Essay Questions For Cognitive Psychology

PYSC 341 Cognitive Psychology

Study Questions for Exam 1

  1. What are the five disciplines that shaped cognitive psychology and what did each contribute?

  1. Contrast and compare structuralism and functionalism.

  1. Discuss briefly, the history of Cognitive Psychology from Wundt’s laboratory to the present.Include Ebbinghaus in your discussion.

  1. List and describe three influences on cognitive psychology -- What events contributed to its emergence as a separate discipline?

  1. What is the definition of cognitive psychology?And what are its three main assumptions?

  1. Describe the basic Information Processing approach to psychology.Include in your discussion the basic information processing model, its components, and the properties of each component.

  1. Discuss the Sternberg paradigm.Include a discussion of the methodology and the results of his experiment.Also include a discussion of how the information processing approach accounts for the results.

  1. Describe the four Gestalt principles of organization. Include an example of each.

  1. What is perception?

  1. What are the 3 models of pattern recognition?Describe each.

  1. What are the early, middle and late models of auditory attention?Describe each with examples.

  1. What is the spotlight theory?

  1. What is attention?

  1. Describe George Sperling’s (1960) procedure for studying visual sensory memory.What is the typical result of his studies and what do they tell us about visual sensory store (iconic memory).

  1. Describe the characteristics of automatic processing.Give an example of automatic processing not provided in class or the book.

  1. Describe the dichotic listening task.For what purpose was it used?

  1. Describe the evidence that supports Treisman’s Attenuation theory of attention (Middle selection model)?

  1. Describe the capacity model of attention.

  1. Describe the multiple-resource model of attention.

  1. How do the two different models of attentional resources (# 15 and # 16) account for the decrease in performance with the increase in the demand for attention?

  1. What is the Stroop effect?

  1. Compare and contrast perceptual based knowledge representation with meaning - based representation.Give an example of each.

  1. What is the dual-code theory?

  1. What did Santa (1977) find with respect to perceptual-based and verbally based information?

  1. How are mental images like perception?How are they different than perception?

  1. What is Front anchoring?Give an example experimental result demonstrating Front anchoring.

  1. How is verbal material represented?What about hierarchies?

  1. What is a meaning-based representation?What are three such representations discussed in class?

  1. What is a mnemonic?Give an example.

  1. How is knowledge assumed to be represented in a propositional representation?Give a simple example.

  1. What did Bransford & Franks find in their study?

  1. What is the within propositional priming effect?How is this evidence for propositional representations?

  1. Describe the essence of semantic networks?How is information represented in semantic networks?What is the idea of cognitive economy?What did Collins and Quillian find in their research on semantic networks?

  1. Sketch a simple semantic network for the category automobile.Go three levels deep.Include in your sketch the features associated with each level.

  1. What is a schema?What are the default values & slots?

  1. Compare and contrast frames and scripts.Give an example of each not discussed in class or the book (briefly describe each example).

  1. How do cognitive psychologists measure cognitive processes?Discuss three major dependent variables used by cognitive psychologists.

  1. What do you think was the most important factor to the emergence of cognitive psychology (you are free to discuss, people, events, or things).You must give an argument for why you think it is the most important factor, and your argument should be strong enough to convince me that you are right.

  1. Identify a domain, which you think would benefit from research on attention, perception, or perceptual knowledge.Identify a research question and discuss why you think research would be important in this domain.(In class I identified the need for cognitive research in Air Traffic Control (ATC).I described the task, and identified a research question.)

  1. What is a schema?What are the default values & slots?

  1. Compare and contrast frames and scripts.Give an example of each not discussed in class or the book (briefly describe each example).

  1. What did Loftus find in her eye-witness study (car accidents)?What are the implications of this research for eye-witness testimony?

  1. What factors affect or influence eye-witness memory?Describe each with respect to some cognitive principle (some are from perception, attention, memory, and knowledge).


