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MPC-001: Cognitive Psychology, Learning and Memory

MPC-001: Cognitive Psychology, Learning and Memory

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MPC-001 / ASST / TMA / 2022-23

Course Code: MPC-001

Assignment Name: Cognitive Psychology, Learning and Memory

Year: 2022 -2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


NOTE: All questions are compulsory.




Answer the following questions in 1000 words each. 3 x 15 = 45 marks


Q 1. Discuss the structure and functions of language.

Ans) It is crucial to first comprehend language's fundamental structure in order to comprehend how language works.


Phase Structure of Sentences

In order to understand language in an adult, it is necessary to examine sentence structure. At one level of analysis, a sentence is nothing more than a collection of phonemes. A sentence can also be thought of as a collection of morphemes, which are phoneme collections. From this vantage point, the sentence appears to be a collection of words. Language experts have discovered that grouping words together into phrases makes describing sentences easier. A sentence's phrase structure can be described by breaking it down into its constituent phrases. A sentence is thought to be composed of two basic phrases: a noun phrase and a verb phrase, each of which is further divided into smaller parts.


Structure and Deep Structure in Sentences

The surface structure is the organisation that describes the sequences of phrases in a sentence as they are spoken or read, and it reflects the phonological realisation of the complex, underlying linguistic structure. In contrast, deep structure refers to the underlying structure, which includes the relevant string of linguistic units, the grammatical requirements for lexical (word) selection, and the grammatical relations between words in sentences. A sentence's deep structure thus specifies the derivations of both its surface structure and meaning.


Sentences with a single deep structure and two or more surface structures are equivalent. Sentences with ambiguous deep structures and the same surface structure Thus, an important issue that remains is the theoretical rules that govern how the deep structure of a sentence is realised in a specific surface structure. Transformational rules, developed by Noam Chomsky and other linguists, are rules for specifying this linkage process.


Transformational rules have clear implications for what aspects of sentences people remember. If the sentence is simple, then surface structure features may be saved. As sentences become more complex, it is thought that some underlying base structure, or schema, is stored, along with one or more "footnotes" that serve as rules to regenerate the sentence in its original surface form. As a result, what is saved is a coded representation of the complex sentence. Thus, at a very basic level, the phrase structure of a sentence appears to play an important organisational role in language processing.


Functions of Language

Language serves many functions, all of which are related to the basic process of communication. Perhaps most importantly, language conveys meaning and is used in almost every type of social interaction. Language expresses intentions, motives, emotions, and beliefs. Language is used to make requests and commands, as well as to teach and communicate information. Thus, language is symbolic in the sense that various objects, ideas, and events are represented by speech sounds and utterances. There are three elements of language expression and human communication that have been identified as operating in the speaker-listener situation, regardless of whether we are considering spoken language, written language, or sign language: speech acts, propositional content, and thematic structure.


A brief description from the analysis by Clark & Clark is as follows:


1) Speech Acts: Speakers usually want to have an impact on their audience. Speakers accomplish this by convincing listeners of their intentions. In fact, failing to recognise these intentions can lead to awkward situations. According to speech-act theory, all utterances can be classified according to the type of speech act they represent. Speech acts may, for example, make assertions, make verbal commitments, express gratitude, issue a warning, or issue a command. Typical speech acts include: "I insist that you turn down the volume on the stereo" (a command); "What are your plans for the weekend?" (a question); "I promise to pay you tomorrow" (a verbal commitment), all of which represent common direct speech acts such as ordering, questioning, and committing. Some speech acts, according to Searle, are indirect. When your mother asks if you live in a barn or if you are cold, Language they are conveying information about their desires, but in a rather indirect, nonliteral way. The meaning of any given speech act, including whether it is direct or indirect, is determined by the context in which it is delivered as well as its content.


2) Propositional Content: The propositional content of a sentence is the second element of communication. Speakers want to convey specific ideas in communication, and in order to do so, they must ensure that they are understood. As a result, the content surrounding a speech act is critical. In general, a sentence's propositional content is used to describe specific states or events; it can also be part of other propositions. "The bright student received an A in Mathematics," for example, expresses two distinct propositions: "the student is bright" and "the student received an A in Mathematics." The propositions convey what the speaker intends to convey when combined into a single sentence. We have experimental evidence in the form of propositions. For example, the more propositions in a sentence, the longer it takes to read the sentence.

