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University Degree: Cognitive Psychology

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  1. What is classical conditioning and how is it relevant to phobias in humans?

    As a general rule, classical conditioning entails learning about the conditions that forecast that an important event will take place, e.g., when a balloon is being inflated in front of a person who has never seen one before then he/she will observe the expanding balloon but will not demonstrate any other reaction. When the balloon explodes the noise and the blast of air will cause a protective shock reaction (suddenly heaving his/her shoulders and moving his/her arms towards his/her body).

    • Word count: 2208
  2. Describe and evaluate the Gestalt laws of perceptual organization.

    These are: the law of proximity, the law of similarity, good continuation, common fate, closure and figure ground. Also I will briefly discuss the law of Pragnanz - the fundamental principle of the Gestaltists which is apparent in changing forms throughout all 6 laws. Whilst receiving great acclaim at the time of publication there have been several criticisms concerning the Gestalt laws, in particular regarding methodology, validity and credibility these I will also address in this essay. I believe that the laws of proximity, similarity and common fate can be examined collectively as, during all three processes, the visual system goes through the act of grouping elements to infer a structure that is not actually present in the stimulus.

    • Word count: 1766
  3. Hypochondriasis: Treatment with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and How I'm Getting My Life Back

    Hypochondria has been around since ancient times and is one of the oldest disorders documented. has been considered the male counterpart to hysteria, since hysteria was considered the symptom of a wandering uterus and only females could have that. It is now known that hypochondria affects both men and women in equally serious ways. Although hypochondria is a serious disorder, it has been a popular subject in humor. Hypochondriacs are often stereotyped as being quirky individuals, constantly suffering from an imaginary ailment, sometimes going to comical lengths to cure themselves. In addition to being stigmatized by society, hypochondriacs may also have difficulties with physicians.

    • Word count: 2687
  4. In A Dark Side of Happiness? Grubers purpose is to expand on the idea with her team that there is in fact a dark side to happiness.

    Later on, June makes a reference as to how happiness is now in high-demand among people in this present time. She makes reference to how the use of motivational speakers and self-help books are at an all-time high. In a related article by Gareth Cook, he also takes notice these two methods of obtaining happiness has swept the nation. Gareth Cook addresses the issue in the first three paragraphs of his paper by first imitating an advertisement that one would relate to a self-help book, he then mocks these same exact methods and finally gives a brief breakdown on the study of happiness and the rise of these methods to obtaining happiness.

    • Word count: 1388
  5. Discuss the Implications of Memory, Thinking and Language for the Modern, Irish, Third Level Student

    Throughout the essay, the practical implications of memory, thinking and language for third level students are highlighted. According to Atkinson and Shiffrin in Feldman (2010), memory allows human beings to encode information, store it and retrieve it as required. There are three different memory stores consisting of sensory, short-term and long-term memory. Information must pass through these three stages in order to be stored permanently. Sensory memory is the initial stage through which information must pass. It stores a highly accurate copy of the material to which it is exposed but it is only able to store this information momentarily and it cannot make sense of its meaning.

    • Word count: 2947
  6. 'Imagine you have been abandoned in the middle of an unknown forest in the middle of a pitch-black night. What research evidence in auditory cognition and perception underpins your ability to understand the auditory environment?'

    Every sound we hear is a composite, and we usually hear many of these at once. The brain is able to make sense of this through two methods, fusion and segregation. Fusion is the process of putting together elements of a single sound. Studies by Makous and Middlebrooks in 1990 found that people can localise sounds that are directly in front of them more accurately that sounds that are either behind them or off to the side (Goldstein, 2002). They also introduced tree coordinate systems to identify auditory location, being the azimuth coordinate, which specifies locations varying left or right

    • Word count: 2001
  7. TMA02 DSE212. I intend to explain what we can learn about the relationship between the brain and behaviour using the case of Phineas Gage

    The damage to the left frontal lobe led to suggestions that this part of the brain functions as an inhibitor of emotional expression. By looking at the behaviour of someone with brain-damage after an accident and comparing behaviour of someone without that damage allowed early psychologists to theorise what functions certain regions of the brain perform and it is now known that the prefrontal cortex does indeed play a role in using memories in the inhibition of behaviour (Toates, 2007).

    • Word count: 2349
  8. Learning - social, cognitive, and developmental psychologies offer several theories suggesting regarding what, when, why, and how people acquire knowledge.

    Acquisition involves research conducted by the learner, such as experiments and general curiosity. Accretion involves the steady achievement of knowledge, such as habits, language, culture, and civil behavior. Emergence refers to the formation of ideas rooted in amalgamation of existing information (University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, 2005). When Biologist Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development answers when a person learns by centering on the maturational aspects that influence understanding, and suggests learning occurs in four stages during childhood. The pace of development relies on the achievement of cerebral and emotive milestones, each stage developing further upon the completion of preceding stages (Piaget, 1952).

    • Word count: 1138
  9. There are three main theoretical explanations for why there is dreaming: the biological view, the cognitive view, and the psychoanalytic view. I will be assessing a dream of my own, using all three perspectives

    I frequently have this dream and it has reoccurred throughout my life. Maybe dissecting my dream with these three theories will help explain why I dream of this so frequently. Perhaps one of the most important discoveries for neurobiology of dreams occurred in 1953. It was the discovery of the ?rapid eye movement?(REM)(Piero, 3). REM is a stage of sleep marked by rapid eye movements, high frequency brain waves, and dreaming (Huffman, 144). It is this stage that influenced the coming of the first theory I will talk about, the biological view or also known as the activation-synthesis hypothesis.