  1. Mary-Jo Sapulla was her evening walk as always.Mary decided to take her usual route along the trial.Along the way Mary passed a young dark hair man walking rather quickly in the opposite direction.Mary thought it was odd to see someone whom she did not know as most of the people who walk along the trail live in Mary’s neighborhood.About 15 minutes after passing the man on the trail, Mary was startled by a loud gun shot.She looked up and saw a person running up the hillside.Although Mary was far enough away to not be seen, she swears that she’ll never forget what the person looked like..... (time passes)....Mary id’s a person in the line-up as the person she saw running up the hill away from the crime, a young man with dark hair and a mustache.The defense has called upon you as an expert witness in the case.As an expert witness you are asked to give the facts with respect to eye-witness testimony.What do you tell the court (give you testimony)?

  1. What are typicality effects?Give an example of a typical and an atypical member of some category not discussed in class or the book.

  1. Compare and contrast instance-based and abstraction based models of categorization.

  1. Some people have criticized Loftus’s work on eye-witness testimony.Choose a side, do you agree or disagree with Loftus’ contention that eye-witness testimony is unreliable?Defend your position citing experimentalresults either discussed in class or the book or from any other empirical studies.

  1. What is graded-category membership?Give an example.

  1. Why are some categories considered to be fuzzy?

  1. Compare and contrast propositional representations and schemata with respect to what people remember.

  1. Describe the modal model.Use a diagram, name and describe each components function.

  1. How long is information stored in STM?What experimental result suggests this limitation on duration (describe the experiment briefly).

  1. Compare and contrast decay theory with interference theory.

  1. What is pro-active interference?Retro-active interference?

  1. What was Miller’s finding with respect to the capacity of STM?

  1. How is working memory different from STM?Describe the working memory model.Include a discussion of the component and what each component is responsible for.

  1. What is the dual task method?What does research using this method suggest?(explain how finding using this method suggests this)

  1. Describe the working memory model.Draw a diagram & label the parts.Then describe what each component is responsible for.

  1. What is spreading activation?

  1. Describe the associative priming experiment by Meyer and Schvalaveldt (1971).What do the results of this experiment suggest?

  1. What is the depth of processing theory?What useful idea came from this theory?

  1. Describe five ways to improve your test performance by improving your memory (name and describe each cognitive principle).

  1. What are serial position effects in memory? What happens when a bazaar word is added to the middle of a memorized list (what is it called)?

Human Development

Exam Essay Questions 

Spring 2008

Comprehensive Question

 

Each of us is who we are as a result of complex interactions between our biological heritage, learning and cognitive skills, socio-emotional environment and emotional skills, and our family and peer environments.  Thinking of someone you know well, apply principles you learned in each area to help me understand how s/he became who s/he is.  Your answer should be as complete as possible given that you will have about 30 minutes to write it.

 

 

 

 

 

Cognitive Development Essay Questions

  1. Difference between centration and conservation? Use examples
  2. What are the 4 stages of Piaget’s development?
  3. Explain the differences between critical and scientific thinking and describe situations in which you would use each.
  4. Describe what memory is and how it changes throughout the lifespan.
  5. What is
Sternberg’s view of intelligence? Describe each.
  • How does aging effect crystallized and fluid intelligence?
  • What are IQ tests? What are IQ tests important?  What do the results show?
  • What are
  • What are the 5 rules of language and their meanings?
  • explain the difference between whole language, and phonic, including the benefits and drawbacks of each.  Which would you use to teach your own child and why?
  •  

     

    Second Exam Questions

    1. Is shared sleeping a good idea?  Why and why not?
    2. What are the 4 theories of aging?  Can we slow aging down according to these theories?
    3. How long can you expect to live?  What are you doing "right" that is adding to your longevity?  What are you doing "wrong"?
    4. What is the optimal food for human infants?  Why?
    5. What causes anorexia nervosa?
    6. What is binge drinking?  How much of a problem is it today?

     

    First Exam/Essay Questions

    All 4 questions will be required.

