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Cognitive Psychology

  • Describe the prototype approach to categorisation. Describe the experiments that Rosch and others have conducted to demonstrate the connections between prototypicality and behaviour. Can this approach explain all of the research on categorisation?
  • Describe Collins and Quillian’s Semantic Network model. How are properties or characteristics represented within the semantic network? What research supported this model and what research led to the development of Collins and Loftus’ model? How does Collins and Loftus’ model address the problems with the earlier model?
  • If images are like percepts, then judgements about images should resemble judgements about real objects. Evaluate this claim by discussing the findings of imagery research. 
  • Researchers have used neurophysiological and neuropsychological approaches to examine the processes that underlie imagery.  How do the results of brain imaging research and neuropsychological case studies answer the question of whether imagery and perception share the same brain regions?
  • Define lexical ambiguity, giving an example.  Using the results of research studies, describe the different findings that have been found with balanced (aka equibiased) and biased ambiguous words.  How does the Reordered Access theory explain these findings?
  • Give an example of a garden-path sentence. Explain the syntax-first and interactionist approaches to parsing such sentences.
  • What does research tell us about whether it is necessary for us to understand the literal meaning of figurative utterances, before we can understand the intended meaning?
  • Describe the Wason four-card problem. Describe the research that shows how solving this problem is influenced by (a) knowledge of regulations, (b) permission schemas, and (c) evolutionary principles.
  • Describe and give examples of how each of the following cause errors in reasoning:  availability heuristic, illusory correlations, confirmation bias, and myside bias.
  • Discuss how and why a person’s decisions are affected by emotion.  Refer to research in your answer.
  • Describe the evidence from both physiological research and patient data that attempts to explain how categories are represented in the brain.

Prototype Theory in Cognitive Science

In cognitive science prototype theory is defined as a mode of weighted categorization where some of the members of categorization are made more central than that of the others. For example, when people are asked for concept furniture first image appears in their mind is of chair rather than a stool. This shows that chair is more central than the stool in the context of concept furniture. This approach of prototype categorization has also been implemented in linguistics as an element of mapping to semantics from typical phonological structure. The approach of prototype categorization was firstly formulated by Eleanor Rosch and others. The term prototype defined in the study of “Natural Categories” by Eleanor Rosch was in the beginning defined to denote stimulus. This approach was an essential departure of traditional necessary and conditions of a syllogistic logic which was leading to set a theoretical approach of intentional or extensional semantics. This approach instead of using a definition based structure or model consider a category based on its features. For example, Rosch and other has explained that a bird can be categorised on the basis of its features like, Feathers, Beak, and its ability to fly which states that a robin is more like birds than a penguin as it can’t fly.

In 1969 Collins and Quillian introduced a theory of semantic memory which was named as Hierarchical Network model. This was the first ever model introduced for semantic memory. The semantic memory explained by the model refers to the long term memory of people. This long term memory defined by the common knowledge observed rather than their personal experiences like colours and sound of different letters.

This model states that the semantic memory is organised in two categories as Nodes and Property. The former one is referred as a major concept of the like the bird or animal and later one, property, referred as the features or minor concept of the categorization. This model represents a relation between different concepts of a semantic network. This model is a directed as well as undirected graph that consists of verticals as concept and edges of the graph represents the semantic relation of concepts. This relation between the concepts of semantic memory can be explained as, if someone is asked that “IS a dog an animal” then the responding time taken by different candidates represents the relationship between their individual concepts of semantic memory. These nodes are used for some specific feature or word.

Hierarchical Network Model of Semantic Memory

After this model in 1975 Collins and Loftus refined the model and weighted the connections to describe the typical effect of findings that instantiations of the categories were recognizes with much preference. This redefined model was unable to describe the findings observed by Holyoak, Kiger, and Glass in 1979. This motivated researchers to develop several other models to explain that the individuals can respond to the questions which are false patently such as, “Is a chicken a meteor”.

