Action Slips

In this section, we consider action slips (the performance of actions that were not intended). It is clear that attentional failures are usually involved in action slips, and this is recognised at a commonsense level in the notion of absent-mindedness. However, there are several kinds of action slips, and each one may require its own detailed explanation. One way of studying action slip is to via diary studies. Sellen and Norman (1992, p. 317) gave the following example of an action slip from a...

Figure 510

Response times on a decision task as a function of memory-set size, display-set size, and consistent vs. varied mapping. Data from Shiffrin and Schneider (1977). They are unavailable to consciousness. They are unavoidable (i.e., they always occur when an appropriate stimulus is presented, even if that stimulus is outside the field of attention). As Hampson (1989, p. 264) pointed out, Criteria for automatic processes are easy to find, but hard to satisfy empirically For example, the requirement...

Automatic Processing

A key phenomenon in studies of divided attention is the dramatic improvement that practice often has on performance. The commonest explanation for this phenomenon is that some processing activities become automatic as a result of prolonged practice. There is reasonable agreement on the criteria for automatic processes They do not reduce the capacity for performing other tasks (i.e., they demand zero attention). Response times on a decision task as a function of memory-set size, display-set...

Figure

Sensitivity (d') to auditory and visual signals as a function of concurrent imagery modality (auditory vs. visual). Adapted from Segal and Fusella (1970). The main limitation of the study by Bourke et al. (1996) is that it did not clarify the nature of the central capacity. As they admitted (1996, p. 544). The general factor may be a limited pool of processing resource that needs to be invested for a task to be performed. It may be a limited central executive that coordinates or monitors other...

Figure 58

Performance on random generation (R), prototype learning (P), manual (M), and tone (T) tasks as a function of concurrent task. Adapted from Bourke et al. (1996). task interfered the least. Third, and of greatest importance, the random generation task consistently interfered most with the prototype, manual, and tone tasks, and it did so whether it was the primary or the secondary task (see Figure 5.8). The tone task consistently interfered least with each of the other three tasks. Thus, the...

Figure 613

Speed of recall of negative childhood memories by high-anxious, defensive high-anxious, low-anxious, and repressor groups. Data from Myers and Brewin (1994). Freud (1915, 1943) emphasised the importance of emotional factors in forgetting. He argued that very threatening or anxiety-provoking material is often unable to gain access to conscious awareness, and he used the term repression to refer to this phenomenon. According to Freud (1915, p. 86), The essence of repression lies simply in the...

Hove And New York

First published 2000 by Psychology Press Ltd 27 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 2FA www.psypress.co.uk Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Taylor & Francis Inc. 325 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 Psychology Press is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge's collection of thousands of eBooks please go to Reprinted 2002...

Focused Visual Attention

Over the past 25 years, most researchers have studied visual rather than auditory attention. Why is this Probably the main reason is that it is generally easier to control the presentation times of visual stimuli than of auditory stimuli. Some of the issues we will be discussing in this section of the chapter have been considered from the cognitive neuropsychological perspective. Three attentional disorders have been studied fairly thoroughly neglect extinction and Balint's syndrome (see...

Historical roots of cognitive psychology

The year 1956 was critical in the development of cognitive psychology. At a meeting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chomsky gave a paper on his theory of language, George Miller presented a paper on the magic number seven in short-term memory (Miller, 1956), and Newell and Simon discussed their very influential computational model called the General Problem Solver (discussed in Newell, Shaw, & Simon, 1958 see also Chapter 15). In addition, the first systematic attempt to...

Focused Auditory Attention

The British scientist Colin Cherry was working in an electronics research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but became involved in psychological research. What fascinated Cherry was the cocktail party problem how are we able to follow just one conversation when several people are all talking at once Cherry (1953) found that this ability involves using physical differences (e.g., sex of speaker voice intensity speaker location) to maintain attention to a chosen auditory...

