Psychology 2310Name:Taylor Devaney
Please find below five (5) essay questions worth ten (10) points each and two (2) essay questions worth fifteen (15) points each for a total of eighty (80) points. You will have one week to complete this exam. If your exam is late, ten (10) points will be deducted for each day it is late. Your answers must be typed. Also, please type each question before you begin to answer. Please answer the questions thoroughly as I am expecting at least several paragraphs for each question. Make certain that you return this test along with your answers.
10 points each
1. Like Plato and Aristotle, Rene Descartes and John Locke had differing views of the relationship between mind and body and how we acquire knowledge. You must choose one of these positions and then support that position, using specific references to each of their theories. Be sure to include the concepts of induction/deduction and rationalism/empiricism in your answer.
If I were to choose a position on the relationship between mind and body, based on the ideas of Rene Descartes and John Locke, I would confidently side with Descartes. Descartes and Locke had opposing views on the relationship between the mind and body. Research has proven the use of the basic five senses in learning. Scientists have even identified other senses that are important to the human body and learning, but a question that is often asked is: “Are our minds and bodies separate entities?”. Much like the views of Rene Descartes, I say yes.
Rene Descartes was a french philosopher and scientists who is famously known for studying the relationship between the mind and the body. The beliefs he held about the relationship between the two are now known as “dualism.” That is, the mind is a separate entity than the body, and the mind is a thinking thing while the body is non-thinking. Although the senses of the body seem to be dependent on the functionality of the brain, Descartes saw the mind as a separate entity from the brain as well. He proposed that the mind could exist without the senses and the senses without the mind. An example of raising a hand to ask a question is used to understand the independent relationship between the mind and body. The choice to raise the hand — and be willing to raise the hand — is produced by the non-extended mind. However, the action of raising a hand is produced by the body. Therefore, the body can exist without the senses. He also proposed the idea that knowledge is innate and is not achieved by our body, as our senses are considered to be doubtful or untrue. While Descartes suggested that our senses can deceive us, Locke contended that knowledge can only be achieved by the use of our senses.
John Locke is a well-known philosopher who existed after the time of Descartes. He used Descartes’ philosophical views to develop his own opposing beliefs about the relationship between the mind and body. Unlike Descartes, Locke believed that knowledge is not innate and can only be achieved by the use of our senses. He saw the mind and body and one entity, working interdependently. Locke explained that if knowledge is in fact innate and can exist without the body, the person must be aware of this knowledge. Since children are not born knowing who their parents are, knowledge cannot be innate. Locke debated Descartes’ famous “I think, therefore I am” by arguing that having a body and experiencing senses is enough reason to determine we exist. He believed people are not able to separate the mind and the body, as the stimuli perceived by the body is what causes the mind to think.
While most people in today’s society would agree with Locke, I have admired Descartes for some time and have enjoyed reading his meditations. I believe our senses can deceive us and the mind and body are two separate entities. While Locke argues that stimuli perceived by the body are what causes us to think, I believe that thinking can occur without the use of our body. For example, dreaming occurs when our senses are not able to be interpreted. If our mind were not a separate entity, how would we dream? In cognitive psychology, we have learned how our senses may deceive us, but our mind is able to recognize the deception. If a small object was quickly approaching us from a far distance, our body may perceive danger and go into “fight or flight” mode, without ever having to think about the reaction first. It is then our mind would recognize the object and determine the lack of danger. This is how I perceive the mind and body to be two separate entities.
2. Each of the four lobes of the brain is responsible for the processing of different information. Make up your own example of a task or activity that would require the use of at least three of the lobes. In describing the task, make sure you show how each of the lobes is involved.
Each of the four lobes of the brain is responsible for the processing of different information. The brain contains four lobes: frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital. Each of these lobes are responsible for different information processing tasks. The frontal lobe is responsible for voluntary movement and activity. The parietal lobe is responsible for processing information about taste, touch, and movement. The occipital lobe is responsible for vision, and the temporal lobe processes memories. While the lobes are the brain work separately and responsible for different tasks, many tasks require the lobes of the brain to work interdependently.