If someone is provided with an image as a percept then the judgement made by the individual must resemble with the judgement which is made by the actual visualization of the real object. In many researches it is observed that an image should reflect the precise information about the real world object. Tactical imagery was first used to keep the information observed by observes to inform the military authorities about the war sight scenario to prepare an effective strategy for the war. Findings of different researches show that this fundamental objective of the imaging technique. This fundamental objective states that the image should be considered as the real object and any judgement that is made on the basis of an image interpretation should also resemble with the real judgement that is made by the real object visualization.

Imagery and perception of a judgement of any situation uses same brain regions in the cortex. Cognitive neuroscience focuses on the real time natural processing which underlines the mental function of a specific portion of the brain. Similarly any judgement made on the basis of imagery theory also uses the functioning of same region of the brain that is in the cortex. This does not state that the same portion of the cortex is used in both the cases. In many studies researchers have compared the maximum voluntary production of the metacarpophalangeal of fifth digit after the training session of the repetitive maximum isomeric muscle contraction and that of imagery session after the motor imagery training programme which results in not showing a repetitive muscle activation of that particular brain muscle. Instead of showing the repetitive activation of same muscles repetitive activation of the same region of the brain can be seen for both the activities.

Lexical ambiguity also called semantic ambiguity is defined as the presence of two or more different meaning in a single word. This semantic ambiguity can also be explained either as distinguished sense of exact same or on the similar sound or sense of two or more different words. For example, someone left a note on the windscreen quoting “Parking Fine” so it may be considered as a complement or can be considered as ironic comment on one’s false parking. Such type of differences in the interpretation of similar words or set of words defined as lexical ambiguity. Findings of different studies provide compelling evidences which states that different word forms of a single polarises homophone will activate only dominating meaning for once an always. This activation of the dominating meaning is regardless of the linguistic and visual context of the word. In another study it is stated that the activation two or more meanings of a homophone are independent while the context of the activation could accelerate the intended meaning of the same. At the same time one another study suggests that the activation of the meaning of an ambiguous word completely depends on the many constraints like, type of context, frequency, and strength or power of the meaning.

Reordered Access Theory and Lexical Ambiguity

Reordered Access Theory supports all these findings in a direct or indirect context. This theory of reordered access assumes that all the meanings of an ambiguous word are available equally and ordered of the availability depends on contextual fit and frequency of the meaning in real life. It also states that in other contexts supporting the subordinating meanings, both the ambiguous should have a slow reaction time in comparison to that of the reaction time of unambiguous words. This is because both the dominant and subordinating meanings are very strong competitors of one another.

Garden-path sentences are like having a grammatically correct sentence that starts in a way that increases the possibility of interpreting the sentence incorrect. For example, the horse raced past the barn fell or the man whistling tunes pianos. To explain different interpretation of such garden-path sentences two major approaches are used that are Syntax-first and interactionist approaches. The syntax approach emphasises that at what context people relay on the grammatical or syntax structure of the sentence whereas the interactionist approach states that meanings are the key elements of the sentence interpretation and a slight change in the meaning of single word can lead to a completely different interpretation of the sentence.

Figurative utterance is the method of communication in an indirect way to convey a sarcastic meaning. In the process of interpretation one can interpret the direct meaning of the words or the image given to interpret. This direct meaning inte3rpretation is called literal interpretation that shows that the interpreter understands only direct meaning of the given image or figure. On this topic of right interpretation of the figures that are provided to convey the indirect message has been major subject of several studies in the past and present as well. All these studies find that literal meanings are those which are frequent and state the direct meaning but people should understand the indirect of intended meaning that the author or conveyor wants you to understand. This finding is supported in all the researches done till now. Therefore, studies state that intended meanings are more important to be understood by the interpreter instead of literal meaning as the motive of the conveyor is to convey the intended meaning through the use of suitable literal word.

