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Cognitive LOA

I. Outline the principles that define the cognitive level of analysis A. Mental processes guide behavior. B. The mind can be studied scientifically. C. Cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors. II. Explain how principles that define the cognitive level of analysis may be demonstrated in research A. Mental processes guide behavior. 1. LeDoux - Modeled emotional response. This model shows that the brain can process emotions in two different ways. there is a long route and a short route. The short route says that one can process their emotions without thinking. this means that the response is not passed through the hippocampus. The long route says that your emotional response is thought through, because it passes through the hippocampus and neocortex. This shows that behavior is shaped by your mental processes. B. The mind can be studied scientifically. 1. Clive Wearing - Suffered one of the worst cases of amnesia ever recorded. By using MRI scan, scientists could pin point that the amnesia was due to damage in the Hippocampus and some frontal regions. This is also similar to HM. HM also had amnesia. He had been studied for forty years before being put into a scanner. Once the scan was complete is was determined the exact locations of the brain damage suffered by HM. C. Cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors. 1. Cole and Scribner - Studied the development of memory among tribal people in rural Libya. They showed the subjects a large amount of objects one at a time and asked them to recall the items. The Libyan children did not do well when the items they had to recall were based on words, but they recalled items from their daily lives much better. This shows that the memory test was westernized, and the cultural differences affected the Libyan children’s memory skills. III. Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the cognitive level of analysis A. Anderson and Pichert - Investigated to determine if schema processing influences both encoding and retrieval. Participants received schemas once at the encoding stage, and once at the retrieval stage. The results showed that schema processing must have some effect at retrieval as well as at encoding. B. Bartlett - Study using “War of the Ghosts”. When Western participants were asked to recall a story of a different culture, they began to unconsciously assimilate it into characteristics of their own culture. C. The multi-store model (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968) is based on two assumptions: that memory consists of a number of separate stores and that memory processes are sequential. In this model, memory goes through specific processes: attention, coding and rehearsal. The working memory model (Baddeley and Hitch 1974) basically states that short term memory includes several components, rather than the just one that multi-store suggests. A study that demonstrates that this model can be important to learning was undertaken by Pickering and Gathercole (2001), with the use of the Working Memory Test Battery for Children. Memory models such as these help to clarify how memory might work, but can never be more than just that- models. D. Technology that is used at the cognitive level includes the PET and MRI scans. PET (positron emission tomography) scans measure important functions in the brain, such as

Cognitive LOA
glucose consumption and blood flow. It can be used to detect brain tumors or memory disorders because it can identify cellular-level metabolic changes. A longitudinal study (Lisa Mosconi et al. 2005) found that it could semi-accurately identify early cases of Alzheimer’s in healthy patients. The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan provides a 3D picture of brain structures. It works by detecting changes in the use of oxygen in the blood, and can see what areas are active when people perform cognitive tasks. The use of technology like this allows researchers to study the active, living brain without dangerous/unethical surgery. Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies A. Clive Wearing and his case study, his wife went public, discussing the research and the study behind him. Although the researchers are unable to publish names, if the family wants to they are fully able to in regards to legal considerations. B. Ethical considerations that are not to be broken when referring to cognitive tests: 1. No mental harm 2. No corruption of memory 3. No cause or increase in anger or stress levels C. HM - case study done by Milner and Scoville (1957) The anger levels of HM were raised along with his stress when they pressed questions about his diary and due to the amnesia become heated and angry over the fact he did not remember writing the information in it. D. Stanford Prison experiment - Philip Zimbardo collected students who volunteered to perform in a research study where some people were prison guards while others were prisoners, not being able to leave the stress levels and anger between the guards and the prisoners grew to the point where one man was released due to how mentally traumatized he had become. Zimbardo himself even became enveloped in his study as the foreman of the prison. Evaluate schema theory with reference to research studies A. Anderson and Pichert - Tested the schema theory by investigating if schema processing influences both encoding and retrieval. The participants were given one schema at the encoding stage and another at the retrieval stage, to see if they were influenced by the last schema when they recall the information. The participants were told a story and assigned as a homebuyer or burglar and had to see how much they could remember at the end. Once the participants had read the story, there was a distracting task for 12 minutes before the recall was tested. Then there was another 5 minute delay and half the participants were given a different schema. The researcher found that the ones who changed recalled 7% more information than those who did not. The results of this study indicated that schema processing must have some effect at retrieval as well as encoding, because the new schema could have influenced recall at the retrieval stage. B. Frederic Bartlett - Argued that memory is reconstructive and that schemas influence recall. He also demonstrated the role of culture in schema processing. It appeared that from serial reproduction, rumors and gossips are spread from person to person. According to Bartlett, people reconstruct the past by trying to fit it into existing schemas. The more complicated the story, the more likely it is that elements are forgotten or distorted. Memory is a reconstruction of experience. C. Cohen - Criticized the schema theory saying that the concept of schemas is too vague to be useful. Other limitations are that it is not entirely clear how schemas are acquired in the first place and how they actually influence cognitive processes.

