Basics of Cognitive Psychology from


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Consciousness is one of the most difficult and interesting problems in the history of European psychology. This science, which originates to philosophy, made the consciousness the major subject of its studying. However, we should also mention that psychology has become a separate science in order to study consciousness empirically. The first laboratory, created by Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig, was devoted to the problems of consciousness and in the XIX century, plenty of psychologists started to study consciousness experimentally. First of all, you need to understand what is the cognitive approach and this article should help you with it since it contains both visual and textual information.

Later, behaviorism becomes the dominant direction in psychology, that is, an attempt to explain the whole psychological life of an individual studying his or her behavior. This study used positivism as its methodology but it was understood rather primitively. That was the rule: you can study only the processes that can be observed. During the next fifty years, the definition of consciousness as a subjective phenomenon disappeared from psychology. By the way, there was a scientist who did a huge contribution to the studying of the conscious and unconscious mind, and it was Sigmund Freud, thus, we recommend you to read about his research.

In the 60s of the twentieth century, cognitive psychology emerged again and made this rule concerning studying of the phenomena, which one can observe directly disappear and gave a birth to a new stage of psychological development instead of it. Now it was allowed to study something you can actually see or touch. However, the scientists in the filed of cognitivism wanted psychology to be among the natural sciences and that's why the question of consciousness was avoided. The term “consciousness” did not return to psychology with the cognitive revolution but biologists (in particular, neurobiologists who demonstrated remarkable successes throughout the 20th century), who was never concerned about such things, began to study consciousness. At the beginning of the 1990s, they began to ask questions: "What are the functions of consciousness?", "How does it appear in the brain?", "Is it a result of the evolution of the humankind?”

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In 1994 in Tucson, an American city, there was a large conference that brought together a huge number of researchers from different disciplines as biology, physics, psychology, philosophy etc. They shared their knowledge, experience, and results of the recently conducted experiments.  It was 1994 that returned that term “consciousness” to the field of psychology and it remained a natural science. Such discipline as the cognitive psychology took care of this phenomenon.

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How can consciousness be studied from the point of view of cognitive science? First, it enables us to study our experience. Each individual has a certain picture of the world in its brain, a so-called evaluation system of all the objects and things he or she ever saw or heard or touched and these features are studied by the cognitive psychology. The ability to feel the experience is the phenomenal feature of consciousness. The second aspect of consciousness, which is studied in psychology, is called the cognitive correlates of consciousness. Cognitive psychology studies the processing of information, which can be conscious and unconscious. Thus, the difference between the conscious and unconscious processing of information is studied by cognitive correlates of consciousness. The third aspect, which is studied, is called the neural correlates of consciousness. Neurosciences are now inseparable from cognitive psychology, and therefore, somehow these two directions always correlate. However, we will mostly be focused on the first and second aspects of cognitive psychology. Neuroscience is also an interesting branch of psychology, which you should be aware of since it is discussed in the entire article.

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Cognitive correlates of consciousness. This problem became relevant during the second half of the 20th century when thanks to the multiple kinds of research, it was proven that most of the cognitive processes including high-level ones can proceed without conscious being applied. This was proven by most of the branches of psychology including the one that studies perception. If a certain word will be shown on the screen in a blink of an eye, a person won't be able to understand what it was unlike our brain, which processes this information despite that fact that we don't actually realize it and it facilitates further processing of information. Let’s suppose, that the first word shown is “river” and the next one “shore” will be processed much easier than the word “TV” since the first two words are within one semantic field. In other words, there is a semantic processing of information without consciousness to be used.

