Complete Psychology

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Section 3 Cognitive psychology

Chapter 12 Perception
The aim of this chapter is to introduce students to some of the important issues in the psychology of perception. It begins with a discussion of the major issues to do with the perception of form. These are referred to as the figure-ground problem, the perceptual constancies and visual illusions. Next we look at how we perceive depth and the three sections after that deal with the perception and recognition of patterns and objects. These are followed by a discussion of bottom-up and top-down processes in perception. The chapter concludes with a description of some of the processes involved in speech perception.

Chapter 13 Attention
The aim of this chapter is to introduce the reader to important aspects of attention. We will begin by looking at vigilance, which is the ability to sustain attention over a period of time. Next we'll examine characteristics and models of focused auditory and focused visual attention. The final section explores our ability to divide our attention between two tasks requiring simultaneous attention.

Chapter 14 Memory
The aim of this chapter is to introduce some of the key aspects of memory. It begins with an overview of the different memory systems. It then describes three types of memory: visual sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory. We then move on to discuss three memory models that seek to explain some of these results and the next section describes the major memory processes of encoding, retrieval and forgetting. The final two sections describe autobiographical and semantic memory.

Chapter 15 Language
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce you to selected key topics in the psychology of language. It begins with a discussion of the design characteristics of language, which are then used to ask whether animals, particularly primates, can learn human language. The two sections after that deal with key ideas in sentence comprehension and sentence production. The chapter then moves on to a discussion of spoken word recognition before concluding with an examination of the processes involved in reading, the dual-route model and written word recognition.

Chapter 16 Thinking and reasoning
The aim of this chapter is to introduce the reader to important aspects of thinking and reasoning. It begins with a description of theories of problem solving and of the barriers to solving problems. It then deals with how we learn concepts and make judgements and decisions, all of which are rooted in inductive reasoning. The elements of deductive reasoning are identified before moving on to a discussion of how skills and expertise develop.