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PSYCH206: Cognitive Psychology

Unit 3: Attention and Memory   Attention enables us to complete specific tasks despite the millions of stimuli that threaten to distract us at any given moment.  Think, for example, about talking to someone at a crowded party.  Engaging in conversation in that context may take more attention than it would in an empty room.  This unit will first introduce you to the attention process, explaining how the above example is possible.  This portion on attention will also lay the foundation for you to learn about the theories and empirical findings related to memory—a well-studied topic in the field of cognitive psychology.  In this portion of the unit, you will learn about distinct types of memories and the unique processes/mechanisms which define them.   

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 20.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 5.5 hours

☐    3.3.1: 30 minutes

☐    3.3.2: 30 minutes

☐    3.3.3: 30 minutes

☐    3.3.4: 30 minutes

☐    3.3.5: 30 minutes

☐    3.3.6: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 3.4: 11 hours

☐    3.4.1: 1 hour

☐    3.4.2: 1 hour

☐    3.4.3: 1 hour

☐    3.4.4: 1 hour

☐    3.4.5: 2 hours

☐    3.4.6: 1 hour

☐    3.4.7: 2 hour

☐    3.4.8: 1 hour

☐    3.4.9: 1 hour

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify underlying theoretical considerations in the field of cognitive psychology.
  • Describe the historical context in which cognitive psychology emerged as a field.
  • Define cognitive psychology as was historically defined and is now defined.
  • Identify the main academic fields and other subdisciplines of psychology to which cognitive psychology is tied.
  • Describe the main findings in the primary areas of scientific research within cognitive psychology.
  • Compare and contrast the theories associated within the primary areas of scientific research in cognitive psychology (e.g., models of memory, attention, etc.).

3.1 What is Attention?   - Reading: ZainBook’s Cognitive Psychology: “Attention” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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3.1.1 Limited Capacity of Attention   3.1.2 Dichotic Listening Task   3.1.3 Attention and Meaning   3.1.4 Attention Models and Theories   3.2 History of the Study of Attention   - Reading: Wikibook’s Applied History of Psychology: “History of Research on Attention” Link: Wikibook’s History of Psychology: “History of Research on Attention” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please note that the first reading covers subunits 3.2.1–3.2.3.  Please click on the above link and read the entirety of this article.  This article will overlap with the previous and subsequent article; however, it will provide you with the historical perspective on this area of research.
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original Wikibooks version of this article here (HTML).

3.2.1 The Philosophical Analysis of Attention   3.2.2 Early Psychological View on Attention   3.2.3 Historical View on the Theories of Attention   3.3 Theoretical Progress on the Study of Attention and Empirical Evidence   - Reading: Google Scholar’s version of Dr. Gordon D. Logan’s (2004) “Cumulative Progress in Formal Theories of Attention” and PubMed Central’s version of Dr. Nelson Cowan et al.’s (2005) “On the Capacity of Attention: Its Estimation and Its Role in Working Memory and Cognitive Aptitudes” Links: Google Scholar’s version of Dr. Gordon D. Logan’s (2004) “Cumulative Progress on Formal Theories of Attention” (PDF) and PubMed Central: Dr. Nelson Cowan, et al.’s (2005) “On the Capacity of Attention: Its Estimation and Its Role in Working Memory and Cognitive Aptitudes” (HTML)

 Instructions: The readings will cover subunits 3.3.1–3.3.5.  For
the first reading, please click on the link above, and then click on
the PDF version available through Caltech.edu.  Please read this
article in its entirety.   
    
 The first reading will provide you with an overview on various
theories within cognitive psychology on the topic of attention. 
This reading will also provide you with a sense of the scientific
progress that has occurred over the years.   
    
 For the second reading, please click on the link above and read the
entirety of the article entitled “On the Capacity of Attention: Its
Estimation and Its Role in Working Memory and Cognitive Aptitudes.”
 This reading will provide you with an example of how this research
is conducted in cognitive psychology and introduce you to the topic
of memory.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpages above.

3.3.1 Similarity Choice Theory   3.3.2 Signal Detection Theory   3.3.3 Attention to Dimensions: Categorization and Garner Tasks   3.3.4 Attention to Objects: Visual Search and Cuing Procedures   3.3.5 Intersection of Attention and Memory   - Lecture: University of Houston: Dr. Richard Kasschau’s Lecture Series Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: “Lecture 7” Link: University of Houston: Dr. Richard Kasschau’s Lecture Series Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: “Lecture 7” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: This lecture covers subunit 3.3.5 and some information from the preceding subunits.  It will help transition you into the concepts/study of memory.  It will also touch on the connection of attention and memory to language production, a concept introduced in the next unit. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.4 Memory   - Reading: Wikibook’s Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience: "Memory and Language” and ZainBook’s Cognitive Psychology: “Memory” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)
  • Lecture: University of Houston: Dr. Richard Kasschau’s Lecture Series Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: “Lecture 8” and “Lecture 9” Links: University of Houston: Dr. Richard Kasschau’s Lecture Series Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: “Lecture 8” (YouTube) and “Lecture 9” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: These lectures cover subunits 3.4.1–3.4.9 and will provide you with information on a variety of topics in the areas of memory (e.g., types of memory, models of memory, interference, outside factors affecting encoding and retrieval, etc.).  Please note that the content covered in these lectures will overlap with your readings, but it covers more breadth in some areas and greater depth in others. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

3.4.1 Sensory Memory   3.4.2 Short-Term Memory   3.4.3 Working Memory   3.4.4 Long-Term Memory   3.4.5 Forogetting and False Memory   - Reading: PubMed Central: Dr. Jason Arndt’s (2010) “The Role of Memory Activation in Creating False Memories of Encoding Context” Link: PubMed Central: Dr. Jason Arndt’s (2010) “The Role of Memory Activation in Creating False Memories of Encoding Context” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the entirety of the article. You can download it in PDF format from the top right corner of the page.  
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.4.6 Neurobiological Facts about Memory   3.4.7 Factors Which Affect Retrieval   - Reading: Mind Tools’ version of “Memory Improvement Techniques” Link: Mind Tools’ version of “Memory Improvement Techniques” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above and read this useful article on how to apply research findings to help your memory.  Feel free to click on the links at the bottom of the page to read more about various techniques/mnemonics that help you to encode/retrieve information.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.4.8 Models of Memory   3.4.9 Applications of Concepts: Eyewitness Testimony