Thursday, July 18, 2019

Principles That Define the Culutral Level of Analysis Essay

Explain how principles that define CLOA may be demonstrated in research. ’ The first Principle states that Humans are information processors. Cognition refers to the mental tasks or thinking involved in human behavior. Thinking may involve memory, attention, perception, language and decision making at any one time. Cognitive psychologists see these cognitions are active systems; In between taking in and responding to information a number of processes are at work. Information can be transformed; reduced, elaborated, filtered, manipulated, selected, organized, stored and retrieved Therefore the human mind is seen as active system processing information, and cognitive psychologist’s aim to study these processes. Central to this information processing approach is the computer metaphor. One of the difficulties facing cognitive psychologists is that they were trying to study processes that are not directly observable. Consequently the computer revolution of the 1950 provided the terminology and metaphor they needed. People, like computers, acquire information from the environment (input). Both people and computers store information and retrieve it when applicable to current tasks; both are limited in the amount of information they can process at a given time; both transform information to produce new information; both return information to the environment (output). This information processing approach was adopted by Atkinson and Shiffrin in their Multistore Model of memory (1968). This model sees memory as an active process. Information flows in through the sensory stage (input). It then flows to the short-term memory before it is transferred to long term memory where it can be stored and later retrieved. A further example of information processing is the organization of information into schemas in the LTM. Schemas are mental models of the world. Information in LTM is stored in interrelated networks of these schemas and these schemas can affect retrieval. Simply put, schema theory states that all knowledge is organized into units. Within these units of knowledge, or schemata, is stored information. A schema, then, is a generalized description or a conceptual system for understanding knowledge-how knowledge is represented and how it is used. According to this theory, schemata represent knowledge about concepts: objects and the relationships they have with other objects, situations, events, sequences of events, actions, and sequences of actions. A simple example is to think of your schema for dog. Within that schema you most likely have knowledge about dogs in general (bark, four legs, teeth, hair, and tails) and probably information about specific dogs, such as collies (long hair, large, Lassie) or springer spaniels (English, docked tails, liver and white or black and white, Millie). You may also think of dogs within the greater context of animals and other living things; that is, dogs breathe, need food, and reproduce. Your knowledge of dogs might also include the fact that they are mammals and thus are warm-blooded and bear their young as opposed to laying eggs. Depending upon your personal experience, the knowledge of a dog as a pet (domesticated and loyal) or as an animal to fear (likely to bite or attack) may be a part of your schema. And so it goes with the development of a schema. Each new experience incorporates more information into one’s schema. The second principle of CLOA states that the mind can be studied scientifically. Cognitive processes are difficult to study. They often occur rapidly, and inside the mind so they cannot be observed directly. It is only the responses that participants make when given some cognitive task to perform that can tell us about cognitive processes. These tasks usually take place under tightly controlled lab experiments where the main aim is to isolate a particular component of the cognitive process for the study. One of the earliest and most famous experiments into cognitive processes is the Stroop Effect. The Stroop effect is a phenomena involved in attentional processes. Although we will actually focus on the process of memory this is a good study to look at. People are often introduced to the Stroop Effect in beginning psychology classes as they learn about how their brains process information. It demonstrates the effects of interference, processing speed (reaction time) and automaticity in divided attention. The effect is named after John Ridley Stroop who first published the effect in English in 1935. In his experiments, J. R. Stroop administered several variations of the same test for which three different kinds of stimuli were created. In the first one, names of colors appeared in black ink. In the second, names of colors appeared in a different ink than the color named. Finally in the third one, there were squares of a given color. In the first experiment, 1 and 2 were used. The task required the participants to read the written color names of the words independently of the color of the ink (for example, they would have to read â€Å"purple† no matter what the color of its ink was). In the second experiment, stimulus 2 and 3 were used, and participants were required to say the color of the letters independently of the written word with the second kind of stimulus and also name the color of the dot squares. If the word â€Å"purple† was written in red, they would have to say â€Å"red†, but not â€Å"purple†; when the squares were shown, the participant would have to say its color. Stroop, in the third experiment, tested his participants at different stages of practice at the tasks and stimulus used in the first and second experiments, to account for the effects of association. Stroop noted that participants took much longer to complete the color reading in the second task than they had taken to name the colors of the squares in Experiment 2. This delay had not appeared in the first experiment. Such interference was explained by the automation of reading, where the mind automatically determines the semantic meaning of the word (it reads the word â€Å"red† and thinks of the color â€Å"red†), and then must intentionally check itself and identify instead the color of the word (the ink is a color other than red), a process that is not automatized. This is a classic laboratory experiment that involves the manipulation of an independent variable (colour or name of word) to see what effect it has on the dependent variable (reaction time). It attempts to control the influence of all other extraneous variables – such as other cognitive processes or skills. It also allows us to establish a cause and effect relationship between task and mental process. The strengths of the experiment are that it got valid results but however was still very unethical which not usuall in psychology is. One more strength is that it is an easy experiment which does not need a lot of input to carry out. The study can be considered cross cultural as any human would act the same in this situation. Obviously the reaction times would be different but in the end anyone would take longer to read the words writte in a different colour. Cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors, is the statement which forms the third principle. Although cognitive tasks such as memory and attention are universal, there are cross cultural variations in processing mechanisms. Bartlett’s study demonstrates how memory can be distorted by cultural schemas. Schemas are representations of knowledge based on experience. In his study in which British participants were asked to recall a native American folktale. He found that the story of ‘The War of the Ghosts’ was difficult for Western people to reproduce exactly because of its cultural content which was unfamiliar to them so in fact they encoded the meaning of the story adapted to their existing cultural schemas. As a result Bartlett concluded that interpretation plays a large role in remembering events or stories. We reconstruct the past and try to make it fit into our schemata, the more difficult this is to do, the more likely it is that elements are forgotten or distorted so that it fits and remembering is integrally related to the social and cultural context in which it is practiced. Cole and Scribner (1974) studied memory skills in both American and Liberian children. They argued that cognitive processes are universal but not cognitive skills. Cognitive skills are dependent on the environment – education, social interaction, culture and technologies make up the environment they observed the effects formal schooling / education (culture) had on memory they compared recall of a series of words in the US and amongst the Kpelle people using word lists that were culturally specific. They found that in general educated Kpelle children performed better in the recall of list than no educated Kpelle children and those overall American children performed better than Kpelle children. Although this could be interpreted as memory skills being better amongst Americans children than Kpelle (African) children such an interpretation would overlook the influence of culture. Western schooling emphasizes certain cognitive strategies such as clustering / categorizing. It is unlikely such parallels exist in traditional societies like the Kpelle People learn to remember in ways that are relevant for their everyday lives, and these do not always mirror the activities that cognitive psychologists use to investigate mental processes The strengths of this lab study are that it was carried out ethically and the with the results we can almost confirm the cross cultural validity but of course we cant confirm it with 100% as exceptions will always be there. The applications of this study are basically already demonstrated within the study as it can be used for memory in schools or even at a working place.

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