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University Degree: Cognitive Psychology

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  1. A Qualitative Study: What factors contribute to a persons drug taking and the impact it has on them and their life experiences?

    Torkildsen (1992) suggested that the people of whom take drugs or abuse substances, whether legal or illegal, is a way to avoid unpleasant memories or overwhelming feelings of grief and anger. The drug therefore acts as a coping mechanism for people to escape feelings of pain and distress. Rutledge (1997) identified no less than 8 factors which were seen as contributing to drug taking, including personality, society, peer pressure, genetics, family and pleasure. These4 can be split into two broad frameworks, these being individual influences (personality, genetics, etc)

    • Word count: 2500
  2. How Do We Perceive Colour

    The human eye perceives that light as green. Infants responded to the light this time unlike before. The results of the experiment showed that both infants and adults perceive colour in the same way (cited in Perception book, Fifth edition, chapter 7, pages 235-236). Isaak Newton argues that objects are not coloured but are given their colour through the reflection of light from certain parts of the scope. Moreover, there are some people who see colours differently from the majority of people because they may have irregular eyes or irregular brains and these are the two important parts from where people perceive colours.

    • Word count: 1392
  3. What factors can lead to a problem being relatively easily solved?

    Since many of the factors that make problems easier to solve in one actually overlap into both categories, it is worth detailing them individually within each context. The issue of representation is a concept that all areas of problem solving appear to return to in one way or another. Within 'simple' problem solving, the Gestalt approach accentuated the importance of restructuring through their emphasis on insight. Dunker (1945, cited in Green and Gilhooly, 2005), exemplified how restructuring facilitated problem solving through his work with the X-ray problem.

    • Word count: 1698
  4. In their attempts to transcend individual-society dualism in understandings of the self, how successful have the social psychoanalytic and phenomenological perspectives been?

    I will also explore case studies which bridge dualistic ways of thinking in order to transcend individual-society dualisms. The SSP perspective on the self evolved from philosophical roots, and was initially explored in John Locke's essay entitled Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Locke (1694) regarded the self as something observable. The self could monitor and be monitored. James (1890), Cooley (1902) and Mead (1934) added that individuals have the capacity to imagine themselves from the perspective of others. They proposed that this reflexive ability brought about mortification or pride, and influenced an individual's actions. James concluded that identity was fluid and changeable depending on one's company.

    • Word count: 2009
  5. Brain Lateralization

    However, nobody showed any interest in this finding and this is caused maybe because Dax believed that the two hemispheres work as a whole and no independently (Pinel, 1997). After 25 years, Paul Broca reported as well that 2 patients who suffered from aphasia, had lesion if the left hemisphere. It was then that the fact that the two hemispheres work independently was supported. Many researches in split-brain patients have performed to show that the left hemisphere is more responsible for language and phonological functioning, while the right one is responsible for emotion and creativity (Pinel, 1997).

    • Word count: 1405
  6. Depth Perception

    An area in the brain creates depth from visual image (retina, what the eye sees). In image there are cues, which allow depth to construct a three-dimensional visual experience. Although this ability of depth perception may seem simple, it is remarkable when you consider that the images projected on each retina are two-dimensional. From these flat images, a vivid three-dimensional world is constructed. To perceive depth when it is effective, we depend on two main sources of information: binocular disparity, a depth cue that requires both eyes; and monocular cues, which allow us to perceive depth with just one eye.2 Retinal disparity, stereopsis, accommodation, and convergence are all non-pictorial (primary)

    • Word count: 3136
  7. Hot Hand Effect and Gamblers Fallacy

    Almost every decision we make involves uncertainty in some way. The heuristic and biases approach to decision making outlined in the work of Tversky and Kahneman (e.g., Kahneman, Slovic, & Tversky, 1982; Gilovich, Griffin, & Kahneman, 2002) has focused on the validity of causal beliefs. Studies have shown that people are more likely to continue a sequence when, an event is not random and the outcome reflects human performance (Ayton & Fischer, 2004). The induction that the sequence should continue (positive recency) was observed by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky (1985).

    • Word count: 1803
  8. Descartes(TM) view of the mind and how it relates to the human being

    On the other hand the body is constructed under the underlying laws of physics, and its components obey the well-enumerated laws of physiology. It also includes what humans perceive of their own self image with their senses. The mind is not aware of its surroundings, and it is just the manifestation of the activity of the brain (Szasz 1996); it is driven to function by instinct and urges that are fed to it from the physical surrounds. The mind is fundamentally just a collection of learned responses.