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Cognitive LOA
VI. Evaluate two models or theories of one cognitive process with reference to research studies A. Atkinson and Shiffrin - Constructed a two-store model to provide a distinction between processes of retaining short-term store and long-term store. Multi-store model is a theory that appears simplistic, stating that memory processes occur in sequence and the first steps must be completed to reach the third. It consists of attention, coding and rehearsal. These steps will allow information to enter sensory memory, then short term, and if all steps are completed then the information will be stored in long term memory. B. Baddeley and Hitch - Argued that the picture of short-term memory (STM) provided by the Multi-Store Model is far too simple. According to the Multi-Store Model, STM holds limited amounts of information for short periods of time with relatively little processing. Baddeley and Hitch performed an experiment in which they asked participants to read prose and understand it while simultaneously reading and remembering number sequences. Research found that participants in dual-task experiments had a clear increase in reasoning. The working memory model attempts to disprove multi-store and explains why people can multi-task. VII. Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process. A. LeDoux - Suggested that there are two biological pathways of emotion within the brain: The short route goes from Thalamus to Amygdala and the long route which passes through the neocortex as well as hippocampus before there is an emotional response. The amygdala receives information and transforms it into emotional signals which then control emotional responses. Fight or Flight is a common reaction every person has which has to with emotion within a person. This reaction is a physiological arousal that prepares the body to react to stressful situations. B. Clive Wearing - Suffered from anterograde and retrograde amnesia as a result of brain infections meaning that he lacks both the ability to form new memories and to recall some aspects of his past memories. His implicit memory was not affected. But he had lost explicit memory. This case proves to be evidence for a distributed memory system. VIII. Discuss how social or cultural factors affect one cognitive process A. Cole and Scribner - Studied the development of memory among tribal people in rural Libya. They showed the subjects a large amount of objects one at a time and asked them to recall the items. The Libyan children did not do well when the items they had to recall were based on words, but they recalled items from their daily lives much better. This shows that the memory test was westernized, and the cultural differences affected the Libyan children’s memory skills. B. Bartlett - Study using “War of the Ghosts”. When Western participants were asked to recall a story of a different culture, they began to unconsciously assimilate it into characteristics of their own culture. IX. With reference to relevant research studies, to what extent is one cognitive process reliable? A. Loftus and Palmer - Studied to determine if word choice can influence a significant difference in the responses provided by the participant. Forty-five participants in various sized groups watched one of seven videos of a car crash and each video was between five to thirty seconds. After watching the video the participants received a questionnaire which contained the question, “About how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?” The word hit was replaced with the following verbs: smashed, collided, bumped and

Cognitive LOA
contacted. The purpose of switching the verbs was to determine if a connotation of a verb will lead a person to respond to same question with relevance to the connotation of the given verb. The study’s results supported the hypothesis that a harsh connotation of a verb would increase the estimated speed of the cars in the crash video. The verb “smashed” received a mean speed of 40.5 mph while “hit” was 34.0 mph, “smashed” being the verb with the harshest connotation and “hit” being the least harsh connotation. Every other verb received a mean estimated speed that corresponded to the harsh connotation of that verb. This study verifies the unreliability of an eye-witness testimony in regard to a memory of an event. This can be generalized to support how the cognitive process of memory is not always reliable. B. Neisser and Harsch - Studied flashbulb memories. They chose people to interview right after the Challenger spacecraft accident and then a couple of years later. They asked where they were and when they first heard about the incident. When they were asked a couple years later many people were confident in their answers but only 40% of them were correct. Therefore, emotion leads these participants to have a skewed memory of when they first had heard the news about the challenger accident and how memory can be reconstructed by being exposed to information after an event. Discuss the use of technology in investigating cognitive processes A. PET Scans (positron emission tomography) - Help measure the importance of functions in the brain. They can also be used to detect problems such as tumors in the brain or certain memory disorders. An example study using PET Scans is the case study of HM (1957). In this study, a subject, HM, who received a head injury that left him with amnesia was studied. B. fMRI (Functional magnetic resonance imaging) - Provides 3-D pictures of brain structures using magnetic fields and radio waves. The fMRI actually shows brain activity and indicates which areas of the brain are active when engaged in a certain behavior. The scans have a higher resolution than that of the PET scanner and is one of the most frequently used technologies in bio-psychological research today. C. The EEG, or electroencephalogram, registers patterns of voltage change. When neurons transport information through the brain, they have an electrical charge. The EEG has allowed psychologists to gain a better understanding of behaviors as diverse as sleep, emotions, and epilepsy. However, one limitation is that the EEG provides the researcher with limited information. It cannot reveal what is happening in deeper brain regions nor can it show the actual functioning of the brain. It prints out brain waves given off by the human brain. To what extent do cognitive and biological factors interact in emotion? A. James Olds - Performed a study utilizing rat as the subjects. His aim was to test the localization of brain tissue. The methods consisted of having the rats hooked up to an ESB and in order to receive the pleasure in which it caused they had to run across and electrical grid to press the button. The results found that the rats would endure the pain for the pleasure and pleasure of the brain was localized, certain aspects of the brain are responsible for certain functions, therefore localization of brain function is evident. B. Heath - Found that electrically stimulating specific parts of the brain would cause people pleasure. He let the subjects press a button to experience pleasure. One subject, B-19, electrically stimulated himself 1500 times in a three-hour session. This shows that part of the brain is responsible for sensations of pleasure.

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Cognitive LOA
XII. Evaluate on theory of how emotion affects one cognitive process A. Brown and Kulik - Described the flashbulb memory theory in which vivid and detailed memories of high emotional events appear to be recorded in the brain as though with the help of a camera's flash. Brown and Kulik found that the people said that they had clear memories when they first learned about an important public occurrence such as the assassination of JFK. They hypothesized this trigger of memory is due to a special neural mechanism. This hypothesis is supported by modern neuroscience. B. Neisser - Stated that people do not always know that an event is important until later and he suggests that the memories are so vivid because the event itself is rehearsed and reconsidered after the event. Thus Neisser concludes that the flashbulb memory may simply be a narrative convention and are governed by a storytelling schema following a specific structure such as place, activity, informant and affect. C. Holmberg and Holmes - Found that men whose marriages had become less happy over time tended to recall early interactions into the marriage as being more negative than originally reported. Since the data was correlational, it is incorrect to say that changes in appraisal actually cause changes in memory for emotion.