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Similar results were obtained when the experiments with memory were conducted. For example, one can conduct such an experiment with an individual who has the amnesia and, thus, information can’t switch from short-term memory to long-term memory. If a list of the certain words even within one semantic field will be presented to such an individual, he or she won't remember that there was the list of words in ten minutes and won't be able to remember even a single word from this list. However, due to the great variety of tests, they managed to prove that these words nevertheless remain in the memory of an individual. There is a new essay our writers want to share with you which dedicated to the hardworking and its benefits

Let’s suppose one has a list of words, or syllables, to be more specific, which can form a word. For example, the word "banana" is presented on the first list, and only the syllable “ba-” is shown for a subject to complete it. All these syllables are chosen in such a way that they can be completed to create a word. For example, the syllable "ba-" can be completed in two different ways, the first one is “banana”, and the second one is “banished”, for example. It turned out that the subjects with amnesia can’t reproduce the words presented on the list but they easily complete it in a right way even if the syllables and world presented on the list are not frequent. Thus, these words just come to their mind. This phenomenon was named an implicate memory and today it is already well studied by psychologists all over the world. By the way, we want to remind you that there are plenty of branches of psychology and most of them are really interesting. These ones are described in this post for you to read.

The third example we would like to provide is called implicit memory. This is the phenomenon which implies memorizing of the information from the external sources of information without consciousness being applied. The experiments showed an individual is able to distinguish two different objects with regard to one or two their features but he or she can’t name these features. When such a large number of unconscious phenomena were discovered, the scientists start to wonder why it is necessary to study conscious at all since most of the processes proceed without its participation. Since the question became relevant, the scientists were forced to answer it.

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There is an interesting methodological point of view. At this point, the method of investigation, experimental methods, and the theory of consciousness collide. In order to understand whether a subject didn’t realize something, it is necessary to identify the criteria of consciousness which implies certain theoretical overview of consciousness, what it does and why it is necessary. For example, if one shows a certain world to a person for a short period of time and then ask him or her to repeat it, there are two possible options. The first one: he or she does not name it and we understand that he or she didn’t realize what it was; and the second one: he or she names it and, thus, realizes it. Thus, the consciousness is appeared to be connected to verbalization or verbal reproduction of information in an attempt to share it with other individuals. Our writers believe that religions should occupy one of the leading places in our life and this essay should prove you that they have a point

Then, it was proven that verbalization is connected with consciousness indirectly. First of all, when a person cannot say anything, in fact, consciousness is not empty, a person can be aware of pieces of this word and feel something about them. At the same time, he or she can’t verbalize it. Sometimes, it happens that we know something and it is somewhere wandering our conscious but we can’t say it. All the researchers in the field of child development and all the parents suggest that children feel pain consciously and their anxiety is caused by consciously. Of course, verbalization can’t answer the questions of whether a person is in coma hears of feels something but we can’t say for sure whether it is not true.

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Another example of cognitive correlates of consciousness studies in the field of control. The connection between control and consciousness is not a new idea, however, thanks to the experiments conducted by scientists, it appeared that these two phenomena are connected. Let's get back to the experiments with the subjects who suffers from amnesia and the list of words to memorize. If we compare the group of patients with amnesia and a group of healthy subjects, what will we see? Healthy subjects, can arbitrary reproduce most of the words from the list in ten minutes or even in an hour. Patients with amnesia can’t do it. However, if one repeats the experiment with syllables both for healthy subjects and the ones with amnesia, one will see that both groups will complete all the words with the same precision. However, the most interesting part of the experiment begins when one asks both groups to complete the words that were not on the list. The first group which is healthy is able to recall the word "banana" on the list and write "banish" instead while the second group with amnesia can't do it. They can complete only the words they have already seen. Thus, it allows those who conduct the experiment to control their behavior. Still, don't know where to get proofreading services online? Our website meets all the possible requirements, so the choice is yours.

