Presentation on theme: "PSY241 Concluding lecture. Basis of all psychological theorising over the last 40 years Cognitivism underlies: developmental psychology, social psychology,"— Presentation transcript:
PSY241 Concluding lecture
Basis of all psychological theorising over the last 40 years Cognitivism underlies: developmental psychology, social psychology, clinical psychology, educational psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience occupational psychology … PSY241: Cognitive Psychology Concluding Lecture
But what is cognitivism? What links: Perception Learning Memory Attention Language Reasoning representation
Before cognitive revolution: Stimulus Organism Response Behaviourism: study S-O-R relationships to infer LAWS governing learning of associations and hence behaviour
After cognitive revolution: WorldAction Cognitivism: assume actions based on mental representations of world, not directly upon stimulus-response associations perceptplanmemory
Mental representations of world Perception: creation of representations Learning: storage of representations Memory: retrieval of representations Attention: selection of representations Language: communication of representations Reasoning: combination of representations
How to study for exams
How to learn Hyde, T. S., & Jenkins, J. J. (1973). Recall for words as a function of semantic, graphic, and syntactic orienting tasks. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 12(5), 471– % 39% 69% 43% Incidental learningIntentional learning Rate Pleasantness Check Letters
How to learn 2 Spaced vs blocked practice Dempster, F. N. (1989). Spacing effects and their implications for theory and practice. Educational Psychology Review, 1, doi: /BF Bad Better Easier
How to learn 3 Cho, K., & MacArthur, C. (2011). Learning by Reviewing. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(1), doi: /a Practice writing Practice writing exam answers Practice critically reflecting on others’ writing
THE PSY241 EXAMINATION A 3 hour exam Three sections, each with two questions Answer one question from each section That means three questions in total Each in a separate booklet Yes, the sections are ‘thematic’ but you can use material from across the module in all of the questions and gain marks for doing so
ADVICE YOU SHOULD HEED Spend about an hour on EACH question (not 90 mins, 60 mins, 30 mins) Take 5 or 10 minutes to PLAN before starting to write Try planning BOTH questions in a section before choosing THINK of your conclusion before you start - what is the ANSWER! DON’T just choose the one ‘you know most about’ DON’T just list relevant points, make an argument
How to get a 1 st class mark Answer the question by making an argument about psychological theory, backed up by evidence
How to get a 2:1 Show and understanding of the basic (lecture) material Answer the question – We cannot give you marks for providing correct information which does not answer the question.
Real exam answers Shorter than you think. About words, less than HALF the length of a tutorial essay
6 clear writing tips for exam success 27
1. Be specific Bad: “a study shows”, “the timing must be right” “Pavlov’s work is relevant” Whose study shows? How must the timing be right? How is Pavlov’s work relevant? We want to give you marks for showing of that you understand exactly what is known and how. If you can’t remember it is okay to write ‘one study shows’, but it is so much more impressive if you can say which study Improve by saying, e.g., “Shanks’ study shows” “The timing must be as close to zero delay as possible, but no less”, “Pavlov’s theory is relevant because it shows how cause and effect relations can be learned”
2. Know the difference between explain, cause, and illustrate Know the difference between explain, cause, and illustrate These are important words with specific meanings. Misusing them makes a marker think you don’t understand what you’re saying. In my lecture on causation I showed a Tim Minchin video, this video doesn’t explain the perception of causation, it illustrates some important principles about the perception of causation. Improve by getting clear on the definitions of these words, and avoiding saying things like “the theory causes” (theories never cause, they explain things),
3. Avoid sweeping statements Most things in psychology are not 100%, so don’t use words like “never” or “impossible” unless you are sure you mean them. Bad: “It is impossible to infer causation if the delay between cause and effect is more than 2 seconds” “People choose their response based on the framing of the question” Improved, for example, by “Delays between cause and effect of more the 2 seconds reduce the ease with which causation is inferred”, “The framing of the question has a powerful influence of people’s responses”
4. Understand what is important for psychological science Answer: making claims about ideas using evidence In my lecture on causation I started by quoting David Hume, and showed a Tim Minchin video. Hume is a great philosopher and Minchin is a very funny guy, but both were in the lecture merely to illustrate a) an important idea (specifically that causation is a thing you have to infer, it isn’t something you can directly know). b) important findings from Michotte’s paradigm (specifically, that control of timing and proportionality can create a powerful perception of causation). Bad: discussing Tim Minchin’s research findings, quoting David Hume at length without demonstrating that you understand the meaning of what he said Improve by: discussing experiments and theories (and, specifically, how experiments inform theories)
5. Get to the point. You don’t have long in an exam, you can get marks quickly by showing off what you know in as few words as possible. Don’t be tempted to describe studies, use them as part of your argument. Bad: empty words at the beginning of essays “causality is seen as a difficult area to research”, “heuristics and biases are one of the most important topics in psychology”. Not only do these words not add much, they are likely to be wrong. Are you really so confident about what most psychologists think, or what the most important topics in psychology are? Improve by: saying why the topic is important, or offering a definition. For example. “For an animal to survive and thrive, it is important that it is able to work out why things happen”. “Heuristics are cognitive strategies, ‘rules of thumb’ which provide efficient solutions to common challenges”
6. Always argue first, avoid too much description Bad: a long description of Michotte’s “Launching Paradigm” including necessary and unnecessary details together. E.g. “Michotte was a Belgian psychologist who described his famous “Launching Paradigm” in the book “The Perception of Causality” (1945).” Improve by putting details of the experiment into an argument. E.g. “Michotte’s Launching Paradigm demonstrates the key principles used by the perceptual system to infer physical causality.