We have all seen the game-shows or pranks that involve an individual being blind-folded and placing their hand into a box to feel and object and determine what it is. In most cases, this event is quite hilarious to witness as a bystander but maybe not as hilarious for the participant. Asking to blindly reach my hand to feel an unknown object would generate a no from me, but for the brave participants who have accepted the challenge, this requires the work of many lobes of the brain. I remember seeing a video where a man blindly reaches his hand into a box to feel a teddy bear. He was panicking and did not recognize it was a teddy bear at first. This is an example of our brain at work.
While this task might seem pretty simple, it actually involves the use of several of the brain’s lobes. For this task, the frontal lobe would be responsible for voluntarily placing the hand in the box to feel the object — or it could be responsible for the running away. To correctly identify what is in the box, the participant must touch and feel the unknown object. This often times results in fear and anxiety, which is a result of the amygdala, also located in the frontal lobe of the brain. Perception of the object is processed by the parietal lobe. The parietal lobe is used to process information about touch. Lastly, the individual is asked to identify the object they have just touched. Without the use of previous knowledge, the participant would not be able to correctly identify the object. The temporal lobe is responsible for processing memories and relating them to senses, such as sight and touch. This lobe would work with the frontal and parietal lobes to correctly identify the object.
While it seems like a simple — possibly dumb — task, this task actually requires a great amount of work from the brain. From this example, we can see how three of the four lobes of the brain can work together. Although this example only shows the use of three lobes, there are many tasks that can require the use of all four lobes of the brain. On the other hand, there are some tasks that may require the use of only one.
3. A friend of your is a teacher of young children. Based on the research on additional factors that influence attention, such as overall arousal, familiarity with task, degree of difficulty of task, and practice effects, what would you tell your friend to aid him in obtaining and maintaining the attention of young children?
To assist my friend who is a teacher with obtaining and maintaining the attention of young children, I would ask her to understand cognitive development and the factors that influence learning. Cognitive development is a field of psychology that focuses on the development of children involving information processing, perceptual skills, and language learning. Children learn and construct knowledge by interacting with their environment. Much of the knowledge of children is learned by use of their senses. By the age of two, children should be able to solve simple problems and perform more difficult tasks. Educators — especially those of the elementary level — are often faced with the task of controlling the attention of nearly twenty or more students at one time. To do this successfully, the teacher must understand what is appropriate for the age group.
Young children learn by interacting with their environment. When faced with an unfamiliar task, children must experiment with their surroundings and objects to determine a relationship between cause and effect. There are many other factors that play a large role in the attention of young children. Some of these factors are: arousal, task difficulty, and skill. It is often found that young children are not particularly skilled in many areas. This is due to a lack of maturity and experience. The more an individual is skilled in a certain area, the more their attention toward the subject is enhanced. Without skill, children experience a diminished level of attention. Children are curious and excited human beings. They have not yet completely learned what is wrong from right. Children in classrooms are often in a high state of arousal, which results in lack of attention. To keep a child’s focus, the material presented must be more exciting than external objects. Task difficulty also plays a large role in the attention of children. When faced with a more difficult task, children need more attentional resources to help them than when faced with an easier task. Lack of skill and task-difficulty can go hand-in-hand. With children’s lack of skill, facing difficult tasks makes it even more difficult to focus their attention. There are many ways the teacher can use these factors to create material aimed at keeping the children’s attention.
Children learn by performing hands-on tasks and interacting with their environment. To keep the attention of children, the teacher needs to create innovative lessons that are exciting and appropriate for their skill level. It is also important that the lesson alternates between tasks so the material remains exciting. The teacher should take time to ask questions during each lesson. Engaging thinking or raising of hands can help to gain back attention. I would tell my friend to firstly, ensure the material is appropriate for the age level. If it is new information, provide more attentional resources. I would tell them to stop and ask questions every fifteen minutes to engage thinking and capture the attention of the children. I would also tell them to provide other stimuli in the lesson, such as music or visuals. Children learn by hands-on experience. I would tell the teacher to provide each student with tools or resources to not only capture their attention but also to ensure they can learn by experience. It is important that the teacher is not simply reading off of presentation and that break the flow by offering hand-written information. Taking these factors into consideration will greatly improve the teacher’s ability to obtain and maintain the attention of the children.
4. Imagine that you are on a planet very much like Earth, except the inhabitants can change size (height and width in a proportional manner), at will, at any given time. Therefore, size constancy only applies to inanimate objects on this planet. Describe three monocular depth cues, and then explain how you would use each of them to estimate an inhabitant’s size at any specific moment.
