Cognitive Psychology / Edition 4

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This coherent overview of cognitive psychology is organized in terms of themes that cut across topic areas. Written by well-known researchers, the book is completely current in describing ongoing controversies in research; it provides summaries of key experiments that distinguish between them; and it encourages the reader to think critically about current research and theories. The focus on the importance of physical and computational constraints on cognition is preserved throughout the book.
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Editorial Reviews

In this update of the 1992 edition, Medin (Northwestern U.) and Ross (U. of Illinois) address the complexity of the cognitive processing of human "possibilities, information, and experience" (per the title of Chapter 1) and "approaches to the study of the mind" (Chapter 2). All the usual psychological domains<-->and their computer analogs<-- >are implicated: learning, memory, language, and thinking. Includes a summary, key terms, recommended readings, and references. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471458203
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.58 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Medin (Ph.D., University of South Dakota) taught at the Rockefeller University, University of Illinois, and the University of Michigan before assuming his current position as CAS Visiting Committee Research and Teaching Professor at Northwestern University. Best known for his research on concepts and categorization, his recent research interests have extended to decision making, cross-cultural studies of reasoning and categorization, and cognitive dimensions of resource use. He teaches courses in cognitive psychology, psychology of thinking and reasoning, decision making, and culture and cognition. He is the editor of the journal Cognitive Psychology and is a past editor of the Academic Press series, Psychology of Learning and Motivation.

Brian Ross received his Sc.B. in Psychology from Brown University and his M.A. from Yale University before receiving his Ph.D. from Stanford University. He teaches at the University of Illinois, where he is Professor of Psychology and also in the Beckman Institute. He teaches courses in cognitive psychology, the psychology of thinking, introductory statistics, problem solving, and mathematical models of memory. His research has examined issues in categorization, problem solving, learning and memory. He is series editor for The psychology of learning and motivation, as well as associate editor of the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Arthur Markman received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Illinois after completing his Sc.B. in Cognitive Science at Brown University. He worked at Northwestern University and Columbia University before moving to the University of Texas at Austin, where he is now Professor of Psychology and Marketing. He teaches courses in cognitive psychology, research methods and statistics, reasoning, and decision making and knowledge representation, and he supervises the honors program. His research has explored similarity, categorization, and decision making. He served as Executive Officer of the Cognitive Science Society from 2001-2003.

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Table of Contents

Part I  Overview.

Chapter 1. Possibilities, Information, and Approaches to the Study of the Mind.


Domain of Cognitive Psychology.




A Framework.

A Closer Look.

Themes and Implications.

Experience and Experimentation.


Scientific Observation.


The Challenge of Cognitive Psychology.

Roots of Cognitive Psychology.



Critique of Behaviorism.

Cognitive Psychology.

The Emergence of Cognitive Science.

Cognitive Neuroscience Techniques.

Event-Related Potentials.

Positron Emission Tomography.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Levels and Types of Explanations.

Ecological Validity.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Part II   Acquiring Information.

Chapter 2.  Learning.

Intr oduction.

The Challenge of Learning.

The Biological Backdrop of Learning.

Fixed-action Patterns and Releasers.

Critical Periods and Imprinting.

Constraints on Learning.

Basic Learning.


Classical Conditioning.

Trial-and-Error Learning or Instrumental Learning.

Paired-Associate Learning.


The Learning-Performance Distinction.

Contingency Learning and Illusory Correlation.

Content and Meaningful Learning.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Chapter 3.  Perception.

The problem of Perception.

Visual Perception.

Low-level Vision.


High-Level Vision.

Feature Detection Theories.

Structural Theories.

Template Matching and Alignment.

Face Recognition and Visual Subsystems.

Levels and the Integration of Information in Perceptual Context Effects.

The Word Superiority Effect.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Chapter 4. Attention.

What Is Attention.

What is Attention For?

Perceptual Attention.

Focusing I:  Sensory Stores.

Focusing II:  Selecting Channels.

Perceptual Enhancement.

Location of Attentional Limits.

Bottleneck Theories.

Late Selection.

Capacity Theories.

Binding:  Feature Integration Theory.

Attention in Complex Tasks.

Capacity and Automaticity.

Dual-Task and Executive Functions.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Part III   Memory.

Chapter 5.  Memory: Remembering New Information.


Uses of Memory.

Centrality of Memory.

Processes of Memory.

Short-Term Memory.


