One of the best known psychologists of the 20th century was Jean Piaget. The memory he described was from when he was about 2 years old, a kidnapping attempt in which his nurse tried to protect him. According to the storehouse metaphor, memory is kind of a warehouse. When one remembers an event from one’s life, one looks through this warehouse. Remembering a past event is also a kind of simulation, a simulation of what happened in the past, rather than a veridical reproduction of the past. In fact, our best understanding is that brains are massively parallel simulation devices. Constructive theories deal with filling in gaps at encoding as the event transpires, whereas reconstructive theories deal with filling in gaps at retrieval as one tries to remember the event. When thinking about memory illusions it is important to make a similar distinction.
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This book explores a set of key topics that have shaped research and given us a much better understanding of how language processing works. The study of language involves examining sounds, structure, and meaning, and the book covers the aspects of language in each of these areas that are most relevant to psycholinguistics. The book then covers relatively low-tech methods that simply involve pencil and paper as well as very high-tech methods like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that use advanced technology to determine brain activity in response to language and discusses a topic that has dominated the field for over two decades how people handle ambiguity in language. It describes how language is represented, both in the brain itself and in how multiple languages interact, which parts of the brain are critical for the basics of language, and how language ability can be disrupted when the brain is damaged. The book further talks about progressive language disorders like semantic dementia and what the study of disordered language can tell us about the neurological basis of language. Finally, it looks at sign language research to see if and how sign language processing differs from speech and a relatively new hypothesis that has emerged: most previous work has taken for granted that comprehenders (and speakers) fully process language, that is that we try to build complete representations of what we hear, read, or produce.
The ideas of Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato all contribute to the foundation of our understanding of the nature of human intelligence. Their ideas on topics as diverse as the origin of ability, the mind-body relationship, and general inquiry methods continued to inspire thinkers centuries later and influenced those who shaped modern psychology and intelligence theory. This chapter provides an overview of recent research on how people’s beliefs about intelligence impact their behaviors, a body of research that has significant implications for education. The emergence of reliable genetic and neurological research methodologies is creating a new area of study in which environmental, biological, and psychological facets of intelligence are studied simultaneously. Structure of Intellect (SOI) model represents a very different approach to theories of intelligence. Recent technological advances have encouraged explorations into the relationship between brain function and specific types of cognitive functioning.Source:
This chapter talks about the representation of language in the brain— including what parts of the brain are known to be involved in language. It talks about how multiple languages are represented and interact in bilingual speakers. The most important lobes for language are the temporal lobe and the frontal lobe. In terms of language, in right-handed people it is the left hemisphere that supports the majority of language function. There are two areas in particular that appear to be especially important for language: an area toward the front of the brain in the frontal lobe that includes Broca’s area and an area more or less beneath and behind the ear toward the back of the temporal lobe called Wernicke’s area. Broca’s aphasia is characterized by difficulty with language production—with effortful, slow speech, and the striking absence of function words like prepositions, determiners, conjunctions, and grammatical inflections.Source:
In 1920, in America, psychology was dominated by two main currents. The first was a tendency to reduce life to habit, and the second was to establish differences between humans by test. The second tendency, toward testing, had burst suddenly on the scene with the coming of the Binet tests to America in 1905. The idea of contextualized relationships determined by perceptual interpretation challenged the notions that had sprung up around behaviorism that the brain was empty, functioning only as a router between environmental stimulus and motor response. The idea, still vivid in American psychology during the 1920s, that psychology was “the science of mental life” was reinforced and extended by the diffusion of Gestalt psychology through American psychology over the coming decades, as the rest of these reviews of theory and practice will show.Source:
This book provides a highly accessible introduction to the many facets of human intelligence, with careful presentation of the wide range of theories and perspectives. Written by a team of renowned scholars, it discusses the long history of the study of intelligence, which in many ways parallels the founding and growth of psychology itself. Structure of Intellect (SOI) model represents a very different approach to theories of intelligence. Recent technological advances have encouraged explorations into the relationship between brain function and specific types of cognitive functioning. The book differentiates intelligence and related constructs such as creativity and intellectual giftedness, which helps people to better understand each construct. Sternberg proposed a way to classify the various approaches to studying the intelligence-creativity relationship. The exponentially increasing development of technology will continue to influence both research and interventions involving intelligence. Neurological studies of intelligence that were in the realm of science fiction only a generation ago have become commonplace. Brain imaging studies are also becoming more relevant to intelligence research. Improvements in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology, which uses superconducting magnets and radio waves to create 3-D images of the brain, will help future researchers look at the morphology of distinct brain regions and systems, and possibly come to firm conclusions about the relationship between the size or function of distinct brain regions and differences in intelligent human behavior.
This chapter discusses some of the reasons why one cannot blindly trust their own brain and proves that doubt is not just a good thing, but a necessary thing. It focuses on how humans naturally misperceive and misevaluate the data they are exposed to, especially in the case of ambiguous information. The chapter addresses the concept of bounded rationality, which describes how our pattern-recognition abilities and motivation to find reasons for events that occur in the world around us yields multiple benefits for our species, evolutionarily speaking, while resulting in particular problems with evaluating information. It examines how using mental shortcuts can be more cognitively efficient, but again results in bias when presented with new or inconsistent information. The chapter describes some of the well-researched and common biases/heuristics people encounter as humans: confirmation bias; belief perseverance; hindsight bias; representativeness heuristic; availability heuristic; and anchoring and adjustment heuristics.
This book focuses solely on the modern period and begins in 1927. The aim is to orient the reader to continuing themes in the field and to also point any future historian to unresolved historical questions as these appear. The accounts of the development of the coalition of theory and practice, an account of some of the effects of psychology on society is presented via the account of a fictional family the Blacks whose several generations were impacted by the development of psychology from the 1920s. In 1920, in America, psychology was dominated by two main currents. The first was a tendency to reduce life to habit, and the second was to establish differences between humans by test. Within psychiatry, psychology had long had allies, and during the 1930s some powerful ones became associated with psychology and supported its aims to develop a parallel nonmedical psychotherapy system. The year 1945 saw the culmination of many developments in psychology since the 1920s, which led to two major coalitions being formed. The first of these was represented in the reorganization of the American Psychological Association (APA). The 1950s, in American society as well as psychology, were characterized by two pairs of opposites: liberty versus repression and conformity versus creativity. The 1960s were brought to the United States on television. In the 1980s, the APA added a division of clinical neuropsychology, another specialty area where the advances in both cognitive and brain studies translated into an acceptable medical support occupation for psychologists. The Big 5 Personality Theory began to gather wide recognition in the 1990s. Positive psychology promised an opportunity to focus study on some important and neglected aspects of human life.