slan's blog



Cognitive psychology


I'm currently read the book: "Cognitive Psychology for Dummies", What I want to get from this book:

  • How human learning, cognitive things, knowledge, what is the basic fundamental
  • The best(or good) way to learning, especially how to improve my english learning
  • Improve my reading, cause I'm not read a complete book, I want try this challenge.

Part 1 Getting Started with cognitive psychology

Cognitive Psychology is a science of study mental abilities and processes about knowing. Interested in all the things that people preceiving, attending to, remembering, reasoning, problem solving, decision making , reading and speaking.

The structure of cognitive psychology is the following:

  • Applications: teach,learn and self-improve.
  • Information-processing framework
    • INPUT=>Perception=>Attention=>Storage(Short-term memory,Long-term memory)=>OutPut(Problem solving,Decision making,lauguage...)
  • Input: how the brain interprets the information from the senses.
  • Storage: how the brain stores the information.
  • Language and thought: how brain process the information. make decisions.

How Cognitive Psychology do researching?

  • Testing in the laboratory
  • Modelling with computers(the book metioned nural network to mimic and successful explaining human behaviour)
  • working with brain-damaged people
  • Analysing the brain

Main areas that cognitive psychology investigates:

  • Perception
  • Memory
  • Language
  • Thinking

There are some limitations of human psychology that can cause problems, Example: the road tunnel opened in the Netherlands connecting Schiphol and Amsterdam result was a higher rate of traffic accidents. that's because the tunnel had a tapered design, brain's visual systems think the exit being father away, but in fact not. when the driver cross the exit, the car's speed is much high, so the driver had suddently slow down then cause the accident.

A example to use the brain's storage mechanism to reduce tragedy harms: Because brain's long term storage need sleep to lays down the memory, so preventing a person from sleeping in the aftermath of a traumatic event may reduce the subsequent harmful pychological effects. on the contrary if you engaged in important learning , it's better to take good sleep. not try to use the sleep time to holding the Buddha's feet.

Before we finally read the book, we can get some techniques to improve our academic or learning skill:

1. Engaging your perception and attention

  • Netural body cycle: find your best time to learning, body has clock
  • Massive practice: works for perceptual an motor skills, not work for intellectual subjects.
  • Capturing attention: you can create a script by start your routine, like playing silly game for 3 minutes(not more, not less).
  • Focusing attention techniques:
    • mild to moderate exercise 15 minutes before attempt to learn.
    • turn off distractions like mobile phone,facebook.
    • multitask, if the two tasks use different aspects of your working memory. (May lower performance)
    • avoid distraction, by researches, speech is the most distract things than other, try find a quit enviorment.

2. Improving your learning and memory

  • Remember Techniques
    • Chunking, group incoming information that's largely into small chunks
    • Levels of processing framework
    • Mnemonics, make information personally, like replace the words that's you're trying to learn with something easier to learn. Put the lists to remember into a tune to form a song.
  • Storing for the long term
    • Distributing practice, short bursts learning is better than long time study.
    • Testing what you know, this cause you to form new links in your memory.
  • Avoid interference to forgetting
  • Pre-heat and relax help you retrieving information quicker.

3. Polishing up your Reading and Writhing skills

How to Improving Reading

  • as much and as often as possible.
  • recommend reading process
    • Skim or preview the text
    • Read with purpose
    • Make your reading personal
    • Ask questions
    • Translate into your own language
    • Make it Interesting
    • Use context to make sense of ideas
    • Make a note and come back to it
    • Keep the flow, don't mind the word you don't known.
    • Read more

How to Improving Writing

  • understand the format
  • planing and writing
  • imaging you are speaking and explaining your idea to your friends.

4. Using your thinking powers more Effectively

  • Using rational logic
  • Planing systematically
  • Creating and using sub-goals
  • Automating components
  • Working backwards
  • Growth mindset

Part 3 Memory

Long Term Memory

Long Term Memory is all the things you remember and know, such as skill, events, facts, words.

The processing allows you to remember information for a long time is memory process, there is a frame work called levels of processing framework can help us learn things, there are three levels of processing:

  • Shallow processing: This involves processing information based on its physical characteristics, such as its appearance or sound. Shallow processing is relatively superficial and does not involve much semantic or meaningful processing.
  • Intermediate processing: This involves processing information based on its meaning or semantic content. Intermediate processing involves deeper and more meaningful processing than shallow processing.
  • Deep processing: This involves processing information based on its meaning and relating it to other information in memory. Deep processing involves the most meaningful and elaborate processing and is associated with the best memory retention.

How to classifying Long-term memories, that is the structure:

  • Explicit Memory: what memory you can decribe and speak out
    • Episodic memory, remembering life events
    • Semantic memory, know the facts
  • Implicit Memory: what memory you usually didn't know you can do it, such as how you swiming
    • Procedural memory: how to do things
    • Priming memory: Repetition of information and where a recent event or things influences your behaviour
    • Associative learning: where you learn to link events or objects as being related
    • Non-associative learning: Habits

how you Storing Long-term memories:

  1. Stabilisation of the cells in the memory centres of the brain, take minutes or hours
  2. Reorganisation of the parts of the brain , days to months or years

how to enchancing this storing progress:

  • Drugs that stimulate the central nervous system. Endorphins released following exercise is the naturally-occuring stimulants.
  • Sleeping after learning

what will reducing storing progress:

  • Electric shocks to the brain
  • A lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Certain drugs (propranolol to treat post-traumatic stress disorder)

how you retrieval memory:

  • active/conscious retrieval
  • unintentional retrial
  • recognition