3) Thematic Structure: Thematic structure is the third component of communication. Good speakers pay close attention to their listeners in order to communicate effectively. A good speaker must judge what their listeners know and do not know, keep track of where they are leading their listeners, and regularly question any assumptions about the listeners' knowledge of the topic being discussed. To put it simply, the speaker must be able to make reasonably accurate assessments of the listener's current level of comprehension. All of these characteristics can be found in good teachers, entertaining and effective storytellers, and engaging conversationalists.


Q 2. Critically discuss Das, Naglieri and Kirby’s PASS theory.

Ans) Das, Nagliery, and Kirby have created a theory-based, multidimensional view of intelligence that incorporates concepts from neuropsychology, information processing, and human cognition. The PASS theory is based on the pioneering research of Alexander R. Luria in the fields of neuropsychology, information processing, and cognitive psychology.


Luria divided human cognitive processes into three primary functional units


1) The primary function of the first unit is to maintain appropriate cortical arousal and attention to allow for adequate vigilance and stimulus discrimination.


2) The second unit is responsible for acquiring, enhancing, and storing data using sequential and concurrent processes.


3) The third functional unit is in charge of programming in addition to the regulation and control of mental activity. This functional unit is responsible for planning, self-monitoring, and organising cognitive activities. The brain stem and reticular activating system are the locations of the first functional unit, attention arousal.


The ability to perform a survey is an essential part of simultaneously processing information; this means that every element is connected to every other element. Das has provided an explanation with the assistance of the following example. "In order to correctly produce a diagram when given the instruction, "draw a triangle above a square that is to the left of a circle under a cross," one must correctly comprehend the relationships among the shapes".


The areas of the brain known as the frontotemporal cortex are responsible for the process known as successive processing, which involves the integration of stimuli into a particular serial order in which each component is related to the next. To put it another way, in the process of successive synthesis, "each link integrated into a series can evoke only a particular chain of successive links following each other in serial order."

Planning processes are responsible for behaviours such as questioning, problem solving, and the capacity for self-monitoring. These processes also provide for the programming, regulation, and verification of behaviour. The third functional unit is also responsible for the regulation of voluntary activity, the control of impulses, and various linguistic skills such as spontaneous conversation. Other activities fall under this category as well. The third functional unit is in charge of the most intricate facets of human behaviour, such as personality and consciousness.


Das, Nagliery, and Kirby have provided an operational definition for each of the four processes that make up the PASS theory. When a test requires an individual to make some decisions about how to solve a problem, execute an approach, activate attentional, simultaneous, and successive processes, monitor the effectiveness of the approach, and modify it as necessary, planning processes are required. Planning processes are required when the individual is taking a test.


It is common knowledge that the frontal lobes, and particularly the prefrontal cortex, are involved in the planning process. It has connections with the rest of the brain, as was previously described, including the parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes that are responsible for information coding (simultaneous and successive processing), as well as connections with sub cortical areas that determine the level of arousal and affective reactions to different conditions on the basis of previous experiences.


Attention arousal is a complex process of the PASS theory

Arousal keeps people alert. It is linked to activity in the brain stem and the lower portion of the cerebral cortex. The frontal lobes and the lower portion of the cortex, on the other hand, are linked to attention. Simultaneous processing is linked to the occipital and parietal lobes, whereas successive processing is linked to the frontal temporal lobes. Because the knowledge base is an essential component of the PASS model, all processes are embedded within this dimension.


The PASS model's base of knowledge is intended to represent all information obtained from the individual's cultural and social background, because this determines the type of mental activity. Because mental processes cannot develop apart from appropriate forms of social life, children's use of language to analyse, generalise, and encode experience is a critical determinant of the base of knowledge. The PASS model's final component is output, also known as action and behaviour. It is proposed that in the processing of cognitive tasks, both simultaneous and successive processes must be used.


Das has thus explained its salient features: “The PASS theory of intelligence

(1) has given us tests to measure intelligence as a set of cognitive processes,

(2) discusses what the major processes are, and

(3) guides us in the remediation of processing difficulties.”


