psyc355 p5 ip cognitive psychology applied

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Paper for Cognitive Psychology class Bachelor of Science: Psychology: Organizational Behavior

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  • 1. Running Head: COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY APPLIED 1 Cognitive Psychology Applied Cherilyn Formanek Colorado Technical University Online PSYC355-1304B-01
  • 2. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 2 Cognitive Psychology Applied Introduction Human cognition can be described as the conscious and unconscious mental processes of the human brain; mental processes that motivate an organism toward action (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010). These mental processes consist of attention, language, memory, perception, reasoning and solving problems (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010). The field of cognitive psychology studies human cognition by applying scientific principles (the scientific method) toward understanding human mental processes in an variety of environments and conditions; such as in personal and workplace life (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010). The following paper will examine how cognitive psychology can be applied to personal and workplace issues and specifically a new employee training program. I. Introduction to Cognitive Psychology Application of Cognitive Psychology to Personal and Workplace Issues Cognitive psychology can have many applications to both personal and workplace issues; first because the field of cognitive psychology studies the mental processes; how they function; what areas of the brain may be engaged in each one; how they may differ and how they may be the same between individuals; and the impact of nature and nurture on each of the processes (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; Eraut, 2007; Le Roy, Bastounis & Minibas-Poussard, 2012; Robotti, 2012). Less important is the question of specific issues as personal and workplace related; human beings may be consistent in their individual differences; but generally speaking personal issues and workplace issues are not mutually exclusive; personal issues and workplace issues often overlap (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; Eraut, 2007; Le Roy, Bastounis & Minibas- Poussard, 2012; Robotti, 2012). Four examples of how cognitive psychology can be applied to
  • 3. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 3 both personal and workplace issues would be in the areas of learning, motivation, emotion and behavior all of which impact and are impacted by attention, language, and memory, perception, reasoning and problem-solving (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; Eraut, 2007; Le Roy, Bastounis & Minibas-Poussard, 2012; Robotti, 2012). Cognitive psychology (with many other disciplines in particular the neurosciences) can be applied in terms of understanding development and function; improving methods of learning and motivation; and helping individuals better understand and control their emotions and behavior appropriately (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; Eraut, 2007; Le Roy, Bastounis & Minibas-Poussard, 2012; Robotti, 2012). How Do You Know When Learning Has Occurred First, learning can be defined as the altering of behavior in relation to one's experience directly or indirectly (observational); there are many ways in which individuals can learn; including classical and operant conditioning; insight learning and latent learning (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; Colorado Technical University, 2010). One can generally tell when learning has occurred in others when they observe a change in a particular behavior; such as when a young child learns to avoid touching a hot stove (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011). One generally knows when learning has occurred within oneself when one alters a behavior and usually has a pretty good idea of why (such as previous behavior resulted in an unpleasant outcome) (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011). For instance when one chooses not to study and complete university course assignments one knows one is not learning much; one's grades suffer and one may fail the class or pass with a very low grade. However when one studies and completes university course assignments; one will tend to know which concepts one feels they have a good grasp of; which ones they may be more uncertain of and may need to study more; and one will be more likely to pass a class with a much higher grade.
  • 4. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 4 An Example of Successful Learning Successful learning requires all of the cognitive processes; attention, perception, memory, language, reasoning and problem-solving skills (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011). An example of successful learning that many individuals have is learning to read which usually begins first with learning language (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011; Eraut, 2007; Robotti, 2012). One usually begins with the sensory sensation of hearing; one learns to associate sounds with different stimuli including family members such as voice differences; tone; differences in syllabic sound of individual words (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011; Eraut, 2007; Robotti, 2012). One pays attention and slowly over time learns to imitate the sounds; make associations between objects and language words; often as such behaviors are rewarded by others (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011; Eraut, 2007; Robotti, 2012). The individual may need to reason and problem-solve how to use new language skills such as remembering the right words to communicate with others so that meaning is conveyed correctly (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011; Eraut, 2007; Robotti, 2012). Likewise the individual also learns to express words in conjunction with tone of voice to express intent and meaning; often imitating vocal patterns and tone of voice of those who are modeling language speech (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011; Eraut, 2007; Robotti, 2012). These are subsets of information one learns prior to being introduced to the alphabet of the language one has learned; then one is introduced to the associated alphabet; must provide attention to the individual letter and associated sound; and commit each to memory (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011; Eraut, 2007; Robotti, 2012). One must then learn how to sound out each letter in accordance with its representative sound; identify the word,
  • 5. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 5 and understand it's meaning; and then learn the rules of grammar for the language where sets of word symbols are put together to express sentences (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011; Eraut, 2007; Robotti, 2012). In learning to recognize individual words and their associated meanings in sentences; one uses reasoning and problem-solving to determine the meaning of the combined set of words within a sentence (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011; Eraut, 2007; Robotti, 2012). In learning the process of reading in terms of sentence structure and grammar one learns that one can also determine elements of meaning in unknown words by considering the context of the written material; through each element of the learning process attention, perception, memory; language, reasoning and problem-solving are integral (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2010; 2011; Eraut, 2007; Robotti, 2012). II. Key Cognitive Psychology Concepts: the individual, workplace, adult learning; creating successful learning organizations Perception Attention and Memory Factors that influence visual and auditory perceptual knowledge: there are several factors that influence visual and auditory perceptual knowledge; including attentional processes; short term, working and long-term memory; pattern recognition processes; feature detection and top-down and bottom-up processing (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2011; Hall, Fussell & Summerfield, 2005; Talmsa, et al, 2006). Attentional processes influence what stimuli receive focus and recording by visual and audio memory processes (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2011; Hall, Fussell & Summerfield, 2005; Talmsa, et al, 2006). They can be reflexive; automatic, selective and unconscious; we often take in more information that is stored in memory; what is stored is usually because attention was given to it; and then depending on degree of importance will often depend how much of the information will be placed in working and long-term memory
  • 6. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 6 (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2011; Hall, Fussell & Summerfield, 2005; Talmsa, et al, 2006). The more attention a stimuli receives particularly if emotional content is also involved; the stronger information from stimuli is likely to be remembered and can then influence perception (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2011; Hall, Fussell & Summerfield, 2005; Talmsa, et al, 2006). Likewise information stored in working and long-term memory is often associated with other information; creating a knowledge base of data from learning and experience that can be applied to novel situational and object stimuli in cognitive processing (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2011; Hall, Fussell & Summerfield, 2005; Talmsa, et al, 2006). In pattern recognition, objects perceived by one's eyes are processed and stored automatically and usually unconsciously into memory as part of a problem-solving process (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010; CTU, 2011; Hall, Fussell & Summerfield, 2005; Talmsa, et al, 2006). The memory storage essentially records patterns to objects that are seen; in bits and pieces and fills in the blank areas (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010). A set of principles describing how visual perception is organized is called the Gestalt grouping pri