Cognition: Pearson New International Edition

Mark H. Ashcraft / Gabriel A. Radvansky  
Total pages
July 2013
Related Titles

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Cognition: Pearson New International Edition
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For undergraduate level courses in Cognition and Theories of Learning.

The psychology of human memory and cognition is fascinating, dealing with questions and ideas that are inherently interesting, such as how we think, reason, remember, and use language. Using a first person narrative, posing direct questions to the reader, and balancing classic research with cutting edge topics, the author draws in the reader and conveys the excitement of the field.

Reflecting the increasing use of new technologies to study memory and cognition, Ashcraft and the new co-author, Gabriel Radvansky, continue to integrate sections on neurosciences within individual chapter topics.


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 Provide student with the most up-to-date research and material:

  • Thoroughly revised and updated throughout—i.e., false memory research; working memory and individual differences; online investigations of comprehension and reading; and new challenges to the classic research on heuristics in decision making— this offers students current and additional material on important topics and developments central to the field.
  • Over 300 new reference citations since the 2002 edition to ensure coverage of cutting edge topics.

Provide students with foundation to be successful in studying cognition:

  • Sections on neurocognition are integrated within the individual chapter topics. This shows students how integral the neurosciences are to cognitive science.
  • Background information on neurons and the brain (chapter 2) prepares students—without formal coursework on the biological basis of cognition– for the neurocognitive evidence they will encounter throughout the book.
  • Accessible writing style draws students into the material so that they can absorb and retain material more easily.
  • Balance of classic research and current topics presents students with a manageable mix of material that encourages them to read and remember material.
  • In-depth coverage of treated topics provides students with thorough coverage of the most important subject areas.

 Pedagogical Features:

  • Prove It boxes give students a demonstration project that illustrates the points made.
  • Critical terms are highlighted to help students master the terminology.
  • Section Summaries enable students to check their understanding and retention of concepts after each major chapter section.

New to this Edition

  • Coverage of issues relating to embodied cognition
  • Continued increase in emphasis on neurological measures and findings
  • Inclusion of a discussion of trans-saccadic memory
  • Updated coverage of attention capture
  • Inclusion of issues of negative priming and attentional inhibition
  • Explanations of choking under pressure
  • Expanded and updated coverage of working memory issues
  • Coverage of metamemory issues
  • Increased coverage of issues related to emotion and cognition
  • Coverage of issues of survival and memory
  • Reorganization and updating of research on schemas
  • Updated and expanded coverage of human categorization
  • Expanded coverage of source monitoring and prospective memory
  • Expanded coverage of false memory phenomena
  • Updated coverage of autobiographical memory
  • Inclusion of discussions of the motor theory of speech perception
  • Inclusion of research on language comprehension and situation models
  • Inclusion of research on gesture in language comprehension
  • Increased focus on fast and frugal heuristics
  • Deeper coverage of the use of analogy in problem solving
  • Expanded  coverage of the role of neuroscience in understanding insight problem solving
  • Many more Prove It boxes