Cognition is a dynamic process that operates within the context of an individual's knowledge base, responds to experiences, and is subject to developmental changes. When measuring cognitive processes, it is important to remember that effective processing is achieved through the integration of knowledge with planning, attention, simultaneous, and successive processing. Cognition is a dynamic process that operates within the context of an individual's knowledge base, responds to experiences, and is subject to developmental changes. When measuring cognitive processes, it is important to remember that effective processing is achieved through the integration of knowledge with planning, attention, simultaneous, and successive processes as required by the task. Despite the fact that these processes are interconnected and continuous, they are not equally involved in all tasks. As a result, cognitive assessment tasks for planning, attention, simultaneous, and successive processing were created in accordance with PASS theory and primarily necessitate a specific cognitive process.



Das, Nagliery, and Kirby's PASS theory is an information processing theory that was inspired by Alexander Luria's pioneering neuropsychological and cognitive psychological research. Luria categorised human cognitive processes into three functional units. The first unit is responsible for cortical arousal and attention; the second unit codes information using simultaneous and successive processes; and the third unit is responsible for cognitive activity planning, self-monitoring, and structuring. Luria's research on the functional aspects of brain structures served as the foundation for the PASS model, which served as a blueprint for defining the key components of human intellectual competence.

Q 3. Explain the barriers to problem solving.

Ans) A problem-solving barrier is something that prevents people from successfully solving a problem. These impediments are frequently caused by cognitive blocks, as well as practical social and physical impediments.


1. Perceptual Blocks

They are as follows:

a) Seeing only what you expect to see

Obscures the "true nature of a problem" by excluding relevant information or including information simply because we assume it is there.

b) Stereotyping

We often label what's obvious. If someone isn't working as hard as we'd like and we label them "lazy," we may overlook the possibility that monotonous work is the problem, not laziness.

c) Not recognising problems

Problems go unnoticed until the effects have become severe and emergency action

is required.

d) Not seeing the problem in perspective

This happens when we see only part of the problem or the needed information. People sometimes fail to recognise how different parts of a problem are related, so the solution is inadequate.

e) Mistaking cause and effect

If we confuse cause and effect, we won't find a solution. If goods don't arrive and we assume the supplier is late when our ordering department didn't send the order, our search for solutions will be misdirected. Late shipment is an effect, not a cause, of the problem.


2. Emotional Blocks

Among the emotional roadblocks are:

a) Fear of making mistakes or looking foolish

Emotional blocks are common. Traditional schooling makes us laugh when we make mistakes or suggest new ideas. Fearing ridicule, we avoid mistakes and new ideas. Superiors exacerbate this block. We may seem inexperienced to seniors. Junior workers should see our expertise.

b) Impatience

Wanting to succeed quickly or end discomfort or loss may cause impatience to solve a problem. Twofold result. We evaluate ideas without proper problem analysis. Ignoring odd ideas. Not the best solution.

c) Avoiding anxiety

Some are anxious about it. Risk, disorder, ambiguity, stress, and insecurity can cause anxiety. Problem solving is hindered by avoiding risks, indecision in grey areas, over-relying on others' judgement, and not challenging the status quo.

d) Fear of taking risks

This helps avoid uncomfortable situations. Security is key. Setting easy-to-reach goals reduces failure risk, and known solutions are preferred over the unusual. Overconfidence and risk-taking are dangerous roadblocks.

e) Need for order

Avoiding anxiety is related. It can make it difficult to handle ambiguous or unclear situations.

f) Lack of challenge

When the problem is routine, or the benefits/losses are small. We either don't solve the problem or take the easiest, quickest route.


3. Intellectual Blocks

They are as follows:

a) Lack of knowledge or skill in the problem-solving process

Common block. Inadequate analytical and creative thinking skills; an inflexible strategy; inability to use problem-solving techniques. All are ineffective solutions.

b) Lack of creative thinking

This is always caused by an inability to use the skills rather than their absence, resulting from the dominance of analytical thinking in our day-to-day lives and a lack of practice.

c) Inflexible thinking

This is a difficulty in switching from one type of thinking skill to another, such as from analysis to idea generation or from verbal to visual thinking.

d) Not being methodical

This is perhaps the most common block. A step-by-step approach is essential to solving problems effectively.

e) Lack of knowledge or skill in using the ‘Language’ of the problem

If a problem involves specialist jargon or statistical analysis, we won't be able to solve it effectively. We may also use inappropriate language, such as describing an accounting error verbally instead of mathematically.

f) Using inadequate information

This happens when we don't collect or understand the relevant information, where to find it, or how it relates to the problem. Inaccurate information can lead to wrong conclusions.