    • Word count: 927
  10. This simple stimulus learning paper will analyze the forms of simple stimulus learning. The analysis will explain the concept of habituation

    Habituation is also known for being present in animal species, even human beings. There are several elements that enhance habituation emerging inside an organism. One element that is very important is the inter-stimulus interval, which is defined for being the amount of time that is in between the presentation that is first presented which of the stimulus to the organism going up to the next presentation (Terry, 2008). The second important element is stimulus duration, where it is the amount of time where the stimulus has presented. A very interesting fact about habituation is the fact that it decreases in response due to the stimulus which is where the habit was created.

    • Word count: 1351
  11. Together heredity and hormones play an important part of behavioral psychology

    The endocrine system is comprised of glands that release chemical hormones into our systems that can make us nervous, tired, happy or depressed; and even define us as male or female as with the hormones testosterone and estrogen respectively, an imbalance of which in either males or females might cause aggressiveness. Our gonads comprised of testes for male and ovaries for female are responsible for the secretion of these hormones. Other glands of our endocrine system are likewise responsible for many other hormones that define who we are both psychologically and physically.

    • Word count: 729
  12. How Do People Make Judgements and Decisions? (Relating to Emotion and subjective expected utility theory)

    2. An opinion or conclusion. A Decision is explained as: 1. a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration. 2. The action or process of deciding. So both words mention the act of ?concluding? and the process of deciding or the ability to make considered decisions. So for the sake of this essay we shall look upon ?decision making? as a transactional relationship of the two. Modern research on decision making, due to historical preferences has been based upon assumptions of what people ?should do? compared to what they actually do, resulting in two types of theory on decision making.

    • Word count: 1703
  13. Critically evaluate the contribution that patient case studies have made, not only to our understanding of cognitive processes, but also to the development of cognitive neuropsychology as a discipline in its own right.

    Is it fair to infer the brain-damaged person was "normal" to begin with? Lesions are rarely identical in size and shape, affecting the symptoms displayed; how "universal" can the data collected from a single person be? The purpose of this discussion is to critically evaluate these important questions and provide a sufficient account of how cognitive neuropsychology, using single patient case studies, have overcome these limitations to be considered a discipline in its own right. It will also be noted how the contribution of single patient case studies have influenced our increased understanding of normal human behaviour by examining the significance of particular case studies involving patients with brain damage, in cognitive processing.

    • Word count: 2136
  14. An Evaluation of the theories of viewpoint-invariant and viewpoint- dependent approaches of three dimensional objects

    Brace 2005) As long as the appropriate invariants are recovered, recognition will be successfully achieved. (Appropriate invariants will be discussed later) The second approach postulates that recognition is viewpoint-dependent ? that recognition occurs when novel features are compared to different feature representations from visual memory (Tarr and Bulthoff 1995) hence recognition depends upon viewpoint differences from how they were represented and how they appeared when they were originally learnt (William G Haywood 2003) Marr and Nishihara?s (1978) viewpoint-invariant theory of object recognition is based upon the assumption that there are four visual representations or modules increasing in both detail and complexity, formed during the recognition process ( G.Pike & G Edgar 2005 p89 ch3)

    • Word count: 2079
  15. The effect of context, and the relationship of cue and target, in word recognition performance

    presented as a cue, and the information present in memory is identical, due to the fact that recall tests provide only a cue (usually contextual information), whereas recognition tests provide an exact duplicate of the original information (Muter, 1978). It is possible, therefore, because the strength of the contextual relationship effects recall, that in some cases recall may out perform recognition if the overlap between the stored information and the memory cue is greater for a recall task than a recognition task of the same items.

    • Word count: 6890
  16. To what extent can biological investigations provide evidence to suggest language lateralisation correlates with schizophrenia?

    Word count: 280 ________________ Table of Contents ________________ Abstract 1 Table of Contents 2 Introduction 3-4 Literature Review 5-8 Language Lateralization 5-6 Anatomical Asymmetry 6-7 Handedness 8 Evaluation 9 Evaluation of Language Lateralization 9-10 Evaluation of Anatomical Asymmetry 10-11 Evaluation of Handedness 11-12 Conclusion 13 References 14-15 Appendix 16 ________________ Introduction ________________ “Schizophrenia is a term first proposed by Eugen Bleuler in 1908 referring to a group of disorders characterised by severe cognitive, emotional and behavioural symptoms” (Brüne, 2004, pg.

    • Word count: 5227
  17. Phineas Gauge suffered a brain lesion as a consequence of an accident at work. Describe the lesion he suffered and describe how Gauges injury helped explain some of the processes of the affected area of the brain. How did this event help underpin the sch

    Gauge worked as a foreman of a crew who were excavating rocks to make a railway line. This excavation involved drilling deep holes in the rock, filling them with dynamite then inserting a fuse and plugging the hole with sand. To do this involved using a crow-bar like tool called a tamping iron. On the 13th of September, 1848, Gauge, aged 25, was preparing for an explosion using the tamping iron to compact the powder into a hole. A spark from the tampering iron ignited the powder and caused the iron to propel, at high speed, straight through Gauge?s skull. It entered his head through the left cheek bone and exited through the top of his head.

    • Word count: 1131
  18. The Extended Mind: Can We Sense When Someone is Staring?

    Lastly, Sheldrake expresses that ?if [images] are both within the mind and outside the body, then the mind must extend beyond the body. Our minds reach out to touch everything we see? (Sheldrake, 2002, 106). This concept plays into the specific topic of whether or not you can feel when someone is staring at you. If the mind can reach out and touch everything we see, then when we stare and concentrate on one thing, we should be able to feel it, right?

    • Word count: 1810

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