Characteristics of Short-Term Memory.

Working Memory.


Long-Term Memory.




Encoding-Retrieval Interactions.



Chapter Summary.

Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Chapter 6.   Memory Systems and Knowledge.


Semantic Knowledge.

Characteristics of Semantic Memory.

The Hierarchical Model.

Evaluation of the Hierarchical Model.

Episodic Memory.

Are Episodic and Semantic Memory Distinct Memory Systems?

Procedural Memory.

Implicit and Explicit Memory.

Spared Learning in Amnesia.

Implicit and Explicit Memory with Normal-Memory Adults.

Evaluation of the Implicit-Explicit Distinction.

Two Models of Memory.


The ACT Theory.

A Parallel Distributed Processing Model of Memory.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Chapter 7.  Remembering New Information: Beyond Basic Effects.


Schemas: Understanding and Remembering Complex Situations .

Introduction and Motivation.




Schema Activation.

Problems With Schemas.


Reconstructive Memory.

Encoding-Retrieval Interactions Revisited.

Schemas and Stereotypes.


Memory in the World.


Eyewitness Testimony.

Flashbulb Memories.

Recovered Memories.


Knowing Your Memory.


Strategies and Knowledge.



Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Chapter 8.  Spatial Knowledge, Imagery, and Visual memory.

Part IV   Language and Understanding.

Chapter 9.   Language.


Language and Communication.

Principles of Communication.

The Given-New Strategy.

Presupposition and Assertion.

Conversational Maxims.


The Productivity of Human Languages.

Productivity and Novelty.



Phonological Rules.

Speech Perception.



The Need for Structure.


Phrase Structure.


The Psychological Reality of Syntax.


Understanding Language.

Heuristics and Strategies.

Minimal Attachment.

Text Comprehension.

The Brain and Language.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Chapter 10.  Concepts and Categories: Representation and Use.


Why Categorize?

Computational Complexity.

Functions of Concepts.

Concepts and Misconceptions.


Structure of Natural Object Categories.

The Classical View.

The Probabilistic View.

Between-Category Structure.

Does Similarity Explain Categorization?

Concepts as Organized by Theories.

Putting Similarity in Its Place.

Do Different Principles Apply for Different Kinds of Concepts?


Use of Categories in Reasoning.

Goals and Ad Hoc Categories.

Conceptual Combination.

Categories and Induction.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Chapter 11.  Reasoning


Logic and Reasoning.            

Validity and Truth.

Deductive Versus Inductive Reasoning.


The Psychology of Deduction.

Conditional Reasoning.

Conditional Reasoning in Hypothesis Testing:  The Selection Task.


The Psychology of Inductive Reasoning.

Probabilistic Reasoning.

Test Quality: A Case Study of Base Rates.

Base Rate Neglect.

Confusing Conditional Probabilities.

Argument Structure and Relevance.


The Importance of Content.

Analogy and Similarity.

An Example of Mapping.

A Return to Similarity.


Mental Models and Intuitive Theories.

Intuitive Theories.

Hypothesis Testing and Scientific Reasoning.


Key Terms.

Chapter 12.  Problem Solving.


Problems, Problems, Problems.

What Is a Problem?

Types of Problems.

Methods for Studying Problem Solving.


Problem Solving as Representation and Search.


The Problem Space Analysis.

Problem Solving as Search.

Problem Solving as Representation.

Summary of Problem Solving as Representation and Search.

Reliance on Specific Relevant Knowledge.


The Influence of Related Problems.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Chapter 13.  Expertise and Creativity.




Comparing Experts and Novices.

Developing Expertise.

Adaptive Expertise.




The Traditional View.

Some Recent Views of Creativity.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

Chapter 14.   Judgment and Decision Making.


Rational and Normative Models.

Expected Value Theory.

Expected Utility Theory.

Limitations of Expected Utility and Alternatives to It.

Violations of Expected Utility.

Prospect Theory.

Regret Theory.

Decision Making over Time.


Dealing with Complexity.

Strategies for Dealing with Complexity.

Adaptive Decision Making.

Further Heuristics and Biases.

Availability Heuristic.

Representativeness Heuristic.

Anchoring and Adjustment.

Causal Schemas.

Hindsight Bias.


Relativity of Judgment and Use of Norms.


Are There Kinds of Decisions?

Mental Accounting.


Key Terms.

Recommended Readings.

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