4. Expressive Blocks

They are as follows:

a) Using the wrong language

Some problems are better solved or communicated in one language. If the problem requires quantitative analysis, we won't get far with verbal data. Similarly, explaining our feelings about a situation with math may be confusing.

b) Unfamiliarity with a particular application of a language

Many people have trouble speaking, even though they can write well. Poor explanations These can result from a lack of knowledge about what you're trying to say or from assuming your audience knows something they don't.

c) A passive management style

Ineffective communication may result from a lack of influence. This is important when convincing people of ideas' validity.

d) A dominant management style

When we exert oppressive control, either deliberately or unconsciously, others may be reluctant to accept what we say or hostile to our ideas.


5. Environmental Blocks

Environmental blocks include the following:

a) Management style

Management can affect problem-solving and creativity. If our ideas are constantly rejected with "No, it wouldn't work because..." or "No, we tried it before and it didn't work," we give up.

b) Distractions

Due to excessive noise and interruptions, these affect some people more than others, but in general they have a detrimental effect on problem solving.

c) Physical discomfort

This can cause distractions, stress, or lethargy. Poorly designed chairs may cause backaches, making us irritable and less interested in work. 

d) Lack of support

It's multifaceted. We may need expert advice, skills, resources, or authority to act. Lack of encouragement and organisational structure to support and exploit ideas is a more pervasive block.

e) Stress

Work-related stress affects people differently. Stress can hinder creative thinking for those who are susceptible.

f) Lack of communication

This has a number of effects, including inability to get the information you require and a lack of encouragement.

g) Monotonous work

This can dull enthusiasm for solving problems and put us onto ‘automatic pilot,’ making us blind to problems when they occur.

h) Expectations of others

These can affect our problem-solving and goal setting. If our peers and superiors are happy with a regular problem solution, we may feel it's a waste of time to find a new one. If we're expected to be creative, we'll work harder.


6. Cultural Blocks

These are:

a) Unquestioning acceptance of the status quo

People don't question or challenge established ideas and methods. If something isn't normal, we look for reasons why it can't be done or won't work, not why it should or could.

b) Dislike of change

Security can lead to avoiding change. Any change that involves uncertainty can threaten an acceptable situation. Change block is less common as we adapt, but there must be reasons. Risky to change just to change.

c) Fantasy and humour are not productive

Fantasy and humour aren't serious problem-solvers. Experts disagree. Fantasy and humour are an unlikely pair (consider this next time you hear a good joke – the punch line is always unexpected). Linking seemingly unrelated ideas is innovative.

d) Feelings, intuition and subjective judgements are unreliable’

Reason, logic, and quantitative judgements are preferred because they can be measured and communicated accurately. Unmeasurable, subjective feelings, intuition, and judgements are mistrusted. Math, a logical science, relies on intuition to solve problems. Good problem-solvers use logical and intuitive approaches.

e) Over-emphasis on competition or cooperation

Strong competition can make people unwilling to listen to rivals' ideas. We may avoid expressing new ideas in a highly cooperative environment to avoid standing out.

f) Taboos

Some actions and ideas are distasteful, harmful, or violate moral codes. Calculus was solved in a creativity test. See who could find the solution the most times. Students who broke the rules produced more. By relearning, we can permanently overcome most of our own blocks and sidestep other people's.





Answer the following questions in 400 words each. 5 x 5 = 25 marks


Q 4. Describe the levels of processing model by Craik and Lockhart.

Ans) In 1972, Robert S. Lockhart and Fergus I. M. Craik invented the levels of processing effect. This model was developed as an alternative to prior memory theories (Atkinson & Shiffrin) that classified memory into sensory, working, and long-term stages. Craik and Lockhart basically believed that the depth of mental processing affected memory function. Memories that were deeply processed lasted longer, whereas shallowly processed memories decayed quickly.


Shallow processing occurs in four ways:

  1. Structural: Processing how an object or sound looks

  2. Phonemic: When we process how something sounds

  3. Graphemic: Processing letters contained in a word

  4. Orthographic: Processing the shape of something


Deep or semantic processing occurs in three ways

  1. The process of relating an object/situation etc. to something else

  2. When the meaning of something is thought of

  3. When we process the importance of something


According to the levels of processing model, how we process information affects how much we remember. Deep and semantic processing involves deep thought, which makes memory easy to access. Shallow processing only considers the surface, so things decay and are forgotten.