In 1966, Peter Cathcard Wason devised a logical puzzle and named it as Wason Selection Task or Wason four-card problem. This task is the most famous problem of deductive reasoning. For example, if someone is shown four different cards placed on a table, each card has a number on one side and a colour on another side, now suppose that two cards are showing two different numbers say 3 and 8 and rest two cards are showing two colours say red and brown, now the problem is that which card should be turn to test the truthfulness of the proposition that in these four cards if a card with even number will show red colour on the other side.

Garden-Path Sentences

This problem has been the major subject of many researches and researches use3d different approaches to solve this problem. These researches are influenced by different factors like evolutionary principles, knowledge of regulations, and permission schemas. Different researchers provided solution of this problem that are influenced significantly by these factors. The permission schemas state that each schema is a set of production rules which determine the reasoning behaviour. Another factor of evolutionary principle states that is a species inters into a completely new environment or removed from its habitat in which it was evolved then it will develop or outright the pathological behaviour in a very short time. In this problem also brains are removed from their usual habitat and placed in a completely new habitat that shows that the problem is of high difficulty. But in the reality this task is a combination of different intelligence tasks that shows different abilities if individual’s intelligence. Another factor that is knowledge of regulation restrics huam mind to thisk in a particular way or method that is being used for long time in past and it restricts the mind ability and its intelligence to thinkm out of the box. This factor influences the studides negatively and impacts the researches to be restricted to a particular approach that was previously being used for solving problems. Since this was the most innovative and complex problem at that time therefore required a completely different approach to solve this. In different studies it can be seen that researchers have faced this problem of intelligence restriction due to these regulations. Permission schemas have influenced the solution in a positive way as it states that a set of alternatives can be used to solve a problem. It gives permission to use any of the alternatives available to use in the solution of the problem. And evolutionary principles are the supports the solution to take time as it defines that change in the habitat requires a period of time to outright the pathological behaviour of the new habitat.

Reasoning is the interpretation base on different factors. Some of the factors may cause errors too in the reasoning process. Some of these error causing factors are as availability heuristic, illusory correlations, confirmation and myside bias. Possible errors caused by these factors are described as below

Availability heuristic is defined as a mental shortcut people use while evaluating some ery first thoughts or the immediate example that come to their mind while dealing with any concept or topic. This heuristic may cause a deep error in the interpretation of any problem or issue or any concept related to the psychology. In psychology this heuristic can mislead the concept meaning to a completely wrong direction that may result in complete false interpretation of the concept.

Figurative Utterances

Illusory correlation is created in case of pairing of two separate variables leading to an overestimation that how often they occur in pair or how frequently they co-occur. When a relation is not real between two imaginary variables it is called illusory correlation. For example, relationship perception can be taken as an example of illusory correlation. Sometimes an imaginary perception can be formed for any event or action and behaviour. These imaginary perceptions can lead the concept interpretation to wrong direction resulting in a completely reasoning of the process or concept.  

 These biases are quite similar up to an extent that in both the biases a hypothetical pre-existing belief influences the concept interpretation of reasoning of the concept. The difference is that in confirmation bias a false belief is used whereas in myside bias a belief that is true but influence by individual’s own belief is made to affect the reasoning of a topic or concept. For example, suppor an invest get to know that the company in he made the investment is going to be bankrupt very soon. This information is not authentic but is a rumour spread by the competitors. Based on this news he will consider selling his stocks as soon as possible based on his own perception in a wrong way. Similarly to illustrate myside bias we can consider an example of an investor who is selling his stocks just because the company in in loss at that particular time. In this case investor makes a perception based on his own belief that the company which is loss will surely decrease his stock values in future also. He did not consider other market factors that can support the company growth in a long term.

While making decisions which may impact a person’s life significantly people think they have settled on something that is not true. People while making decisions may feel that the other option they have aborted may tug them back to its side. And people end up standing on the point from where they started. This is the biggest drawback of emotion influences. To make such decision people give a thought of making a detailed list of pros and cons or may consider a different opinion of taking advice from more trusted sources. Human behaviour shows that many people will suggest the later one option that is taking advice of trusted sources. In this way explained in the study of human behaviour emotions impact the decision making of individuals.

