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PSYC1020 Final

Semester 1, 2015

CONSCIOUSNESS
Consciousness can be observed:
1. Directly

Introspection
Self-report
Problems of subjectivity

2. Indirectly

Performance (cognitive paradigm)


Physiology (biological paradigm)
Problems of measuring something which is not quite what we are interested in; hidden
subjectivity.

Normal Waking Consciousness

Guided by attention and expectations; different people have different perspectives


Interpretive aspects of awareness (in perception and memory) are constructed

Five Altered States of Consciousness


1. Sleep and dreaming
2. Hypnosis
3. Daydreaming
4. Drug-induced states
5. Meditation

LEARNING
Habituation
The simplest form of learning.
The process by which we respond less strongly over time to repeated stimuli.
Habituation: responding less strongly to repeated stimuli over time.
Sensitisation: responding more strongly to repeated stimuli over time.
Stimulus Response
Repeated Stimulus Exposures

Respond Less Strongly (Habituation)


Respond More Strongly (Sensitisation)

Classical Conditioning
A form of learning in which animals come to respond to a previously neutral stimulus that had been
paired with another stimulus that elicits an automatic response.
Psychic Reflex: the phrase Pavlov used to identify the phenomenon of an indirect stimulus eliciting the
autonomic (involuntary) salivary reflex rather than a stimulus that operates directly on the stomach (such
as food).

PSYC1020 Final
Semester 1, 2015

Conditioned Stimulus (CS): stimulus that does not instinctually elicit a response from the organism (i.e.
it is a neutral stimulus).
Unconditional Stimulus (UCS): stimulus that does instinctually elicit an automatic, reflexive response
from the organism (i.e. it is a non-neutral stimulus).
Unconditioned Response (UCR): an automatic/instinctual response to a non-neutral stimulus.
Conditioned Response (CR): a response that was previously associated with a non-neutral stimulus
(UCR) that is now elicited by a neutral stimulus (CS).
Trial: each pairing of the CS and UCS.
Inter-Trial Interval (ITI): time between trials.
Inter-Stimulus Interval (ISI): time between start of CS and start of UCS.
Acquisition: the phase of learning in which a CR is established by pairing the CS and UCS together.
Temporal Contiguity: how close in time the CS and UCS are paired together.
Backwards Conditioning: when the UCS is presented before the CS.
Extinction: the reduction and eventual elimination of a CR when the CS is presented multiple times
without the UCS.
Spontaneous Recovery: when an apparently extinct CR re-emerges (in a weaker form) after a delay if the
CS is presented again.
Stimulus Generalisation: when stimuli that are similar (but not identical to) the CS elicits the CR.
Stimulus Discrimination: showing a weaker Cr to CSs that differ from the original CS.
Higher Order Conditioning: developing a CR to a new CS after the new CS has been paired with a
previously learned CS.
Latent Inhibition: difficulty classically conditioning to a CS we have repeatedly experienced without the
UCS.
Operant Conditioning
Increasing or decreasing a target behaviour by presenting or removing a stimulus.
The Law of Effect: if a stimulus followed by a behaviour results in a reward, the stimulus is more likely
to elicit the behaviour in the future.
Skinner Box (Operant Chamber): chamber used in conditioning experiments that allowed both desirable
and undesirable stimuli to be presented and animal responses recorded electronically without extraneous
stimuli interference.
Reinforcement: stimuli presented or removed in order to increase/encourage a behaviour.
Punishment: stimuli presented or removed in order to decrease/discourage a target behaviour.
Positive Reinforcement: presenting a pleasant stimulus to encourage/increase a target behaviour.
Negative Reinforcement: removing an unpleasant stimulus to encourage/increase a target behaviour.
Positive Punishment: presenting an unpleasant stimulus to discourage/decrease a target behaviour.
Negative Punishment: removing an pleasant stimulus to discourage/decrease a target behaviour.
Discriminant Stimulus (Sd): a stimulus that signals the consequence of an operant response.
Extinction Burst: a brief increase in the intensity of a response during extinction.
Partial Reinforcement: reinforcing a target behaviour intermittently rather than continuously.

PSYC1020 Final
Semester 1, 2015

Schedule of Reinforcement: the schedule or pattern used to reinforce a target behaviour.


Fixed Ratio (FR): reinforcement is provided after a fixed number of responses.
Fixed Interval (FI): reinforcement is provided after a fixed time has elapsed provided a response has
been made.
Variable Ratio (VR): reinforcement is provided after an average number of responses.
Variable Interval (VI): reinforcement is provided after an average time has elapsed provided a response
has been made.

