Foundations of Cognitive Psychology
Full course description
The mechanization of thought (i.e. regarding the human mind as an information processing machine not unlike a computer) has always repelled and attracted psychologist and philosophers after the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries. As a result, human thought wasn’t always the topic of psychology, especially at the time of the rise of radical behaviorism in the early 20th century. Anything referring to mental processes was not to be used in explanations of human behavior. However, with the inventions of machines that could think in combination with the failure of behaviorism to account for even the simplest of human behavior, the mind was back in psychology. And back with a vengeance. During the ’60 and ’70 of the 20th century information processing theory became the leading paradigm in cognitive psychology. Information processing theory deals with how people receive, store, integrate, retrieve, and use information. The present course is concerned with theoretical and empirical perspectives on human cognition, perception and the experimental methods to study cognition and perception. Eleven basic topics of cognitive science/ psychology are discussed using a Problem Based Learning format. The topics studied in the course are amongst others: The history of the study of the human mind as information processing machine, schema’s, scripts, plans, and frames, knowledge representation, top down and bottom up processing, semantic networks and spreading of activation, intelligence and individual differences, etc.
- To give students on overview of the study of the human mind as information processing machine over time and to provide insight into the foundations of cognitive science.
- To make students familiar with the basic concepts used in theories on human information processing and the experimental designs used in cognitive psychology.
- To provide an insight into the character of cognitive processes; various forms of perception, learning, thinking, etc.
SSC1005 Introduction to Psychology or SCI2036 Artificial Intelligence.
- E-reader available on Student Portal.
- Several chapters from basic cognitive psychology textbooks (There is not one single basic book that covers all topics, hence the chapters of several books are available as an E-Reader or hardcopy at UCM’s reading room and the UM library)