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 Outline principles that define the cognitive level of analysis and explain how these principles may be demonstrated in research

Principle 1: Human beings are information processors and mental processes guide behavior.

People are active information processors. They perceive and interpret what is going on around them. This is often based on what they already know. There is a relationship between people’s mental representation and the way people perceive and think about the world.

Principle 1 demonstrated in:

Schema theory defines cognitive schemas as mental representations of knowledge. Mental representations (schemas) are stored in categories (concepts) in memory. These schemas provide guidelines for interpretation of incoming information when people try to make sense of the world. Schemas influence cognition in that schemas create expectations about what will happen in specific situations (e.g. what a “teacher” is like or what to expect when you go to a rock concert). Schema theory can, to a large extent, explain reconstructive memory and stereotyping.

Study to use: Darley and Gross (1983)

Principle 2: The mind can be studied scientifically.

Cognitive researchers use a number of scientific methods to study the mind (e.g. laboratory experiments, neuroimaging, case studies, interviews, and archival research). The most used research method was, for a long time, the laboratory experiment, because it was considered to be the most scientific.  This was an important principle for the CLA because behaviorists would claim that thoughts and feelings cannot be measured.

Principle 2 demonstrated in: use any scientific study that looked for a cause and effect relationship in the CLE….for example….

Study to use: Loftus and Palmer (1974)

Principle 3: Cognitive processes are influenced by social and cultural factors.

Research has shown that cognitive processes such as perception, memory, and thinking are influenced by socio-cultural factors.

Bartlett (1932) introduced the concept of “cultural schema” in memory research. He suggested that schemas influence memory in that they lead to distortion or “reconstructive memory”.

Other researchers suggest that the environment in which people live leads to specific cultural and social demands that influence the way they process information.

Principle 3 demonstrated in: pick a study that shows that our mind is effected by our culture.  I recommend…..

Study to use: Bartlett (1932)