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54 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Cognitive Psychology

study of the mental operations that support people's acquisition and use of knowledge

Sensory store

part of the memory that holds unanalyzed information for a fraction of a second. Allows for additional analysis after physical termination of stimulus


Determines which of the stimuli will be recognized

Pattern Recognition

stage of perception where a pattern is recognized.


determines which information a person will try to remember

Short Term Memory (STM)

limited capacity

last for a very short period of time

Long Term Memory (LTM)

memory that has no capacity limits and lasts from minutes to a life time

Bottom-up processing

sensory store --> LTM

driven by sense organs

Top-down Processing

LTM ---> sensory store

driven by knowledge of the world

Template Theory

Pattern Recognition Theory

unanalyzed pattern is matched against a template pattern.

Problem: to make matches possible we'd have to store millions of versions for every object

Feature Theory

Pattern Recognition Theory

describes patterns in terms of their parts/features

Problem: features are small templates/

if spatial relationship isn't right neither is the image

Structural Theory

Pattern Recognition Theory

specifies how features of a pattern are joined to other features of the same pattern (uses Geons)

Problem: not always sufficient enough to distinguish one object from another

Ex. apples to pears


Part of Structural theory

different 3D shapes that combine to form 3D patterns

Sperling's Model

Information Processing Stages

consists of a visual information store, scanning, rehearsal, and auditory information store

found cognitive operations happened by parallel processing not serial processing

parallel processing

carrying out more than one operation at a time

Ex. looking at art and talking

Serial Processing

carrying out one operation at a time

(old way of thinking)

Rumelhart's Model

Information processing stages

assumes that recognition occurs by identification of the features of a pattern

feature recognition occurs simultaneously but takes time to process.

The Word Superiority Effect

recognizing a letter is easier when it is in a word.

(top-down processing)


A R T <-- easiest way to recognize R


Interactive Activation Model

Theory about the word-superiority effect

assume there are three levels that interact to determine what we perceive

(features, letters, word)

Parallel distributed processing (PDP)

when information is simultaneously collected from different sources and combined to reach a decision

Ex. Neural network models

Neural Network Model


1. a set of processing units (Nodes)

2. a pattern of connections among nodes

3. Activation rules for nodes(how connections combine)

4. A state of activation

5.output functions of nodes

6. A learning rule

Exogenous attention

External attention

thingsin the world grab our attention

Ex. Fire alarms

Endogenous attention

Internal attention

ourthoughts lead us to look in particular objects

Bottleneck Theory

attempt to explain how people select information when some info-processing stages become overloaded

Broadbent's Filter Model

Bottleneck theory

bottleneck occurs at the pattern recognition stage and that attention determines what information reaches the pattern recognition phase.

Treisman's Attenuation Model

Bottleneck Theory

Basicidea is that an unattended message is not discarded right away - it is attenuated (weakened)

bottleneck occurs at the filter stage effecting of the message gets to pattern recognition

Deutsch-Norman Memory Selection model

Bottleneck Theory

bottleneck placed after pattern recognition stage.

Problem of selection into memory after perception has occured

Capacity Theory

concerned with the amount of mental effort required to perform a task

observers have some control over where the bottleneck occurs

Kahneman's Attention and Effort

Capacity theory

there is a general limit on a person's capacity to perform a mental task

designed to supplement bottleneck not replace

enduring disposition

in capacity theory

an automatic influence to which people direct their attention

momentary intention

in capacity theory

a conscious decision to allocate attention to certain tasks or aspects of the environment

Multimodal theory

capacity theory

people's intentions and the demands of the task determine the information processing stage at which information is selected

automatic processing

performing mental operations that require very little mental effort

stroop effect

the finding that it takes longer to name the colour of the ink when the word says a different colour

automatic encoding

two kinds of memory activity

those that require considerable effort or capacity

effortless proccessing - supports incidental learning

incidental learning

learning that occurs when we do not consciously make an effort o learn

frequency information

automatic encoding

data that specifies how often different stimuli occur

spatial information

automatic encoding

data about where objects occur in the environment

Working memory

the use of short-term memory as a temporary store for information needed to accomplish a particular task

Interference Theory

proposal that forgetting occurs because other material interferes with the information in memory

Decay Theory

proposal that information is lost spontaneously over time, even when there is no interference from other materials

Retroactive interference

forgetting that occurs because of information that happens after learning

Proactive Interference

forgetting that occurs because of information that happens before learning

Anterograde amnesia

inability to remember things that happened after brain damage. (Implies inability to transfer new memories from STM to LTM)

Retrograde amnesia:

inability to remember things that happenedbefore brain damage (Implies inability to retrieve existing memories from LTM)


a cluster of items that have been stored as a unit in long term memory

Memory set

a set of items in STM that can be compared against a test item to determine whether the test item is stored there

self-terminating search

a search that continues until the test item successfully matches with an item in the memory test

opposite of exhaustive

Exhaustive search

a search that continues until the test item is compared with every item in the memory set.

Baddeley's Working Memory Model

consists of 3 components

Phonological loop

Visuospatial sketchpad

Central executive

Phonological loop

Baddeley's Working Memory Model

maintains and manipulates acoutsic information

Visuospatial sketchpad

Baddeley's Working Memory Model

maintains and manipulates visual/spatial information

Central executive

Baddeley's Working Memory Model

manages the use of the working memory

sometimes we have to create the chunks

The Episodic buffer

Part of Baddeley's Revised Working Memory Model

storage system that can integrate memory codes from different modalities