Both the categorizations are completely different from one another in terms of their way of categorization as well as their representation of the categories too.

Psychology states that the brain can be represented in two major categories that are strong and weak. Strong representation supports the reduction of phenomenal character to an intentional content whereas the weak category attempt to represent only phenomenal characters to the intentional content. This shows that the phenomenal characters are the major influencing factor of categorization of the brain representation. Further study states that the strong representation can be broken down into two sub categories that are restricted and unrestricted versions of the strong representation.


On the other hand to categorize the brain parts there are number of neuroscience databases available online that provide information about neurons, gene expressions, macroscopic structure of the brain and different psychiatric or neurological disorders. These databases are used to9 explain the brain categorization and also give access to the raw imaging data about the brain structure. This date analysis provide a broad categorization of the brain structure that consists of Allen Brain Atlas, Big Brain, Bipolar Disorder, brain cloud, and many more databases that explain the brain structure.

Charles spearman gives a brief summary about his finding for mental abilities and the theory of “g”. This summary states that the word G of the theory states a particular quantity that is derived from the statistical operations of the activity. Spearman states that results of a person’s mental test can be divided into two parts. Former one is the one showing similar results for each test whereas the later one defines that the results vary from test to test. In the given case study Isabella’s performance varies from test to test as she get better marks in management and communication than that of in accountings and economics. This shows that the G factor dominates according as the performance involves the perceiving of the relations.

In 1938, Louis L. Thusrtone criticized the finddings of Charles Spearman arguing his own experiments which were showing that the mental intelligence is formed by seven categories called primary categories that are numerical, spatial, reasoning, memory, perceptual, verbal comprehension, and verbal fluency. These seven primary categories explain the different results in different exams Isabella getting her examination. It states that mental intelligence is divided into these seven primary categories and performs differently in different categories. In the given case study Isabella get good marks in management and communication as it is the dominating factor of her intelligence whether the accountings and economics are of less dominance in her intelligence resulting in poor grades.

In 1988 Robert Sternberg proposed a theory of cognitive styles. He explained four different forms of mental intelligence or governance that are hierarchical, oligarchic, monarchic, and anarchic. The hierarchic holds multiple goals at the same time and also prioritizes them. The oligarchic style is similar to that of the hierarchic style but it differs in the involving difficulties at the time of prioritizing the goals. On the other hand monarchic style focuses on the single goal or activity until its completion and the anarchic style only resists the rules, systems, or a particular approach that is being defined prior to a particular problem. Major theory given by Sternberg is Triarchic theory of intelligence which states that different mental abilities like vocabulary, memory, problem solving, and comprehension which can be measured through different intelligence tests. In the given case study Isabella was tests for its memory and problem solving intelligence. The test results show that she performs well in the memory test like management and communication but in case of problem solving intelligence like accountings and economics she did not perform well.

Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences states that human beings have several different methods of processing the information. This states that these methods are independent of each other. This theory of multiple intelligence is the result of criticism of the standard theory of intelligence that emphasize the interrelation of different abilities and the measures of such abilities through IQ tests which account for logical, linguistic, and spatial abilities only. in 1999. Gardner identifies eight different intelligences which are logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, linguistic, kinaesthetic, naturalistic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. In the provided case study according to the Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences it can be seen that Isabella perform well in spatial intelligence and her performance in account tings and economics that is in logical-mathematical intelligence performs not that much. This shows her different performances in different intelligence tests.

Cross Cultural Phycology is a manner which is used to examine the behavior of individuals from different cultural and religions. There are main five personality traits that are used in cross cultural phycology named as Extraversion, Conscientiousness, openness, neuroticism and agreeableness. These traits are used to find the difference among different culture. This signifies that individual differences are not same in all cultures. These are continuously changing from time to time and form culture to culture. There are possibilities that different people of a same religion may remain unchanged but it is also not possible for a very long time because every individual get influence by the situational factors at different times. Therefore, it is also not possible that individual differences can remain unchanged, because adopting changes according to the situational factors and forces is the part of a human’s that cannot be avoided at on the bases of cultural differences and human differences. It can also be understand for the fact that above mentioned five traits are majorly useful in identifying the psychological differences in USA. In other countries across the global, these traits are not much used by the physiologists.