There are three factors which determine if a memory remains:

  1. Maintenance Rehearsal: The process of repeating the information

  2. Elaborative Rehearsal: When the information is analysed in a deeper way

  3. Distinctiveness: The ability to tell items apart


The levels of processing model suggests that the only one of the above factors which improves Long-Term Memory (LTM) is elaborative rehearsal.



Craik and Lockhart's model has several advantages. It was the first theory to demonstrate that deeper processing actually improves memory. This explains why some things are easier to remember than others. It also demonstrated that encoding is not an easy process.

Finally, brain imaging studies revealed that higher levels of processing result in higher levels of activity in various parts of the brain, lending credence to the theory.



When it comes to flaws, the theory is better described than explained. It appears to be a rather simplistic explanation for such a complex subject, with the terms "deep" and "shallow" hardly providing an all-encompassing look into memory theory. The part of the theory that suggests that shallow processing equals memory loss is not entirely correct in all cases. Those suffering from memory-related illnesses are not eligible for inclusion in the levels of processing theory.


Finally, this theory was proposed in 1972, but since then, various neuropsychological studies have suggested that our memory contains specific storage systems and structures.


Q 5. Explain the factors affecting problem solving.

Ans) The effectiveness of a problem-solving behaviour is measured by two criteria: the time it takes to solve the problem and the likelihood of finding a solution. A number of factors influence an effective problem solution. Some of these factors are inherent in the problem, while others are the problem solver's personal characteristics.


These include:


1) Nature of the problem

The magnitude of the problem, the difficulty level of the problem, and so on are all aspects of the problem's nature. Furthermore, if the initial state of the problem differs significantly from the final goal of the problem, the difficulty level rises and solving the problem becomes somewhat difficult. While the size of a problem is positively related to the number of elements present in the problem space, it is observed that as the size of the problem increases, reaching a solution becomes more difficult and time consuming. A typical example is anagram problems, where increasing the number of letters in the anagrams increases the difficulty level of the problem.


2) Degree of difference between the initial and the goal state

The greater the difference between the initial and goal states, the less likely a solution is. In such cases, the problem space is more disorganised, and the operator must take more steps to reach a solution. Consider a complete jumble of letters in an anagram that clearly describes such a situation. If the problem is a general one that is frequently encountered, the problem solver becomes familiar with the steps to be taken to reach the solution, making the problem less difficult.


3) The perceiver’s set

The perception of A tendency to perceive and respond to a specific stimulus in a stereotypical manner is defined as set. A set is formed when a person perceives and responds to a stimulus in the same way repeatedly and systematically. Set may have both a facilitative and an inhibitory effect on problem solving.


4) Functional fixedness

Generally, we classify objects based on how they are used in our daily lives. When we think of those objects, their functional characteristics dominate our thoughts. The tendency to perceive objects in their customary and stereotypical use is referred to as functional fixity.


Q 6. Discuss Guilford’s model of intelligence.

Ans) According to Guilford's Structure of Intellect (SOI) theory, a person's success in general intelligence can be traced back to fundamental mental talents or intellectual elements.


Categories in Guilford’s Structure of Intellect theory

Guilford's "Structure of Intellect" approach organises and categorises the various talents into three groups:


1. Operations Dimension

The structure of intellect consists of six operations or general intellectual processes:

  • Cognition - Cognition includes aspects like understanding, comprehending, discovering, and becoming aware of the information.

  • Memory recording - Memory recording is the proficiency to integrate and encode information.

  • Memory retention - Memory retention is the ability to recollect facts or information.

  • Divergent production - Divergent production describes the ability to develop different ways to solve problems; it also refers to the ability to be creative.

  • Convergent production - Convergent production is the capacity to derive singular answers to problems from a set of rules; it is also known as rule-following or problem-solving.

  • Evaluation - Evaluation is the ability to determine whether a piece of particular information is correct, reliable, or trustworthy.


2. Content Dimension

SI comprises five main categories of information to which the human intellect uses the six operations, which are as follows:

  • Visual - Visual information is information encountered through the sense of sight.

  • Auditory - Auditory information is processed through the sense of hearing.

  • Kinesthetic - Kinesthetic information is experienced through one's body movements.

  • Symbolic - Symbolic information is seen as symbols or signals that have no significance in and of themselves.

  • Semantic - This is concerned with the meaning and concepts conveyed by words.

