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Cognitive Loa Learning Outcomes Note

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Cognitive LOA

Key words

Notes

GLO 1: Outline principles that define the cognitive level of analysis GLO 2: Explain how principles that define the cognitive level of analysis may be demonstrated in research

1.

Human beings are information processors and mental processes guide behaviour Follows the analogy of the mind as a computer as an example of human beings as information processors and mental processes that guide behaviour may be seen in schemas etc. Earlier behaviourists believed it was possible to understand behaviour by observing the stimuli and responses of the organism and ignoring the "black box" (brain) which they believed could not be studied effectively.

Cognitive psychologists argued it was important to study the mediator of the input and output - this is in large part our memory which intervenes to organise & interpret reality. Schema theory illustrates how cognitive structures influence our behaviour and enable efficient processing of our environment.

According to schema theory, schemas perform several interrelated functions:
 they organize information in memory
 they can be activated, often automatically, to increase information-processing efficiency
 in the form of stereotypes (social schemas), they influence social perception and behaviour, often when automatically activated
 they can lead to distortions and mistakes when the wrong schemas become activated.

Schemas have been shown to affect behaviour in many ways eg affects what we remember (Bartlett/Allport
& Postman) and they influence how we respond to people.

2. Mental processes are influenced by social and cultural factors

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. 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; thus 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

People tend to remember the meaning (gist) of something, not the actual wording.

People use stored knowledge to make sense of incoming information. If the information is unclear or incomplete, they fill in the blanks or interpret using their schemas. This is called "reconstructive memory: and results in distortion

People tend to ignore information that is not in the line with their schemas. This may mead to bias in information processing

People tend to focus on information that is in line with their schemas. This may result in "confirmation bias"

GLO3: Discuss how and why particular research methods are used at the cognitive level of analysis Laboratory experiment

Loftus and Palmer: Independent variable: leading question Dependent variable: speed of car recalled Cause and effect: leading question as an effect on the reconstruction of the memory

Case study

Quantitative result?
Clive Wearing: Qualitative: observation, interview, BIT Quantitative: Naturally occurring: hippocampus damage Relationship between hippo and memory conversation

GLO 4: Discuss ethical considerations related to research studies at the cognitive level of analysis
Consent (informed, parental)

Cognitive LOA

Key words

Notes

Brief/Debrief

Right to withdraw (person and data)

Protection from harm (emotional, psychological, physiological)

CP 1: Evaluate schema theory with reference to research studies.
Schema Representatio n







cognitive schema o mental representation of knowledge stored in the brain o a network of knowledge, beliefs and expectations about particular aspects of the worl processing - a lard extent automatic, processed with little attention. It involves information from two sources: Input from the sensory system bottom-up processes) and information stored in memory (top-down processes), which is used to interpret the incoming information (pattern recognition, interpretation). they organize information in memory and provide a structure for knowledge or a network of beliefs and expectations they can be activated, often automatically, to increase information-processing efficiency (cognitive miser concept) help people to make sense of the world, make predictions or provide guidance are shaped and biased by culture i.e can be adapted and changed by experience in the form of stereotypes (social schemas), they influence social perception and behaviour, often when automatically activated, may lead to bias in info processing Schema theory tells us that: we use schemas (mental rep…) to fill in gas info, aid faster processing, and predict future behaviour (role, self, person, event)



What we already know will influence the outcome of information processing We are active information processors that interpret and integrate information to make sense of experiences When info is missing, the brain fills in blanks based on existing schemas, or invents something that seems to fit in →
cognitive distortions
 We are cognitive misers - categorisation based on schemas requires less effort Bartlett (1932) o Bartlett's study shows how schema theory is useful for understand how people categorise information, interpret stories, and make inferences. o It also contributes to understanding of cognitive distortions in memory Brewer and Treyens (1981) o This study provides evidence to support how our schemas can affect our cognition/cognitive processes, in particular memory. o Our schemas influence what we recall in our memory.

CP 2: Evaluate two models of one cognitive process with reference to research studies.

Schema Strengths

Limitations


proven extremely useful in explaining many cognitive processes Schema theory can be used to explain the reconstructive nature of memory

Cohen (1993) argued that: the concept of schema is too vague to be useful and it is not clear how schemas are acquired in the first place Schema theory may focus too much on the inaccuracies of memory but most of the time people remember accurately

Bartlett (1932) Bartlett's study shows how schema theory is useful for understand how people categorise information, interpret stories, and make inferences. It also contributes to understanding of cognitive distortions in memory Flashbulb memory

CP 3: Explain how biological factors may affect one cognitive process. Biological Factor & functions

Cognitive Process

Key Studies

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