Self Guided Lesson Memory and Cognition 4
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Slide 1 - Memory and Cognition
- Self Guided Lesson 4
Slide 2 - Memory Reconstruction
- Memories are often NOT as accurate as we think they are.
- Elizabeth Loftus (1974) was very concerned about the reliability of eyewitness testimony so she and her associates conducted an experiment where they showed subjects a video of a car crash. After the video, they asked “how fast were the cars going when they ‘smashed’ or ‘hit’ each other?”
- One week later they asked participants to recall if there was broken glass at the scene.
- The “smashed” group estimated the car speed as much faster than the “hit” group
- When asked if there was glass at the accident scene, most responded that yes, there was…when in fact, there was not.
- This is called misinformation effect
- Loftus has done a number of fascinating experiments regarding memory…some of which are controversial. Check out the video links provided.
Slide 5 - Bartlett’s War of the Ghosts
- Leveling – material gets simplified
- Sharpening – highlighting or overemphasizing details
- Assimilation – make details fit into one’s own culture or schema
- The frailest part of the memory is it’s source.
- Source amnesia (sometimes called source misattribution) is when we retain a memory of an event, but not the context in which we acquired it.
- I do this all the time.
Slide 7 - COGNITION
- DEF: thinking, problem solving, knowing, creativity
- Cognitive psychologists study these activities.
Slide 8 - CONCEPTS: chair
- Mental groupings of similar objects , events, ideas and people. Chairs vary but they have common features that define the word “chair”.
Slide 9 - Prototype
- A prototype is the best example or mental image. If we bring in another example, that doesn’t fit the prototype, it might take us longer to adjust our thinking.
- Chair: vs
Slide 10 - Bird?
Slide 11 - Using and misusing heuristics:
- Representativeness heuristic:
- A stranger tells you about a person who is short, slim and likes to read poetry, and then asks you to guess whether this person is more likely to be a professor or a truck driver. Which would be the better guess?
- You probably chose the picture on the right, right?
- It’s a logical assumption but not necessarily one that’s grounded in fact.
- We use them to predict and compare
- Availability heuristic – estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory; we assume because examples are vivid, that they are common.
- I call it the “Yeah, but my cousin, in Canada….” syndrome
Slide 14 - Problem Solving
- Cognitive strategies for problems solving:
- trial and error
- algorithms – step by step procedures to find a solution
- heuristic – a cognitive shortcut
Slide 15 - Obstacles for problem solving
- Confirmation bias – we think we already know the answer so we ignore information that contradicts it
- P.S. This is why psychology is so dependent on research!
- Ex. Saddam Hussein and WMD
- Fixation – (no, not Freud’s fixation)
- -the inability to see a problem from a fresh perspective.
- examples of fixation –
- mental set – what are the next three letters in the sequence?
- O, T, T, F, F……….?
- The answer?
- ….F, S, S
- See? One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven
- Now, try this:
- J, F, M, A,……..any easier?
- of course!! Because you have been primed to see the pattern above.
- Functional fixedness – when we can only think of the familiar functions of certain things?
- E.g ransack the house looking for a screwdriver when a coin can be used to turn a screw
- Belief perseverance – clinging to one’s initial conceptions even though the basis for them has been discredited……
- …see the clip about the Nigerian scammers from Dr. Phil.
- Who you think is writing……….…..who IS writing.
Slide 20 - Framing
- How and issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgments!
- We will spend more total money buying stuff that’s 25% off!
- We would be terrified to know that 10% of the population suffers complications from surgery, but tend to ignore the fact that 90% of people have no problems at all!
- A coat marked down to $100 from $150 seems like a better deal than the same coat priced $100 to begin with!
- Opting out of being an organ donor brings greater donation rates than opting in!