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Define the key concepts associated with the cognitive perspective

Uploaded by trillianmcmillan on Jul 30, 2002

Attention is what enables people to process information about the world around us, and is constructed of channels. A channel is a single event or stream of information that enters a person’s senses. A person can only attend to one channel at a time, filtering out all other sensory information. Someone’s attention to one channel can be disrupted by interference, which occurs when multiple items or events compete for our attention. Since people have limited resources, their attention suffers when they are distracted.

People must attend to something in order to commit it to memory (the retention and use of prior learning), whether it be short-term or long-term. Within a person’s short-term are an inner ear and an inner voice, which make up a phenomenological loop. The phenomenological loop is the part of short-term memory that rehearses verbal information. Short-term memory helps us keep information in mind over a short period of time.

Language is a system of communication based on symbols or gestures that can vary across individuals and allow for new forms and meanings. In order to understand and use language properly, one must attend to the rules of the language and commit them to memory. Languages are composed of a particular syntax (the rules of sentence structure that determine how people interpret and understand phrases and sentences in a particular language). Another important component of language is called a phoneme, which is a unit of sound that is used in spoken language. Each letter of the alphabet represents one or more phonemes, such as “a” and “b”, and there are also combination phonemes such as “ch” and “sh”.

How have these concepts been tested empirically?

The concept and rules of attention have been tested empirically through a study called dichotic listening. In this experiment, subjects hear two voices at a time, and they must listen and process the words of only one of the voices. The results of the experiment showed that the subjects were unable to process the content of the second voice, which suggests that there are limits to the capacity of our attention. Interference has been explored through studies such as the following: people were asked to repeat the words they heard over headphones as the voice said them, and to memorize a second list at the same time. The second list was presented in one of three ways: the subjects either heard spoken words, saw written...

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Uploaded by:   trillianmcmillan

Date:   07/30/2002

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   5 pages (1,021 words)

Views:   2287

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