2011 Exam and generic feedback 087!/file/Generic_Feedback_PSY241_2012.pd f 087!/file/Generic_Feedback_PSY241_2012.pd f See page here t/exams t/exams
Last year’s exam from
Discuss the modifications made to Baddeley and Hitch's (1974) original working memory model in order to accommodate new experimental findings. “A characteristic of the poorer essays was that students tended to reproduce material from the lecture rather than trying to answer the question. For example, some students wrote at length about the Atkinson and Shiffrin model or about evidence for the original phonological loop (e.g. word length effect, irrelevant speech effect etc.). This was not relevant. Some students lost marks because they didn't even describe the original model”
Evaluate the extent to which models of semantic memory have overcome Bartlett’s criticism that psychological theories (of his day) did not address the use of memory in real situations This in fact is quite a challenging question…texts such as Eysenck and Keane just looks at models of SM in isolation I attempted to prime students to the importance of schemas by explicitly mentioning Bartlett in the question. In general, as feared, the question wasn’t particularly well answered. I suspect that many students had gone for a question spotting approach, and hadn’t actually revised both schemas and the models of SM.
Do you think "Humans are basically irrational?" Explain your answer This question could be answered by agreeing or disagreeing with the statement. Either is acceptable, as long as a principled argument is made. The best answers brought in material from other parts of the course (e.g. on causation, language and/or semantic memory)
Does language fundamentally affect how we think? Discuss Too many answers to this question adopted a "on the one hand, on the other hand" approach, covering studies mentioned in the lectures but failing to provide a principled framework for answering the question or to really analyse what the question might mean Better answers focussed ruthlessly on the meaning of the question and picked a small number of studies to illustrate their argument Weaker answer mentioned evidence for and against a proposition (e.g. Brown & Levinson vs Li & Glietman on whether language affects spatial perception) without trying to reconcil this evidence (e.g. by saying that Brown & Levinson's conclusions were wrong).
Describe how neurons tuned to specific line orientations could account for the tilt aftereffect. Some students gave extended accounts of related but irrelevant effects (eg oblique effect). Extra marks awarded for fully labelled diagrams showing how firing rates vary between different test-adaptation-test conditions, and how these lead to the TAE. Many students failed to provide a clear account of the tilt after effect and to explain it in terms of neuronal tuning curves.
Discuss experimental evidence relevant to the claim that recognition of biological forms (e.g. humans, birds) depends on spatiotemporal cues extra marks were given if an accurate, labelled graph of their result was provided. Some students mistakenly thought that the question required an account of experiments which suggest that vision depends on only spatial cues (eg Bulthoff and Edelman, 1992). This was not required, and did not usually gain any mark Some students reported evidence relating to spatiotemporal cues used in experiments non- biological stimuli; again, this is not required, and did not usually gain any marks.
2012 exam questions and generic feedback 160!/file/psy241_genericfeedack_2012.pdf
Q3 In the gameshow "Trade or no Trade", contestants must choose between a prize of unknown value and a prize of known value. Most contestants take the known amount of money and end up leaving the gameshow with less than the average value of the unknown prize. Explain why this happens within the framework provided by Tversky and Kahneman's Prospect Theory. From a heuristics and biases perspective, how might the contestants be helped to avoid this outcome?
This was a badly answered question on the whole. The first part required a clear demonstration of understanding of Prospect theory and how it relates to the question (specifically, that we tend to be risk seeking to avoid loses, but risk averse for gains). It was not enough to say, as many answers did, that we prefer gains to loses, or safe options to risky ones. The second part of the question could be answered in many ways. No marks were given for describing heuristics and biases without relating them to the question. Better answers found ways heuristics could be used to promote prize winning, rather than making blanket statements that "use of heuristics should be avoided". The best answers integrated material from across the course, showed evidence of further reading and/or a nuanced understanding of how heurstics are a necessary part of reasoning, not simple "short -cuts" which can be avoided in favour of pure rationality.
Q4 I have a device with electronic sensors which can make a beeping noise. How should it be programmed to behave in order to make someone who picks it up believe they are causing a beeping noise? Explain your answer with reference to work on perception of causation and causal learning.
This is a more straightforward question. The essence of the answer is to recognise that the device should obey the principles identified using Michotte's work in the launching paradigm (and confirmed in work following this). Stronger answers connected this answer other work, e.g on causal learning or illusory correlation. Bad answers were descriptive without answering the question, didn't show a understanding of the critical comparisons which allow Michotte's principles to be deprived or made sweeping statements (e.g. "it is impossible to infer causality if the delay is more than 4 seconds").
Revision plan Revising should mean (re)organising your notes, not reading your notes Practice planning writing answers Read past papers and genetic feedback Read around the topics Read, write and edit on the wiki
Where do I start? What can I omit? What is relevant? – The course outline document tells you the topics – The lectures give details of the specific material to focus on – The reading is there to help you understand the topic – You don’t need to remember everything taught, just understand the topic
A note about questions Check the course outline document Check the wiki Then me to let me know you have added your question to the wiki –