Heredity can be defined as the characteristics that are passed genetically from parents towards the children. The changing importance of heredity is influencing individual differences in areas such as human growth sequence, temperament, intelligence and personality. Human growth sequence represents the overall pattern of physical development while temperament includes distractibility, irritability, sensitivity and typical mood. Intelligence of a person relates to the intelligence quotient. Personality is affected by heredity and does not change even after huge differences in the childhood environment.


The environmental influences have been classified into shared environment and unique environment. Siblings share the shared environment as they belong to the same family. On the other hand unique environment is completely unique to an individual such as the environment shared by the peer group. The changing shared and unique environment plays an important role on the individual differences across the lifespan. The general parenting styles, personality and belief of the families have been changed with the passage of time and has become a common environment experienced by all the children these days. Moreover, the parenting styles adopted by the parents also change from child to child on the basis of the experience of the parents with the older child.  

It is an obvious fact that people differ from each other in many ways. But these differences are important when they make a difference. For measuring these difference, reliability and ability is required to carry out in the field of individual differences. For this purpose, reliability is considered as the consistency of a measure and a physiologist identifies such differences by considering three type of consistency over time, inter time and across different researchers. On the other hand, validity is a type of judgment based on a number of evidence. The differences among individuals can be find out without the availability of evidences. The appropriate evidence includes reliability of measures, either it covers the construction of interests or not. The reliability and validity both measures cannot be established with the help of single study. These can be established by the configuration or pattern of the conclusions from multiple studies. The assessment and consideration of reliability and validity is considered as an ongoing process for the purpose of study of individual indifferences.

Emotional intelligence is considered as the ability to perceive, manage and understand the feelings and emotions by a person himself. Self-awareness, Internal motivation, empathy and self-regulation are the main components of emotional intelligence. It also covers the concept of mental health in all areas. It is a well-known fact that mental health can strike someone without considering age, culture, gender and profession. There are various reasons of occurring mental health and all the reason are totally different to each other. There are various strategies of emotional intelligence that can help persons with mental health. Self-awareness, a component of emotional intelligence, can help in identifying the areas of issues to improve and can provide assessment of mental health issues of a person as well. It provides a prevention that can lead a person to save himself or herself form mental health. One’s ability to control emotions can become an integral reason for suffering from mental health. Most of the mental health experiences are the results of inability of people to cope with emotions. Some common strategies that ate used to regulate emotions and prevent mental health include mindfulness, goals, deep breathing, meditation, listening to music, positive self-talk and reflective practice. Emotional intelligence have a direct impact on mental health because all mental health issues and problems are the direct impact of emotions and if a person is god in emotional intelligence then he can easily deal with mental health.

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"Cognitive Psychology - Prototype Theory, Hierarchical Network Model, Reordered Access Theory, Garden-Path Sentences And Figurative Utterances." My Assignment Help, 2019, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/psychology-typical-phonological-structure.

My Assignment Help (2019) Cognitive Psychology - Prototype Theory, Hierarchical Network Model, Reordered Access Theory, Garden-Path Sentences And Figurative Utterances [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/psychology-typical-phonological-structure
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My Assignment Help. 'Cognitive Psychology - Prototype Theory, Hierarchical Network Model, Reordered Access Theory, Garden-Path Sentences And Figurative Utterances' (My Assignment Help, 2019) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/psychology-typical-phonological-structure> accessed 24 April 2024.

My Assignment Help. Cognitive Psychology - Prototype Theory, Hierarchical Network Model, Reordered Access Theory, Garden-Path Sentences And Figurative Utterances [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 24 April 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/psychology-typical-phonological-structure.

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