Evaluating Research On Puzzles

The research on solving puzzles in cognitive psychology has been one of the most successful areas in the discipline. Since it was first proposed in the later 1950s, problem-space theory has been quite successful and has continued to expand steadily to encompass more and more problem-solving phenomena. Later on in this and the next chapter we will look at some further extensions of the theory. But before we do this it is perhaps a good idea to review the progress afforded by puzzle problems....

Figure 118

Some of the processes involved in reading. Adapted from Ellis and Young (1988). grapheme-phoneme conversion should mean they find it very hard to pronounce relatively unfamiliar words and non-words. Phonological dyslexics fit this predicted pattern fairly well. Phonological dyslexia is a condition in which there are particular problems with reading unfamiliar words and non-words. The first case of phonological dyslexia reported systematically was RG (Beavois & Derouesne, 1979). In one...

Figure 136

Components of a model for the spelling of heard words. Adapted from Ellis and Young (1988). producing appropriate spellings for non-words, succeeding less than 20 of the time. On the rare occasions he did spell a non-word accurately, he often reported that he had used a real word to assist him. Other patients with phonological dysgraphia have been studied (see Parkin, 1996, for a review). The evidence suggests that words can be spelled in the absence of phoneme-grapheme conversion. However, as...

Theories Of Speech Production

Several theorists (e.g., Dell, 1986 Dell & O'Seaghdha, 1991 Garrett, 1976) have used evidence from speech errors to construct theories of speech production. These theories have much in common. First, it is assumed that there is a substantial amount of pre-production planning of speech. Second, most theorists agree that there is a series of processing stages in speech production, and there is even agreement that there are four processing stages. Third, it is assumed that the processes proceed...

Info

Effects of the swing hint on the solution of the two-string problem. Second, they showed that problem solving that relied solely on past experience often led to failure recall the demonstrations of problemsolving set (where a routine method is used) and functional fixedness (when the typical function of an object is assumed). Gestalt theory was based on a perceptual metaphor carried over from their perceptual theories (and everyday life ). This metaphor makes the theory very attractive and...

Figure 102

A schematic diagram of the sort of hierarchical, semantic networks proposed by Collins and Quillian (1969). On the whole the evidence against the defining-attribute view far outweighs that in favour of it. All of the so-called prototype effects outlined earlier go against its basic predictions. On category judgements, all members of a category are not equally important or representative. In terms of the defining-attribute view, people should list the same attributes for all the members of a...

Time to contact

There are numerous situations in which we want to know when we are going to reach some object (e.g., the car immediately in front of us). We could make these calculations by estimating the initial distance away of the object (e.g., car ball), estimating our speed, and then combining these two estimates into an overall estimate of the time to contact by dividing distance by speed. However, there are two possible sources of error in such calculations, and it is fairly complex to combine the two...

Speaking And Writing Compared

Spoken and written language both have as their central function the communication of information about people and the world, and so it is common-sensical to assume that there are important similarities between speaking and writing. On the other hand, children and adults often find writing much harder than speaking, suggesting there are major differences between the productions of spoken and written language. Speaking and writing will now be compared. The view that speaking and writing are...

Episodic And Semantic Memory

Our long-term memories contain an amazing variety of different kinds of information. As a result, there is a natural temptation to assume there are various long-term memory systems, each of which is specialised for certain types of information. Tulving (1972) argued for a distinction between episodic memory and semantic memory. According to Tulving, episodic memory refers to the storage (and retrieval) of specific events or episodes occurring in a particular place at a particular time. Thus,...

Present And Future Directions

The four approaches of experimental cognitive psychology, cognitive neuropsychology, cognitive science, and cognitive neuroscience differ in their strengths and weaknesses. As a result, what is needed in order to maximise our understanding of human cognition is to use the method of converging operations. This method involves making use of a variety of approaches to consider any given issue from different perspectives. When this method is applied with two approaches, there are two possible...