  • Behavioural - Behavioural information is thought to be the result of human actions.


3. Product Dimension

As the name implies, this dimension shows the outcomes of specific operations being applied to specific items in a specific order. The SI model consists of six products, each of which increases in sophistication:

  • Units - Units are discrete pieces of information.

  • Classes - Classes are groups of units that have characteristics in common.

  • Relations - Relations are groups of units that are linked together as opposites or in correlations, series, or parallels.

  • Systems - Systems are made up of multiple relations that are interconnected to form structures or pathways.

  • Transformations - Transformations in knowledge include shifts in viewpoint, transitions, and alterations in knowledge.

  • Implications - Implications are expectations, conclusions, outcomes, or assumptions of knowledge based on existing information.


When these three elements are combined, they yield 150 distinct skill groups. It's important to remember that this model was designed as a guideline for a research study to investigate the relationships between the various categories and the ability to incorporate test results into this framework.


Q 7. Define creativity. Describe the stages of creativity.

Ans) Creativity is defined as something different from intelligence and as a parallel construct to intelligence, but it differs from intelligence in that it is not restricted to cognitive or intellectual functioning or behaviour. Creativity is a goal directed thinking which is unusual, novel and useful.


Stages of Creativity

The history of research on stages of creativity began with Graham Wallas who suggested that creative thinking follows four successive steps:


Stage of preparation: The subject starts gathering information about the problem to be solved and tries some solutions. This stage of learning is characterised by trial-and-error. As a result, the subject should learn as much as possible about the problem area. In preparation, the thinker begins recalling personal experiences and conducting research in various directions to gather information about the problem to be solved. The goal of defining the focus question of interest is to list all concepts associated with it. Because the goal of this procedure is to generate the most comprehensive list possible, the thinker should not be concerned with redundancy, relative importance, or relationships at this point.


Stage of incubation: The solution exists but is unclear in the second stage. The subject must not work on the problem on purpose. It is instead allowed to sink into the subconscious. At this point, the solution exists but is unclear. As a result, the thinker must refrain from working on the problem on purpose. Instead, he or she should be allowed to sink into the unconscious, and the thinker should relax and reflect on his or her focus question, which may lead to a change in the focus question.


Stage of illumination: The subject suddenly gains insight into the problem in the third stage when a new solution, idea, or relationship emerges. In other words, the subject attempts to reformulate or formulate new ideas. In this stage, the subject is more active, and more conscious work is required. When a new solution, idea, or relationship emerges during the illumination stage, the thinker gains insight into the problem. As a result, he or she attempts to reformulate or formulate new ideas.


Stage of verification: Finally, the subject attempts and validates the solution. Some changes to ideas reached in previous stages may occur during this stage. The thinker tests, tries, and checks the solution he or she created during the verification stage. Because this is the final stage, the thinker may make changes to the ideas he or she developed in previous stages. At this stage, the thinker should rework the structure of his/her map to represent his/her collective understanding of the interrelationships and connections among groupings, which may include adding, subtracting, or changing superordinate concepts; thus, he/she may need to review his/her concept map as new knowledge or new insights are gained.


Q 8. Explain the key issues in the study of cognitive psychology.

Ans) When the fundamental concepts of cognitive psychology are examined, it becomes clear that the field is organised around a number of overarching ideas. A dialectical approach is taken to discussing some of these issues here:


1. Nature versus Nurture: Nature or nurture: which has a greater influence on human cognitive abilities? If we believe that innate aspects of human cognition are more important, we should focus our research efforts on investigating innate aspects of cognitive psychology. If we have reason to believe that our surroundings have a significant impact on our mental processes, we should look into how specific aspects of our surroundings appear to influence our thinking.


2. Rationalism versus Empiricism: How can we learn not only the truth about ourselves, but also about the world around us? Should we achieve this by attempting to reason rationally based on what we already know? Or should we do so by observing and analysing what our senses can perceive and drawing conclusions from those observations? And how can we combine theoretical explanations with empirical research to gather as much information about cognitive processes as possible?


3. Structures versus Processes: Should we look into the elements that make up the human mind? Should we instead focus on the mental processes of humans? The debate over domain generality versus domain specificity Are the processes we observe specific to specific domains, or are they general processes that apply to a variety of domains? If observations are made in one domain, do those observations apply to all other domains as well, or only to the domains observed?