If I were on a planet where inhabitants can change size at any given time, monocular depth cues would be critical in helping me determine an inhabitant’s size. We have learned in cognitive psychology that shape constancy is the tendency to perceive an object as having the same shape, regardless of angle. However, if an inhabitant were simply able to change shape, at any given time, this would make it nearly impossible to use shape constancy. Luckily, the world has provided us with monocular depth cues that can be used to estimate the size of such inhabitants.
Monocular depth cues are used in perceiving relative depth or size of a space or object, using only one eye. It differs from binocular depth cues in that only one eye is needed, rather than two. Many depth cues are used to aid our perception of the three-dimensional world. While living on another planet where the inhabitants can change shape at any time, monocular depth cues would be necessary in determining the size of the inhabitant.
To determine the shape of these possible alien-like beings, I would use aerial perspective. Even at a larger size, most objects — or aliens — who are at a far distance will appear to be “fuzzy” and delineated, and objects that are closer appear less fuzzy and are less clearly delineated. If I were to see a strange being in the distance who looked rather fuzzy, I would be able to determine the being as not so big. If I were to see a figure who appeared to be large, even in the far distance, and is not fuzzy or delineated, I would likely run. This signifies there is likely a giant beast coming toward me, and I am sure it would appear even more clear when it is trying to devour my face.
Another way to determine if you are in danger of a large beast coming your way is by using interposition. If in the distance, we see a tree and it is towering over a nearby building, we can make an educated guess that it is a very large tree. Now, if the building were to obscure the tree, we could assume the tree is not very large, or rather the building is big. This concept could work well with inhabitants of strange planets, as well. If in the distance I see an inhabitant being partially obscured by a car, I would be able to understand this being is certainly smaller than the car. When the inhabitant changes size and begins to obscure the car, however, I would know it is time to find a hiding spot.
One last way we can ensure the inhabitants are of no danger to us and to determine their size is by using location in the picture plane. Imagine a beautiful sunset, where the sun sets from West to East, rather than East to West (strange things happen on this planet). Far in the distance, you see what appears to be your alien pal, Gerald. The last time you saw Gerald, he was about six feet tall — an average height for the inhabitants. He appears to be watching the sunset too, as his head rests just below the horizon. It must be Gerald! He appears to be about six feet tall, judging by his location among the sunset. Shortly after, you see an inhabitant the same distance away as Gerald. His head rests far above the horizon line. We can tell by our previous knowledge of Gerald and his location in the picture frame that this inhabitant is much bigger. You start to panic, but you quickly find out it was just his wife (he’s hoping she will learn to change size soon).
5. Based on what you know about distributed learning, massed learning and encoding specificity, how could you manage your study time so that you can maximally recall the material you study?
Studying is an essential component of learning. There are several approaches students can take to facilitate their learning practices. In this research, we will analyze distributed and massed learning practices, the principle of encoding specificity and evaluate each of this impacts our ability to study.
In massed learning practice, famously known as cramming, studying is done less frequently but for longer periods of time. This basically means that reviews occurs immediately following an original learning episode. Although it is the commonly used technique, massed learning does not provide a long lasting solution to learning and retaining of information. Students using this technique are more likely to forget most of the content they learnt immediately after leaving the exam room. This will render them ineffective in the external field of practice thus highly discouraged.
Distributed learning is a practice where studying is done in intervals over time. It involves studying is short blocks of time while taking breaks in between them. This helps the brain to have time to process the information for better understanding. It results to long term retention of information among learners through repetitive episodes undertaken during study. Unlike massive learning practice, distributed learning enables one to test and process what they learnt in the previous sessions or blocks of time. It is evident that the human brain comes across something it has learnt in the past, it attempts to retrieve it. When the information is achieved, it becomes more intensely ingrained and is easier to retrieve in the future. This proves this technique to be more effective and connects to a considerably higher academic success rates as compared to massed learning practice.
Encoding specificity theory attempts to prove that human past memories are more likely to be retrieved easily if the external conditions at the time of retrieval match the ones experienced when the memories were made. We can take an example of a happy moment in someone life. The thoughts and memories of such a moment will more likely be remembered effectively during another happy moment. Similarly bad memories are best retrieved during bad moments. Therefore to find solutions, it is advisable to choose an encoding environment that is alike to where you must recall it. If you have to remember words or an act on stage it is best if you practice them on a stage platform. These will make it easier for your brain to retrieve the information during a later time and under the same conditions or platforms. Therefore it is best for one to identify the amount of time they have to carry out a specific study, the most favorable encoding environment for the study and also the retention capability they require before engaging oneself in any of the above mentioned learning techniques.