Divided Attention

What happens when people try to do two things at once The answer clearly depends on the nature of the two things. Sometimes the attempt is successful, as when an experienced motorist drives a car and holds a conversation at the same time, or a tennis player notes the position of his or her opponent while running at speed and preparing to make a stroke. At other times, as when someone tries to rub their stomach with one hand while patting their head with the other, there can be a complete...

References

Abbot, V., Black, J.B., & Smith, E.E. (1984). The representation of scripts in memory. Journal of Memory & Language, 24, 179-199. Abelson, R.P. (1981). Psychological status of the script concept. American Psychologist, 36, 715- 729. Abramov, I., & Gordon, J. (1994). Colour appearance On seeing red, or yellow, or green, or blue. Annual Review of Psychology, 45, 451- 485. Adams, J.L. (1979). Conceptual blockbusting A guide to better ideas (2ndEdn). New York W.W.Norton. Adamson, R.E.,...

Blindsight

According to Zeki (1992, 1993), area V1 (the primary visual cortex) plays a central role in visual perception. Nearly all signals from the retina pass through this area before proceeding to the other areas specialised for different aspects of visual processing. Patients with partial or total damage of this area show a loss of vision in part or all of the visual field. However, in spite of this loss of conscious vision, some of these patients can make accurate judgements and discriminations...

Cognitive Science

The computational modelling of psychological theories provides a strong test of their adequacy, because of the need to be explicit about every theoretical assumption in a computational model. Many theories from traditional cognitive psychology have been found to be inadequate, because crucial aspects of the human information-processing system were not spelled out computationally. For example, Marr (1982) found that previous theoretical assumptions about feature detectors in visual perception...

Figure 1812

Interpretive bias in high-anxious and low-anxious participants as a function of stress condition (high or low) and context-target delay. Adapted from Calvo and Castillo (1997). normal controls to interpret such sentences in a threatening way, and there were no group differences in response bias. More detailed information about interpretive bias was reported by Calvo and Castillo (1997). They presented ambiguous sentences concerned with ego threat, physical threat, or neutral events under low or...

Speech Production Processes

We tend to take the skills involved in speech production for granted. Even young children are usually adept at talking fairly sensibly and grammatically. However, speech is actually a complex activity involving various skills. These include the ability to think of what one wants to say, to select the appropriate words to express it, to organise those words grammatically, and to turn the sentences one wants to say into actual speech. Speakers use prosodic cues in their speech. These cues include...

Figure 113

Processing and repetition of spoken words. Adapted from Ellis and Young (1988). If patients with pure word deafness have a severe deficit in phonemic processing, then their speech perception should improve when they have access to other kinds of information. This is the case. Okada et al. (1963) studied a patient with pure word deafness who could use contextual information. The patient found it much easier to understand spoken questions when they all referred to the same topic than when they...

Glossary

Accommodation one of the binocular cues to depth, based on the variation in optical power produced by a thickening of the lens of the eye when focusing on a close object. Achromatopsia this is a brain-damaged condition in which there is little or no colour perception, but form and motion perception are sometimes intact. Action slips actions that are performed in ways that were not intended. Affirmation of the consequent an invalid argument form in conditional reasoning where one concludes P,...

Biedermans recognitionbycomponents theory

Biederman (1987, 1990) put forward a theory of object recognition extending that of Marr and Nishihara (1978). The central assumption of his recognition-by-components theory is that objects consist of basic shapes or components known as geons (geometric ions). Examples of geons are blocks, cylinders, spheres, arcs, and wedges. According to Biederman (1987), there are about 36 different geons. This may seem suspiciously few to provide descriptions of all the objects we can recognise and...

Integration of information

As Gazzaniga et al. (1998) indicated, Visual perception is a divide-and-conquer strategy. Rather than have each visual area represent all attributes of an object, each area provides its own limited analysis. Processing is distributed and specialised. This functional specialisation poses difficulties of integration, in that information about an object's motion, colour, and form needs to be combined (Figure 2.17). The difficult task of integrating information about objects in the visual field is...

