Psychology: Cognitive LOA

  1. Outline principles that define the cognative level of analysis
    Principle 1: Mental processes can and should be studies scientifically

    Principle 2: Mental processes guide behavior

    Principle 3: Cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors
  2. Explain how principles that define the cognitive level of analysis may be demonstrated in research.
    • Principle 1: mental processes should be studied scientifically
    • -Laboratory experiments
    • -Neurophysiological techniques (fMRI, MRI)

    • Principle 2: mental processes guide behavior
    • -Laboratory experiments
    • -Neurophysiological techniques (fMRI, MRI)

    • Principle 3: cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors
    • -Cross-cultural studies
    • -Interviews
  3. Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the cognitive level of analysis
    • Experimental Methods:
    • -Laboratory Experiments: detects cause and effect relationships between variable in a controlled enviroment for the experimental conditions. Higher internal validity however has a lower ecological validity

    -Field Experiment Studies: higher ecological validity, however it is difficult to control all extreneous variables.

    -Cross-cultural Studies: a naturalistic experiment with little to no control of extreneous variables, however has a higher ecological validity and more meaningful findings because it becomes easier to generalize across cultures.

    Neurophysiological Techniques: experiment is carried out as a correlation study. fMRI's help psychologists understand the role certain ares of the brain impact thoughts and emotions and attribute to considerable breakthroughs.

    Case Studies: provides an in-depth account into psychological phenomena that could not be found in experiments, however with few cases, there is little to no confidence regarding a generalization across other cases because the information has such a low participant count, however with more cases with the same/similar findings, there is a higher confidence with theories.

    Interviews: interviews provide subjective data [data that is easily communicated and not too deep into a psyche]. A good interview is dependent upon the type of interview, sensitivity of the issue(s) addressed, and the validity of the data analysis techniques used.
  4. Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the cognitive level of analysis
    Experimental Method: -informed consent -in cross-cultural experiments the researcher must respect cultural differences

    Neurophysiological Techniques: -participants must be fully breifed -researchers must respect wishes of participants

    Case Studies: -respectful of time and comfort of participants -confidentiality and anonymity must be maintained

    Interviews: -ethical issues may arise from sensitivity of issues -participants must remain confidential

  5. Evaluate the Schema theory with reference to relevant research studies.
  6. Evaluate two models or theories of one cognitive process (memory)
  7. Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process
  8. Discuss how social or cultural factors affect one cognitive process (Flashbulb Memories)
    *Emotionally pubicized news events create Flashbulb Memories and are retained through the sharing and rehearsal of the memories. The more intense the emotion, the more likely people are going to share the memories and retain the Flashbulb Memory*

    -Wang and
    Aydin: (2009) - cultural factors (collectivism v. individualism) may affect the determinants of Flashbulb memories and influence the formation and maintenance of the memories.

    • 1. Collectivist Cultures (i.e. China and Japan): identity is defined by characteristics of collective groups to which one belongs while the expression of emotions (esp. negative ones) is dangerous and therefore not encouraged along with reflection of internal and emotional states
    • 2. Individualist Cultures (i.e. USA and UK): people are viewed as unique and autonomous with distincitve qualities in which emotion plays a key part in uniqueness and thus the expression of emotions is accepted and encouraged.
    • *those in individualistic cultures will form more Flashbulb memories given the emotional acceptance of the culture and thus those in these cultures will recall more flashbulb memories than their collectivist counterparts*
  9. Discuss, with reference to relevant research studies, the extent to which one cognitive process (memory) is reliable.
    Eyewitness Testimony: (often used by the legal system) can be innacurate, Bartlett defined memory as a reconstructive process *Eyewitnesses don't reproduce what they witness, but rather reconstruct their memories based on relevant schematic information*

    -Loftus and Palmer:
    (1974) - studied eyewitness testimoney using seven different video clips of a car accident then asking the participants to answer a questionnaire about the clips after each one. The magic question was regarding the speed at which the cars collided, however with each question, the wording used as the verb for the accident (i.e. contacted, bumped, hit, smashed into, etc...) was changed. The answers were varied depending on the word used because the different verbs used activated different schemas. Eyewitness testimony is largely based on a persons schematic influence impacting the memory and not portraying what actually happened.

    The Innocence Project: (1990's) - provides assistance to wrongly convicted persons to overturn their convictions on the basis of DNA evidence. By the end of 2008 the organization helped 220 individuals prove their innocence and the guilt of over 75% of these individuals had been established through mistaken eyewitness identification.
  10. Discuss the use of technology in investigating cognitive processes
    PET Scans: scanning method that can measure important functions in the brain (i.e. glucose consumption and blood flow) and used to detect brain tumors and memory disorders due to Alzheimer's Disease because it can identify cellular-level metabollic changes in an organ or tissue. With PET Scans they developed methods to detect Alzheimers Disease in its early stages and also a way to measure metabolic activity in the hippocampus.

    MRI and fMRI: detects changes in the use of oxygen in the blood, when using a specific part of the brain, that part of the brain will use more oxygen which allows us to see what cognitive tasks are being performed where in the brain.
  11. To what extent do cognitive and biological factors interact in emotion
  12. Evaluate one theory of how emotion may affect one cognitive process
Card Set
Psychology: Cognitive LOA
IB Psychology: Cognitive Level of Analysis