BEHAVIOURTARGET

STIMULUS
PRESENT

REMOVE

INCREASE

Positive
Reinforcement

Negative
Reinforcement

DECREASE

Positive
Punishment

Negative
Punishment

Schedules of Reinforcement
RATIO
FIXED
Fixed Ratio (FR)
VARIABLE
Variable Ratio (VR)

INTERVAL
Fixed Interval (FI)
Variable Interval (VI)

Differences Between Classical and Operant Conditioning:


CLASSICAL CONDITIONING
OPERANT CONDITIONING
Target behaviour reflexive; autonomic
Target behaviour is voluntary
nervous system response
Stimuli presentation is independent of
Stimulus presence or absence is condition
behaviour
on behaviour

ATTENTION
Components of Attention:
1. Selectivity

The ability to differentially process, perceive, and respond to one of the several sources of

information available.
The cocktail party phenomenon Colin Cherry
General research strategy: selective attention tasks

2. Capacity

Limitations in the ability to process, perceive, and respond to several sources of information

simultaneously.
General research strategy: divided attention tasks
Tasks that require attentional capacity will interfere with each other in a dual task situation.

3. Alertness and Arousal

The variable amount of mental energy or processing power available.


General research strategy: manipulate arousal and measure performance

PSYC1020 Final
Semester 1, 2015

Usually measured physiologically

Theories of Selective Attention:


Broadbents Filter Theory (1958) early selection theory or serial processor
Deutsch & Deutsch (1963) late selection theory or parallel processor
Attentional vs. Automatic Processes:
Control over process is lost when things become automatic (due to overexposure).
ATTENTIONAL
AUTOMATIC
SELECTIVITY
Optional
Obligatory
CAPACITY
Effortful capacity demanding
Effortless little or no capacity
demands
ALERTNESS
Show effects
Show little effects
SPEED
Slow
Faster
INFORMATION FLOW
Serial
Parallel
AWARENESS
Conscious
Unconscious
FLEXIBILITY
Flexible, variable
Uniform, rigid

MEMORY
Basic Processes of Memory:
Encoding: transform sensory stimuli into a form that can be placed in memory.
Storage: effectively retaining information for later use.
Retrieval: locating the item and using it.
Memory Structures:
1. Sensory Register: storage system that register (and briefly holds) information from the senses.
a)

iconic memory

related to the visual system


< second duration
9 to 10 times (Sperling, 1960)

b) echoic memory

related to the auditory system


~ 2 seconds duration
~ 5 items

2. Short Term Memory (STM): intermediate storage system that briefly holds information prior to
consolidation.

Also called working memory or active memory.


~ 30 seconds duration

3. Long Term Memory (LTM): storage system that retains information for a long period of time.

Large capacity (flexible)


Long duration (but not static)
Different types of LTM

Free Recall:
Primacy Effect: memory is best for things learned first.

PSYC1020 Final
Semester 1, 2015

Recency Effect: memory also good for things learned last (but mostly this is STM contribution to the
task).
Context: memory is better when you are in the context you learned the material in.
Internal State: memory is better when your internal state is the same as at the time of learning.
Long Term Memory Types:
Semantic vs. Episodic
Semantic: general knowledge.
Episodic: memory for specific events.
Procedural (implicit) vs. Declarative (explicit)
Procedural: without awareness or remembering
Declarative: conscious recollection

THINKING
Defining Thinking:
Operationally defined and studied in specific problem solving tasks.
General theme that much of the research is based on:

Gestalt psychology & mental set


Top-down versus bottom-up processing
Behaviourism and learning curves

Functional Fixedness: seeing objects as having only one use.

High evaluation situations tend to increase functional fixedness (and decrease creativity).
Extrinsic motivation (outside rewards) tend to increase functional fixedness (and decrease
creativity).

Newell & Simons Research:


Process-tracing or verbal protocol method of having subjects think aloud or verbalise thoughts
while solving a problem. The researcher records this verbal protocol and uses it as a record of the
persons problem space (NB: is essentially an introspective method).
Problem space the internal representation of a problem, including initial state, goal, and sub-goals,
possible operations, strategies and solution pathways.
Algorithms, Heuristics:
Algorithms are methods/rules that produce solutions to a problem.
Heuristics are rules of thumb (short-cuts).
Forms part of knowledge base.
Approaches to Problem Solving:
Gestalt

Cognitive/Information Processing

PSYC1020 Final
Semester 1, 2015

KEY CONCEPTS

TYPE OF PROBLEM
TYPICALLY STUDIED
VIEW OF SKILLED
THINKER

Perceptual representation
Mental set
Insight
Incubation
Spatial/perceptual trick

Problem space
Heuristics & algorithms
Knowledge base

Flexible
Creative

Knowledgeable
Rational

Verbal quantitative grunt

Availability Heuristic: judging the frequency or probability of events based on how available they are in
memory
Representative Heuristic (Conjunction Fallacy): judging frequency or probability based on how well an
event or person fits ones mental prototype
Conjunction Fallacy: believing the occurrence of two events is more likely than each event separately
Anchoring and Adjustment (or Primacy) Heuristic: giving inordinate weight to the first pieces of
information encountered
Framing Effects: the way a decision is put to us influences the decision outcome
Confirmation Bias: the tendency to seek out confirmatory information only
Illusory Correlation: the belief that two things go together when are in fact not related
Hindsight Bias:
Better-Than-Average Effect: tendency to rate ones self (and ones group) as better than average on most
positive abstract features
Cognitive Conceit: the illusory/deluded belief that our perceptions, memories, and judgements are
accurate