory, an approach known as 'levels of processing'. According to this framework the depth (or level) of processing conducted on material determines the strength of the memory trace laid down in long term memory which will in turn determine subsequent recall ability.

    • Word count: 1344
  24. Computational Linguistics - How Important Is Semantics? Compared to What?

    Syntactic analysis imposes structure on a flat string of words according to the grammatical categories of words. The resulting structure is referred to as a parse. Ambiguity is a major problem for parsing and for Natural Language Processing in general, since it leads to multiple parses of a single sentence many of which can be later rejected Semantics is generally concerned with assigning meaning to the structures created by the syntactic parse. If no meaning can be assigned to the structure it is nonsensical and can be rejected; for example: "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously" (Chomsky 1957)

    • Word count: 2733
  25. Essay describing the development and distinguishing features of three major schools in psychology since the nineteenth century - Behaviorist - Humanist - cognitive

    They used these theories in an attempt to explain almost all behavior. A more recent extension of this approach has been the development of the social learning theory which emphasizes the role of plans and expectations in people's behaviour. In this theory people were not seen as passive victims of the environment. Instead they were seen as self reflecting and thoughtful. Behaviourism offered explanations for lots of different things in a person's life. These accounts were always centered around the idea of learning.

    • Word count: 1494

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