Cognitive Psychology Key Terms

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AS Edexel Cognitive Psychology Key Terms
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cognition the mental processes (perception, attention, language, thinking, problem solving and memory) needed to make sense of the world. An example of this is crossing the road. We process the information we receive (of whether or not there are cars passing by), and we draw on our stored memories of road safety before we make the decision of crossing the road. This example illustrated the need to use multiple cognitive processes and the importance of cognition as a whole.
cognitive psychology Cognitive psychology began in the mid 20th century, largely because psychologists were disappointed at the inability of other previous approaches to explain cognition. With the invention of computers they could see a way of understanding human behaviour as a result of inputting information, processing it and acting upon it (outputting). Cognitive psychologists believe that our behaviour is influenced by cognition, so our behaviour is influenced largely by the way we think and perceive. The role of a cognitive psychologist is to is to understand cognitive processes and create theories and models that help explain how humans process information, and how these mental operations influence behaviour. Cognitive psychologists also look at brain damages and whether or not brain impairment leads to change in behaviour, personality or ability. This has led to the understanding of how isolated or interrelted cognitive functions are and where they are located in the brain.
information processing model - explains how we receive, interpret and respond to information. It describes this flow of information using the terms input, process, output. Road-crossing example -> the road and cars are input, putting all the information together and considering how safe it is to cross the road is processing, and the behavioural response - crossing the road or not - is the output. This model leads to another assumption of the Cognitive Approach - that the human brain works like a computer. Like a computer the human brain is considered to have a lmited capacity processor that can only deal with a restricted amount or type of information at any given type.
memory an important cognitive function unsed to retain information and recall it when needed. Case studies on brain-damaged patients show that memory is essential - without it no learning can take place. Without memory we would survive on reflexes and instincts alone, and would lose what essentially makes us human.
information processing input, processing and output, and how these work
memory encoding, storage and retrieval, explained in different ways by the different theories
forgetting – inability to recall information, explained in different ways by the different theories
storage how information is retained in our brain ready for retrieval
retrieval getting stored information out of memory
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