4. Validity of causal inferences versus Ecological validity: Should we study cognition by using highly controlled experiments that increase the probability of valid inferences regarding causality? Or should we use more naturalistic techniques?


5. Applied versus Basic research: Should we conduct research into fundamental cognitive processes? Or should we study ways in which to help people use cognition effectively in practical situations?


6. Biological versus Behavioural methods: Should we study the brain and its functions directly, perhaps even scanning the brain while people are performing cognitive tasks? Or should we study people’s behaviour in cognitive tasks, looking at measures such as percentage correct and reaction time?


These questions can be posed in the "either/or" form of thesis/antithesis, or in the "both/and" form of a synthesis of views or methods, which is frequently more helpful than either extreme position taken on its own.





Answer the following questions in 50 words each. 10 x 3 = 30 marks


Q 9. Seven primary factors given by Thurstone

Ans) The seven primary mental abilities in Thurstone's model are verbal comprehension, verbal fluency, number facility, spatial visualization, perceptual speed, memory, and inductive reasoning.

Although Thurstone did not reject Spearman’s idea of general intelligence altogether, he instead theorized that intelligence consists of both general ability and a number of specific abilities, paving the way for future research that examined the different forms of intelligence.


Q 10. Aspects of creativity

Ans) Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a printed literary work, or a painting).


The aspects of creativity are:

1) Fluency

2) Flexibility

3) Originality

4) Elaboration

5) Abstractness of Titles

6) Resistance to Premature Closure.


Q 11. Heuristics

Ans) A heuristic or heuristic technique, is any approach to problem solving or self-discovery that employs a practical method that is not guaranteed to be optimal, perfect, or rational, but is nevertheless sufficient for reaching an immediate, short-term goal or approximation. Where finding an optimal solution is impossible or impractical, heuristic methods can be used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution. Heuristics can be mental shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision.


Q 12. Long term memory

Ans) Long-term memory (LTM) is relatively permanent storage. Information is stored on the basis of meaning and importance. The process of transferring information from Short Term Memory (STM) to Long Term Memory involves the encoding or consolidation of information.

In this process of organisation, the meaningfulness or emotional content of an item may play a greater role in its retention into LTM.


Q 13. Role of hippocampus in memory

Ans) Hippocampus, region of the brain that is associated primarily with memory. The hippocampus plays a critical role in the formation, organization, and storage of new memories as well as connecting certain sensations and emotions to these memories. The hippocampus is thought to be principally involved in storing long-term memories and in making those memories resistant to forgetting. It is also thought to play an important role in spatial processing and navigation.


Q 14. Four principles of information processing

Ans) The four principles of information processing are:

1. Assumption of a limited capacity of the mental system.

2. A control mechanism is required to oversee the encoding, transformation, processing, storage, retrieval and utilization of information.

3. There is a two-way flow of information as we try to make sense of the world around us.

4. The human organism has been genetically prepared to process and organise information in specific ways.

Q 15. Neuroscience and cognitive psychology

Ans) Neuroscience is the study of how the nervous system develops, its structure, and what it does. Neuroscience concerned with the normal functioning of the nervous system, but also what happens to the nervous system when people have neurological, psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of mental processes such as attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and reasoning.


Q 16. Problem space hypothesis

Ans) The Problem Space Hypothesis is the idea that every possible state of affairs within a problem corresponds to a node in mental graph. Each node corresponds to a certain state of affairs at some point during the problem-solving process.

A problem space will not offer details of a solution but instead focus on steps and goals involved in working through a problem. The problem space's main goal is to work on the problem to ultimately find the solution.


Q 17. Means-ends analysis

Ans) Means-ends analysis is a strategy in which the problem solver divides the problem into a number of sub problems, or smaller problems. Each of these sub problems is solved by detecting the difference between the original state and the goal state and then reducing the difference between these two states. The name means ends analysis fits the process, because it involves figuring out the “ends” you want and then figuring out what “means” you will use to reach those ends.


Q 18. Types of problems

Ans) Typically, well defined problems fall into one of the three categories viz.,

1) Arrangement - Arrangement of problems requires that the problem solver must rearrange

or recombine elements in a way that will satisfy a certain criterion.

2) Inducing Structure - In Problems of inducing Structure, a person must identify the existing

relationships among the elements presented, and

3) Transformation - In Transformation Problems, one takes into consideration. An attempt is

made to change the initial state to a goal state.

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