    1.      Describe the information you would find in each part of a typical journal article: abstract, introduction, methods, findings, discussion.

               

    2.       What are reaction range and canalization?   

     

    3.       "The environment" can be an important developmental force.  In Developmental Psychology, what kinds of things do we need to keep in mind when we talk about "the environment"?           

    4.       Why might the same teratogens (cocaine, for example) have more effect on some people than others?      

     

    Fourth Exam

    1. Describe John Gottman's research methods.  What make his research particularly good?
    2. Why is marriage important to society and to individuals?
    3. What are the 7 principles of successful marriages?
    4. Describe each of Baumrind's Parenting Styles.
    5. Why are psychologists more inclined to support discipline and less inclined to support punishment (especially physical punishment)?
    6. Describe at least one contributor to child abuse in each: the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem.
    7. What are the functions of peers in childhood?
    8. What can we do to help bullies and their victims?
    9. How does poverty effect children's development?  

    Comprehensive Question

    What is the most important thing you learned this semester in each of these domains: growth and physical development; health; cognitive development; socioemotional development; moral development; and, the social contexts of development?

    OR

    Discuss the role of genes, parents, peers and culture in 2 of the domains of development (growth and physical development; health; cognitive development; socioemotional development; moral development; and, the social contexts).

    Third Exam Questions

    1. Discuss the issues that surround end of life care and euthanasia.  Under what conditions do you think euthanasia is acceptable?
    2. How do our attitudes toward death tend to change with age?
    3. What are the factors that influence how we grieve a particular loss?
    4. What is emotional regulation? How can we help children develop emotional competence?
    5. What is temperament?  Describe 2 theories of temperament and say which one you think is the most useful.
    6. What is attachment?  What is the developmental sequence for attachment?  
    7. What are the basic patterns of attachment?  What are the factors that influence its development?
    8. How important is having a secure attachment to your mother?  Why?
    9. What is self-esteem?  How do we build appropriate self-esteem?
    10. Buddhists argue that self is an illusion.  Do you agree?  Why or why not?
    11. What are the 4 identity statuses?  Which one are you in?  What are the family and cultural influences that contributed to your identity status?
    12. Describe yourself using the big 5.  Based on Chapter 11, how much and in what ways do you expect to change as you age?
    13. How do nature, culture and individual thoughts and experiences shape our gender identity?
    14. What is sexual orientation?  What are the biological and cultural factors that influence sexual orientation?
    15. How do the theories about moral development and prosocial behavior contribute to our understanding of moral behavior?

     

    Second Exam, Fall 2007

    1. How does Dynamic Systems Theory explain the changes necessary for children to develop motor skills?
    2. What are the basic processes that all people go through as they learn according to Piaget?
    3. What kind of a game might you choose for playing with each of these children and why (using Piaget) Kelley, age 2, Cody, age 4, Justin, age 9, and Caroline, age 15?
    4. How does development progress, according to Vygotsky? Use an example of the zone of proximal development, and scaffolding.
    5. Why do adults generally make better decisions than adolescents?
    6. What is intelligence?  Use at least 2 different theories in your answer.
    7. What should parents consider if their child's school want to give him or her an IQ test?
    8. Describe as many factors that contribute to IQ as you can.
    9. What should we expect as far as intellectual changes go as we age?
    10. Who is the wisest person you know?  According to research, how did they become wise?
    11. How can we increase our creativity? Why bother trying?
    12. What is language? (Be sure to include all of the rule systems in you answer.)
    13. Describe language development using the interactionist perspective. (Include the universal language milestones.)