    • Word count: 1465
  9. CRITICAL ANALYSIS - INATTENTION

    Experiment 1 - The attentional blink The attentional blink is a phenomenon which a subject observing a rapid serial visual presentation fails to observe a second target if it is displayed between 180 and 500 ms after the first target (Raymond et al., 1992). For this experiment forty-two subjects were used, of whom thirty participated in the experimental condition, and twelve in the control condition. An RSVP stream was shown in which there were five red targets (fish, heart, bell, apple, and teardrop)

    • Word count: 2195
  10. SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN

    Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory of development is considered more relevant as it builds on Freud's thinking but considers the primary motivation for human behavior to be social in nature as opposed to s****l. Erikson sees the individual as developing through the lifespan, with normal development occurring in specific stages, for example in early childhood, and during what he terms play age, Erikson would say that the major tasks of these stages is the learning of self control, establishment of autonomy, and the developing of initiative and mastering of their environment.

    • Word count: 4355
  11. What is known about the anatomical substrates of human memory?

    There are several areas in this system, including the hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus with the entorhinal and perirhinal cortices and amygdala. It was suggested that the MTL, as well as some parts of the thalamus work together to support memory processing. Hippocampus Hippocampus is buried deep inside and it is said to be the oldest part of the brain. Functionally, it is important for the forming, and long-term storage, of associative and sequential memories. It has been particularly involved in the encoding and recovery of face-name associations as well as the encoding of events.

    • Word count: 2071
  12. Why does Thatcher Illusion arise and what can it tell us about face processing?

    The Thatcher illusion explains the face inversion effect and nonetheless, it also tells us some crucial ideas on how human processes face recognition. It was believed that faces are perceived both "featurally" and holistically. Thatcher illusion indicated that when faces are inverted, it would be more difficult for us to interpret the expression and identity. Therefore we will not find thatcherized faces (i.e. images of faces with inverted eyes and mouths) look grotesque when they are inverted since we focus on individual features rather than the faces holistically.

    • Word count: 1952
  13. Evaluate the view that recognition is the only goal of visual perception.

    One theory of visual perception in recognition which exemplifies a computational perspective is that of Marr (1982). He proposed a theory in which a series of explicit computational stages contribute to retinal stimulation, which is gradually developed into the perception of an object. Four modules or representations which Marr termed 'sketches', help the viewer to elaborate the structure of light stimulation sensed from the environment into a percept. Raw and unrefined primal sketches of the light structure in the environment are gradually built up using features in the environment such as edges, blobs and terminations, into 'full primal' sketches, and later '2.5D' representations are derived which include information about depth and distance (Braisby & Gellatly, 2005).

    • Word count: 3131
  14. Free essay

    What factors need to be taken into account when conducting and interpreting intellectual assessments in neurological impaired patients?

    The most influential approach to understanding intelligence is the psychometric approach. It is based on psychometric testing, which typically establishes an intelligence quotient (IQ). The traditional view is that this score reflects a general intelligence factor "g". Others (e.g., Thurstone, 1938, as cited in Lezak, 1995) do not agree with one general score and focus on more specific group factors such as memory, verbal comprehension, spatial visualisation, or number facility. Some researchers (e.g., Catell, 1987 as cited in Ferrer & McArdle, 2004) consider g as part of a two-part construct, consisting of gF and gC, which stand for fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence.

    • Word count: 3841
  15. Compare and contrast constructionist and nave realist approaches to perception

    Naive realism is dependent on our senses accurately and reliably reporting the world, constructionists have argued that our senses are not as accurate as naive realists claim. The argument from illusion is used to represent this; constructionists claim that the oblique effect is an example of when our senses deceive us; the Muller-Lyer (a line with outward facing arrowheads appearing longer then a line with inward facing arrowheads), Sander Parallelogram (two diagonals appearing different in length) and Vertical-Horizontal illusions (a vertical line is the same size as a horizontal line but appears longer)

    • Word count: 1208
  16. memory recall for an eyewitness event

    Therefore the degree of accurate memory recall from witnesses vary depends on the levels of their encoding during the criminal happened. There are several factors which affect our eyewitness memory; firstly, the weapon focus is believed to affect most in recalling criminal event. (Loftus et al, 1987) When a weapon is present in a criminal event, witnesses and victim were more likely to focus on the weapon rather than the other things. Hence, their recall on this eyewitness will have a less accurate result.

    • Word count: 3783
  17. Describe Operant Conditioning, Its Key Concepts and How it Works

    The opposite form of reinforcement, negative, operates on a different level. This time an action is punished so that the behaviour will not happen again. A suitable example could be that this time a child has written on the walls, and has hence been shouted at by the parents. The parents here have negatively reinforced the child not to write on the walls, as the shouting as a deterrent to the child. To avoid facing the deterrent again, the child learns that they simply don't write on the walls.