Theories Of Forgetting

Forgetting was first studied in detail by Hermann Ebbinghaus (1885 1913). He carried out numerous studies with himself as the only participant. Ebbinghaus initially learned a list of nonsense syllables having little or no meaning. At various intervals thereafter, he recalled as many of the nonsense syllables as possible. He then re-learned the list. His basic measure of forgetting was the savings method, which involved seeing the reduction or saving in the number of trials during re-learning...

Language And Thought

The major language processes discussed in this chapter and the two previous ones raise the issue of the relationship between language and thought. For example, speaking and writing are both activities in which thinking about what one wants to say or write (the intended message) is translated into language. The best known theory about the interrelationship between language and thought was put forward by Benjamin Lee Whorf (1956). He was a fire prevention officer for an insurance company who...

Domainspecific Rule Theories

Relative to the other theories we have just reviewed, the domain-specific rule theories have considerably less coverage. Recall, that most of these theories espouse a dual-process view of reasoning namely, that some reasoning component handles deductive competence which is supplemented by domain-specific rules (Cosmides' theory is one exception to this view). Thus, in this section, we will not discuss how these theories explain the basic conditional inference patterns and context effects...

Prototype Theory Of Concepts

Concepts have a prototype structure the prototype is either a collection of characteristic attributes or the best example (or examples) of the concept. There is no delimiting set of necessary and sufficient attributes for determining category membership there may be necessary attributes, but they are not jointly sufficient indeed membership often depends on the object possessing some set of characteristic, non-necessary attributes that are considered more typical or representative of the...

Binocular and oculomotor cues

The pictorial cues we have discussed could all be used as well by one-eyed people as by those with normal vision. Depth perception also depends on oculomotor cues, based on perceiving contractions of the muscles around the eyes. One such cue is convergence, which refers to the fact that the eyes turn inwards to focus on an object to a greater extent with a very close object than with one that is further away. Another oculomotor cue is accommodation, which refers to the variation in optical...

What and where systems

Mishkin amp Ungerleider, 1982 have argued that vision is used for two crucial functions refer back to Figure 2.13 . First, there is object perception what is it . Second, there is spatial perception where is it . There is good evidence at least in macaque monkeys that rather different brain systems underlie each of these functions 1. There is a ventral pathway running from the primary visual area in the cortex to the inferior temporal cortex this pathway is specialised...

Listening To Speech

Accurate perception of speech is a more complex achievement than might be imagined, partly because language is spoken at a rate of up to 12 phonemes basic speech sounds per second. Amazingly, we can understand speech artificially speeded up to 50-60 sounds per minute Werker amp Tees, 1992 . In normal speech, phonemes overlap, and there is co-articulation, in which producing one speech segment affects the production of the following segment. The linearity problem refers to the difficulties for...

Discovery Using Mental Models

In the previous sections, we have dealt with some general approaches to creativity. In the rest of the chapter, we consider some specific cognitive processes that play a key role in creative thinking and discovery. We begin with the issue of simulation using mental models. Many creative thinkers have reported imagining or simulating various states of the world or situations in the generation of new ideas. Einstein reported thought experiments about riding on light beams and standing in...

General Approaches To Creativity

In the past, accounts of creativity have often been descriptive rather than explanatory. The classic example of this descriptive approach is Wallas's 1926 classification of the broad stages of the creative process into Preparation, where the problem under consideration is formulated and preliminary attempts are made to solve it. Incubation, where the problem is left aside to work on other tasks. Illumination, where the solution comes to the problem solver as a sudden insight. Verification, in...

Reinterpreting The Gestalt Findings

We began this chapter by considering the perceptual theories of problem solving proposed by the Gestalt school of psychology. The information-processing approach has inherited the burden of re-interpretation or explanation of the findings of Gestalt research in information-processing terms see Chapter 1 . This reconception of things past has been carried out since the 1970s see e.g., Holyoak, 1991 Keane, 1985a, 1989 Knoblich, Ohlsson, Haider, amp Rhenius, 2000 Knoblich amp Wartenberg, 1998...