     

    First Exam, Fall 2007

    1. Give a one sentence summary of Cognitive, Behavioral and Social Cognitive, and Ethological Theories of development and provide an example of each.
    2. Define each of the systems of Ecological systems Theory and an example of each.
    3. Briefly, who were the participants in the article you reviewed? What method did the researchers use to collect data?  What research design did they use?
    4. Define 3 gene-environment correlations, and give an example of each. 
    5. Describe 3 teratogens and their likely effects on the developing child. 
    6. You hear a woman say "I smoked during my pregnancy and my baby is fine!"  Does that mean it's really ok to smoke?  Why is her baby ok?
    7. Is shared sleeping a good idea?  Why and why not?
    8. What are the 4 theories of aging?  Can we slow aging down according to these theories?
    9. How long can you expect to live?  What are you doing "right" that is adding to your longevity?  What are you doing "wrong"?
    10. What is the optimal food for human infants?  Why?
    11. What causes anorexia nervosa?
    12. What is binge drinking?  How much of a problem is it today?

    Old questions:

     

    Second Exam, Fall 2006

    1. How does Dynamic Systems Theory explain the changes necessary for children to develop motor skills?
    2. What are the basic processes that all people go through as they learn according to Piaget?
    3. What kind of a game might you choose for playing with each of these children and why (using Piaget) Kelley, age 2, Cody, age 4, Justin, age 9, and Caroline, age 15?
    4. How does development progress, according to Vygotsky? Use an example of the zone of proximal development, and scaffolding.
    5. Why do adults generally make better decisions than adolescents?
    6. What is intelligence?  Use at least 2 different theories in your answer.
    7. What should parents consider if their child's school want to give him or her an IQ test?
    8. Describe as many factors that contribute to IQ as you can.
    9. What should we expect as far as intellectual changes go as we age?
    10. Who is the wisest person you know?  According to research, how did they become wise?
    11. How can we increase our creativity? Why bother trying?
    12. What is language? (Be sure to include all of the rule systems in you answer.)
    13. Describe language development using the interactionist perspective. (Include the universal language milestones.)

     

    Fourth Exam

    1. Describe John Gottman's research methods.  What make his research particularly good?
    2. Why is marriage important to society and to individuals?
    3. What are the 7 principles of successful marriages?
    4. Why does marital satisfaction tend to decline with the addition of children to the family? (Be sure to include the role of expectations and myths.)
    5. Describe each of Baumrind's Parenting Styles.
    6. Why are psychologists more inclined to support discipline and less inclined to support punishment (especially physical punishment)?
    7. Describe at least one contributor to child abuse in each: the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem.
    8. What are the functions of peer groups in childhood?
    9. What can we do to help bullies and their victims?
    10. How does the role of friendship change as we age?

    Comprehensive Question

    What is the most important thing you learned this semester in each of these domains: growth and physical development; health; cognitive development; socioemotional development; moral development; and, the social contexts of development?

    OR

    Use Ecological Systems Theory to explain growth or change in 2 of the domains (growth and physical development; health; cognitive development; socioemotional development; moral development; and, the social contexts) of development.

     

     

    Third Exam Questions

    1. Discuss the issues that surround end of life care and euthanasia.  Under what conditions do you think euthanasia is acceptable?
    2. How do our attitudes toward death tend to change with age?
    3. What are the factors that influence how we grieve a particular loss?
    4. What is emotional regulation? How can we help children develop emotional competence?
    5. What is temperament?  Why is it important?
    6. What is attachment?  How does it emerge?  What are the basic patterns of attachment?  What are the factors that influence its development?
    7. How important is having a secure attachment to your mother?  Why?
    8. What is self-esteem?  What are the good and bad aspects of having high self-esteem?
    9. What are the 4 identity statuses?  Which one are you in?  What are the family and cultural influences that contributed to your identity status?
    10. Describe yourself using the big 5.  Based on Chapter 11, how much and in what ways do you expect to change as you age?
    11. How do nature, culture and individual thoughts and experiences shape our gender identity?
    12. What is sexual orientation?  What are the biological and cultural factors that influence sexual orientation?
    13. How does sexuality change with age?
    14. How do the theories about moral development and prosocial behavior contribute to our understanding of moral behavior?
    15. Where are you in Fowler's Stages of religious thought?

     

     

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