    • Word count: 1382
  18. A study to show the relationship between repetition and the belief in Extrasensory Perception (ESP)

    is part of parapsychology, it's considered to be the responses to external stimuli without any known sensory contact. In recent years there has been a widespread and increase in the belief in paranormal (Truzzi, 1971, found in Blackmore et al., 1985), surveys have shown the most common reason for this is personal experience. ESP mainly includes telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition/psychic ability, which all have one thing in common they depend on judgements of probability. There are two explanations for people's belief; they have had the paranormal experience, or a misinterpretation of normal events as paranormal. Such misinterpretation is referring to the errors in judgement of probability; people tend to underestimate the probability of 'coincidence'.

    • Word count: 3211
  19. High tempo music v Low tempo music. Does music affect heart rate? Are there differences between the genders?

    tested the responses of 24 females to music and arousing pictures. The physiological reading identified that when music was used there were significant increases, as these readings included heart rate this study promotes the idea that music will have an effect on heart rate. Gomez et al (2006) study goes further in claiming that the "internal complexity of the song" i.e. the rhythm has an effect on respiration and heart rate. This study found that fast music is correlated to increase in physiological results, including heart rate. Smollen et al (2002)

    • Word count: 1777
  20. The relationship between need for cognition and present recall of acquired information

    High need for cognition can be correlated with a larger capacity of recalling information, Cacioppo et al., (1983). According to the University of Bolton's glossary section vocabulary is defined as being: "The body of words used in a particular language or in a particular sphere of activity; the body of words known to an individual person; a list of difficult or foreign words with an explanation of their meanings." The mill hill vocabulary scale is produced from a test, which records a participant's recall of acquired information Raven, Raven, & Court,(1998). Therefore a person's need for cognition can be related to a participant's ability to utilize a vocabulary.

    • Word count: 2324
  21. In this study we generated number sequences at two different speeds, which relatively are one number every second (1Hz) and one number every four seconds (4Hz) in order to test varying conditions in which individuals might act randomly.

    This notion was tested by Bakan (1960), that individuals produce far too many runs suggesting the incapability of humans to produce random sequences without bias from inherent patterns. This notion was contested by Ayton who argued that humans are unable to behave randomly due to instructional bias in asking individuals to behave random (Ayton et al., 1989, as cited in, Rapoport & Budescu, 1992). Rapoport & Budescu (1992) did empirical testing on this notion based on a dyadic interaction model proving that instructing individuals to predict randomness only caused them to deviate further from statistical randomness.

    • Word count: 1742
  22. To what extent can the notion of “general intelligence” be usefully invoked in the study of animal cognition?

    Pearce (2000) makes the assumption that animals share certain cognitive processes with humans that contribute to 'general intelligence'. Animals differ in which intelligence they are most advanced in; some may be more emotionally intelligence, some more socially intelligent, and some more spatially intelligent. Therefore, an overall score of intelligence may not truly account for the sophistication of many animals; 'general intelligence' must measure something specific. A general assumption exists that intelligence increases with phylogenetic status; adapting through evolution not only requires physical changes, but inevitably intellectual ones.

    • Word count: 1664
  23. Write an essay on mental scanning. What do you conclude on the basis of this research?

    This theory claims that we really do see quasi-pictorial (Kosslyn, 1980) images, though any idea that they are likened to 'mental photographs' has been long rejected. Those that claim that these images are not visualised in any pictorial way refer to the theory of descriptionalism, supported primarily by Pylyshyn (1973, 1981, 2003) and Dennett (1969) suggest that images are stored as ordered lists of features, or a network of links; we know elephants are grey, they are large, they have a consistent set of features, and this is what we are referring to when we 'picture' images.

    • Word count: 1875
  24. Review of colour constancy in human visual system

    The project is essentially a study into the ability of the visual system to discriminate illuminant boundaries, tested by measuring the degree of simultaneous colour constancy across two simulated illuminants. The first section of this review looks at the models proposed for the colour constancy phenomenon. Work into lightness perception is also introduced, and its relevance discussed. Mechanistic and computational models are compared, and their successes and failures are examined. The second section describes the experiment and the aims for the project.

    • Word count: 3869
  25. evaluate badley's model of memory

    Short term memory refers to immediate memory and is characterised both by a very limited capacity fragility of storage. Information held there is subject to displacement and will be lost after a few seconds unless rehearsed or transferred to long term memory. Long term memory is potentially permanent, with unknown capacity. This modal model however is seen by most contemporary researchers as over-simplified. It assumes that both short and long term stores are unitary. Shallice and Warrington (1970, 1974) found that short ter memory did not operate in this way, when working with KF, an amnesic patient who had suffered to a localised area of his brain following an accident.

    • Word count: 2019

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