15 points each
6. First describe the concepts of habituation, dishabituation and sensory adaptation. Then use these three concepts to design a study that would allow you to determine whether a comatose patient can actually hear a close relative’s voice.
Habituation is a common and the easiest form of learning. It refers to a lessening in response due to recurrent representation of stimuli. It enables one to draw away their focus from non-essential stimuli and focus more on the essential aspects in their surroundings. There are different ways used to achieve habituation in animals. This includes adding different intensities of stimuli, applying different interstimulus intervals and use of different training durations. Organisms possess diverse levels of response to changes in stimuli. They range between shorter, weaker or a higher threshold for responding. Presenting a somewhat different stimuli restores responsiveness. This process is referred to as dishabituation.
Sensory adaptation on the other hand refers to continuing decline in behavioral response as a result of repeatedly application of a particular stimuli over time. It happens all the time and automatically without you having to do anything about it. The nerves that responds to sensory input becomes less sensitive to changes in stimuli. Taking an example of when getting a tattoo in one’s body, the pain at the start may be quite overwhelming, but as the process continues, the pain feels less intense due to adaptation.
Comatose is a condition or state of unconsciousness whereby a patient fails to respond normally to changes in stimuli. It is characterized by complete failure of the networks to perform correctly due heavy damage on the brain as a result of an injury. The patient seems to be alive and sleeping however they cannot be awaken by any stimulation. However, we can argue that “consciousness does not reside in muscles”. This means that just because the patient cannot move, it does not mean they are fully unconscious. When the patients fail to respond it may be because they do not want to respond to the command or it may be because the part of the brain necessary to handle the command in heavily damaged.
In context to habituation as a form of learning, a comatose patient can hear a close relative’s voice whenever they speak to them. These is because before the damage occurred the patient’s brain had learned and adapted the repeated changes in stimuli that results from the voice of the relative. We can say the brain is familiar to that voice. The only difference is, they cannot respond to them simply because the brain networks responsible for that action have been destroyed. In most cases, the patient can recall all that was said to them once they have recovered fully consciousness.
7. What advice would you give a judge to persuade her of the potential danger of wrongful conviction based on eyewitness testimony as the sole or primary source of evidence? This judge is from Missouri (the “Show Me State”) so you must actually show her that you know what you are talking about, and not just tell her.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Fairness is what we all urge for whenever we are faced by trials as a result of either a criminal or sexual offences. Eye witness errors rests a significant cause of wrong convictions. According to the innocence project, its shows that all cases relating DNA exoneration were based on eye witness identification. An example of such a case was in 2013 when a Kansas City man was released after DNA results proved his innocence revealing that another man had committed the rape he was convicted of committing. The project showed that about 71% wrongly convicted cases were as a result of mistaken eye witness identification. About 300 wrong convictions have also been overturned by DNA results.
Due to this, lawmakers in Missouri have since been pushing on reforms to reduce such cases. Most police departments have also adopted the lineup system to identify the wanted suspect from a line of both other suspects and non-suspects. However the use these lineups still do not call for constancy since their accuracy can also be skewed through ways such as how they are presented or where the suspect is placed during the presentation. Similarly the eye witness can be twisted through the information fed to them either before or after the process of identification is conducted. In 1997, an independent eye witness pointed Mr. Richard Jones as a perpetrator for an armed robbery from a police lineup. What followed was that he was imprisoned for 17 years in prison for a crime DNA results later on proved he never committed.
Therefore based on the above mentioned past experiences I would not advice any judge to pass a conviction based solely on eye witness testimonies. Apart from wrong identification cases, an eye witness can provide wrong statements either willingly or following a threat from the accused party. When such happens, critical time is lost as the police focus on building a case on the wrong person while the real perpetrator is busy clearing the evidence. Before a conviction is passed, the eye witness testimonies should be strongly supported by other form of evidence such as DNA results. This will increase on effectiveness by ensuring that the identified suspects matches the results given to reduce on cases concerning wrong conviction in our courts. The real perpetrators will be convicted of their crimes and the innocent ones will be free.