Table of Contents



1. Cognitive Psychology : An Introduction


Thinking About Thinking


Memory and Cognition Defined


An Introductory History of Cognitive Psychology


 Anticipations of Psychology

 Early Psychology

 Behaviorism and Neobehaviorism

 Dissatifaction with Behaviorism: The Winds of Change


Cognitive Psychology and Information Processing


 The New Direction

  The Assumptions of Cognitive Psychology


2. The Cognitive Science Approach


 Guiding Principles



Measuring Information Processes


 Getting Started

 Time and Accuracy Measures

 Guiding Analogies


The Information-Processing Approach


 The Standard Theory

 A Process Model

 The Strict Information Processing Approach

 Some Difficulties


The Modern Cognitive Approach: Cognitive Science


 Updating the Standard Theory

 Fixing the Narrowness


Neurocognition: The Brain and Cognition Together


 Basic Neurology

 Brain Anatomy

 Principles of Functioning

 Split Brain Research and Lateralization

 Methods of Investigation


Neural Net Models: Connectionism


3. Perception and Pattern Recognition


Visual Perception


 Gathering Visual Information

 Visual Sensory Memory

 The Early parts of a Fixation

  A Summary for Visual Sensory Memory

Trans-saccadic Memory



Pattern Recognition: Written Language


Gestalt Grouping Principles

The Template Approach

Visual Feature Detection

Beyond Features: Conceptually Driven Pattern Recognition

Connectionist Modeling



Object Recognition and Agnosia


 Recognition by Components


 Implications for Cognitive Science


Auditory Perception


 Auditory Sensory Memory

 Auditory Pattern Recognition


4. Attention


 Multiple Meaning of Attention

 Basics of Attention


Basic Input Attentional Processes


 Alertness and Arousal

 Orienting Response and Attention Capture

 Spotlight Attention and Visual Search

 Contrasting Input and Controlled Attention

Hemineglect: An Attention Deficit


Controlled, Voluntary Attention


 Selective Attention and the Cocktail Party Effect

 Selection Models


Attention as a Mental Resource


 Automatic and Conscious Processing Theories

 A Synthesis for Attention and Automaticity

 Disadvantages of Automaticity



5. Short-Term Working Memory



Short-Term Memory: A Limited Capacity Bottleneck

The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two

Forgetting from Short-Term Memory


Short-Term Memory Retrieval

Serial Position Effects

Short-Term Memory Scanning: The Sternberg Task




Working Memory


The Components of Working Memory

The Central Executive

The Phonological Loop

The Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad

The Episodic Buffer


Assessing Working Memory

The Dual Task Method

Working Memory Span


The Role of Working Memory in Cognition

Working Memory and Attention

Working Memory and Long-Term Memory

Working Memory and Reasoning

Sometimes Small Working Memory Spans are Better





6. Learning and Remembering


Preliminary Issues


 Mnemonic Devices

 The Ebbinghaus Tradition of Memory Research



Storing Information in Episodic Memory



 Frequency of Rehearsal

 Two Kinds of Rehearsal

 Depth of Processing

 Challenges to Depth of Processing

 Generation and Enactment

Organization in Storage


Emotion and Survival Value

Context and Encoding Specificity


Retrieving Episodic Information




 Retrieval Failure

 Retrieval Cues


Amnesia and Implicit Memory


 Dissociation of Episodic and Semantic Memory

 Anterograde Amnesia

 Implicit and Explicit Memory


7. Knowing


Semantic Memory


 The Collins and Quillian ( and Loftus) Model

 Smith's Feature Comparison Model

 Empirical Tests of Semantic Memory Models

 Semantic Relatedness


Priming in Semantic Memory


 Nuts and Bolts of Priming Tasks

 Empirical Demonstrations of Priming

 Priming in Other Tasks

 Automatic and Controlled Priming

Priming Is an Implicit Process


Schemata and Scripts

Bartlett’s Research



Evidence of Scripts




<  Context, Connectionism, and the Brain


Connectionism and the Brain



8. Using Knowledge in the Real World


 The Seven Sins of Memory


Facts About the World

The Nature of Propositions

Rules for Deriving Propositions

Are Propositions Real?


Situation Models and Embodied Cognition

Levels of Representation

Remembering Facts




Source Monitoring

Prospective Memory

Knowing What You Know


False Memories, Eyewitness Memory. and "Forgotten Memories"


 False Memories


 Leading Questions and Memory Distortion

 The Misinformation Effect

 Source Misattribution and Misinformation Acceptance

 Stronger Memory Distortion Effects

 Repressed and Recovered Memories


Autobiographical Memories


 The Bahrick Work

 Phenomena of Autobiographical Memory

 The Irony of Memory


9. Language


Linguistic Universals and Functions


 Defining Language

Language Universals

 Animal Communication

 Levels of Analysis, a Critical Distinction, and the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis


Phonology: The Sounds of Language


 Sounds in Isolation

 Combining Phonemes into Words

Embodiment in Speech Perception

 Speech Perception and Context

 A Final Puzzle


Syntax: The Ordering of Words and Phrases


 Chomsky's Transformational Grammar

 Limitations of the Transformational Grammar Approach

 The Cognitive Role of Syntax


Lexical and Semantic Factors: The Meaning in Language



 The Lexical Representation

 Case Grammar

 Interaction of Syntax and Semantics

 Evidence for the Semantic Grammar Approaches


Brain and Language


Language in the Intact Brain


 Generalizing from Aphasia



10. Comprehension: Written and Spoken Language


Getting Started: An Overview


 Conceptual and Rule Knowledge

 Traditional Comprehension Research

 Online Comprehension Tasks


 Comprehension as Mental Structure Building

 Levels of Comprehension




 Gaze Duration

 Basic Online Reading Effects

 A Model of Reading



Reference, Situation Models, and Events


Situation Models




  Conversation and Gesture


 The Structure of Conversations

 Cognitive Conversational Characteristics

 Empirical Effects in Conversation



11. Problem Solving


 The Status of Problem-Solving Area


Gestalt Psychology and Problem Solving


 Early Gestalt Research

 Difficulties in Problem Solving


Insight and Analogy




 Neurocognition in Analogy and Insight


Basics of Problem Solving


 Characteristics of Problem Solving

 A Vocabulary of Problem Solving


Means-End Analysis: A Fundamental Heuristic


 The Basics of Means-End Analysis

 The Tower of Hanoi

 General Problem Solver


Improving Your Problem Solving


 Increase Your Domain Knowledge

 Automate Some Components of the Problem-Solving Solution

 Follow a Systematic Plan

 Draw Inferences

 Develop Subgoals

 Work Backward

 Search for Contradictions

 Search for Relations Among Problems

 Find  a Different Problem Representation

Stay Calm

 If All Else Fails, Try Practice


12. Decisions, Judgments, and Reasoning


Formal Logic and Reasoning



 Conditional Reasoning: If P Then Q

 Hypothesis Testing




 Decisions About Physical Differences

 Decisions About Symbolic Differences

 Decisions About Geographic Distances


Decisions and Reasoning Under Uncertainty


 Algorithms and Heuristics

 Heuristics, Biases, and Fallacies

 The Representativeness Heuristic

 The Availability Heuristics

 The Simulation Heuristics

 The Undoing Heuristics: Counterfactual Reasoning

 Adaptive Thinking and " Fast, Frugal" Heuristics

 The Ongoing Debate


Limitations in Reasoning


 Limited Domain Knowledge

 Limitations in Processing Resources


Appendix: Algorithms for Coin Tosses and Hospital Births

Coin Tosses

Hospital Births 




Photo Credits

Name Index

Subjet Index