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Another interesting example of the cognitive correlates of consciousness researching was made as a part of studying how consciousness integrates incoming information into the external context. Anthony Marcel was subliminal perception studies pioneer. This is a perception of information that does not reach the level of realization. He conducted the following experiment; he invented subliminal primes, i.e. stimulus that appear within first 30 milliseconds and not realized by an individual and used words with several meanings. Then, he presented the prime and the chosen word for a subject to react and identify. It can be the word connected with one meaning or another meaning, accordingly. The bible is one of the most controversial written texts in the world. It contains plenty of various plots that were used multiple times in video games, movies, novels etc. and our writers want to share their opinion on this account

However, the scientist added one serious detail that changed an entire experiment. It was the context of the chosen words. Thus, besides the words that were shown to the subjects, the context of this words was also mentioned within 50-60 milliseconds so that they could understand which semantic field is used. It is easier for a subject to identify a word if he or she has a semantic field and other words that connected with it even indirectly. It might seem that realization slows down our perception and decrease its precision. However, in fact, everything is much more interesting. Our mind actually chooses one of the possible interpretations out of the incoming information to insert it into the actual conscious context. This is a very resourceful work and despite the fact that it might look like inefficiency on the lowest levels but, in fact, this is a serious achievement since our consciousness determines the picture of the world that surrounds us. Want to get a huge discount on our website? Order essay revision service at and you will be provided with the special code. Hurry up!

Now, let's talk about the phenomenal nature of consciousness. How is it studied experimentally? This field is less researched since it is much more complicated for understanding. There is a good example, studying in the field of will. This is mostly a philosophical problem which in the field of cognitive psychology became empirical. Such kind of researches originates to Benjamin Libet, who conducted the following experiment: he asked people to move either the right finger or the left one at any time they consider suitable. By means of his experiments, he showed that if one monitors the activity of the brain, the activity of the cerebral cortex, then one can monitor the impulse in the motor cortex before a subject tells which finger he or she wants to move. Thus, in such a way, researchers are able to tell what finger a subject wants to move. These experiments were conducted again and criticized but today, this is a rather valuable evidence. Therefore, it is possible to predict the choice of an individual in such a situation. In this essay, our writers want to prove to you that your words are much stronger than you think and you can use them for your own benefit

The feeling that we want something appears after the fact that future behavior is already predisposed. The sense of control is studied by cognitive psychology. As a rule, in order to conduct an experiment to check it, the following tools are required: a subject with a moving joystick, and the screen which displays some events subsequently that might be connected or not connected with this person or the way he or she moves the joystick. It appeared that under the same conditions of connection between the joystick and the events on the screen, a subject feels the degree of his or her control in a different way. Order admission essay service at to get the paper done without any plagiarism issues.

There are different ways to measure the sense of control. For example, one can simply ask a subject to evaluate its degree of control. However, there are more interesting ways to conduct this experiment. For example, the method of sensory attenuation, based on previous experiments proved that if a person feels that he or she controls the situation, the consequences of his or her actions are perceived less intensely. When a subject presses a button and in a few seconds he or she hears the signal the sound of this signal seems to be lower. Thus, it is possible to measure the sense of control by means of these experiments without asking the subject about it directly. Unbelievably cheap essay writing service from the US at is not a myth. Sign up on our website to make sure of it.

What do we know about consciousness today? The consciousness is a mechanism in the brain that forms a consistent picture of the world that allows us to control our behavior and at the same time allows us to explain it, interpret all the events that happen with us. It seems to me that in the future, studying of the conscious nature will be on the issue of the day because this problem is more difficult to describe than the study of cognitive correlates. Michael Gazzaniga, modern American neuropsychologist says that the most important step towards explaining the nature of consciousness will be the creation of a new language to describe this phenomenon that includes a description, understanding, and discussion. Any science regardless of the branch and field required both asking an interesting question and trying to answer them. It seems that cognitive psychology in this sense will play a crucial role because it turns abstract theoretical constructions from philosophy into the hypothesis that can be proved experimentally. Thus, in the nearest future, it will allow scientists to study the processes that proceed in our brain, explain them, describe them, understand them and probably solve the riddle of conscious and unconscious. You still don’t know where to order argumentative essay for sale? There is a little hint for you, is a website you need.

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