What is Research Method in Cognitive Psychology

Hi, everyone in this article you will be able to understand the basics of Cognitive Psychology and various research method. Let’s try to understand these topics in the following article.

Cognitive psychology is the study of how people perceive, learn, remember, and think about information. A cognitive psychologist might study how people perceive various shapes, why they remember some facts but forget others, or how they learn the language

Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes such as perceiving, remembering, and reasoning. Why do psychologists study mental processes? Since the beginning of recorded history, people have expressed curiosity about the operation of the mind, largely because they believed that behavior is the result of mental processes. For example, how are we to understand the very behavior in which you are engaged at this moment, reading this coursebook? At one level, we are interested in explaining your ability to comprehend what you are reading, and in so doing, we are likely to appeal to processes of perception of words and computation of meaning.

Research Method in Cognitive Psychology?

This consists of the various research methods that we use in cognitive psychology. Every research has a goal, and it is achieved through the appropriate methodology. Let us see what the goals of the research are.

1-Goals of Research-To better understand the specific methods used by cognitive psychologists, one must grasp the goals of research in cognitive psychology. Briefly, those goals include data gathering, data analysis, theory development, hypothesis formulation, hypothesis testing, and perhaps even application to settings outside the research environment. However, most cognitive psychologists want to understand more than cognition. They also seek to understand the how and the way of thinking. That is, researchers seek ways to explain cognition as well as describe it. To move beyond descriptions, cognitive psychologists must leap from what is observed directly to what can be inferred regarding observations.

2-Distinctive Research Methods: Cognitive psychologists use various methods to explore how humans think. These methods include 

  1. laboratory or other controlled experiments, 
  2. Psychobiological research, 
  3. Self-reports, case studies, naturalistic observation, and 
  4. Computer simulations and artificial intelligence. Each method offers distinct advantages and disadvantages.

3-Experiments on Human Behavior: In controlled experimental designs, an experimenter conducts research, typically in a laboratory setting. The experimenter controls as many aspects of the experimental situation as possible. There are basically two kinds of variables in any given experiment – independent variables and dependent variables. The irrelevant variables are held constant and are called control variables.

4-Psychobiological Research: Through psychobiological research, investigators study the relationship between cognitive performance and cerebral events and situations. The various specific techniques used in psychobiological research generally fall into three categories. The first category is that of techniques for studying an individual’s brain post-mortem, relating the individual’s cognitive function prior to death to observable features of the brain. The second category is techniques for studying images showing structures of or activities in the brain of an individual who is known to have a particular cognitive deficit.

5-Self-Reports, Case Studies, and Naturalistic Observation: -Individual experiments and psychobiological studies often focus on the precise specification of discrete aspects of cognition across individuals. To obtain richly textured information about how particular individuals think in a broad range of contexts, researchers may use self-reports (an individual’s own account of cognitive processes), case studies (in-depth studies of individuals), and naturalistic observation (detailed studies of cognitive performance in everyday situations and no laboratory contexts). On the one hand, experimental research is most useful for testing hypotheses. On the other hand, research based on qualitative methods is often particularly useful for the formulation of hypotheses. These methods are also useful to generate descriptions of rare events or processes that we have no other way to measure.

6- Computer Simulations and Artificial Intelligence: Digital computers played a fundamental role in the emergence of the study of cognitive psychology. One kind of influence is indirect through models of human cognition based on models of how computers process information. Another kind is direct, that is through computer simulations and artificial intelligence. In computer simulations, researchers program computers to imitate a given human function or process. Some researchers even have attempted to create computer models of the entire cognitive architecture of the human mind. Their models have stimulated heated discussions regarding how the human mind may function. Sometimes the distinction between simulation and artificial intelligence is blurred. It is also possible to combine the two approaches.


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