Thus, many of the discoveries in the field of attention were made by philosophers. Watson calls Juan Luis Vives the father of modern psychology because, in his book De Anima et Vita The Soul and Lifehe was the first to recognize the importance of empirical investigation.
Early views on attention 19th-century roots Psychologists began to study attention in the latter part of the 19th century. Before this time, philosophers had typically considered attention within the context of apperception the mechanism by which new ideas became associated with existing ideas.
He suggested that attention determines what will and will not be apperceived. The term apperception was still employed in the 19th century by Wilhelm Wundtone of the founders of modern psychology.
Wundt, however, was among the first to point out the distinction between the focal and more general features of human awareness. He wrote of the wide field of awareness which he called the Blickfeld within which lay the more limited focus of attention the Blickpunkt.
He suggested that the range of the Blickpunkt was about six items or groups. He also speculated that attention is a function of the frontal lobes of the brain. One of the most influential psychologists at the turn of Attention cognitive psychology century was William James.
In his major work, The Principles of Psychologyhe says: Every one knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mindin clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration, of consciousness are of its essence.
It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others. James held that attention made humans perceive, conceive, distinguish, and remember more effectively and sped their reactions. In another prominent psychologist, W. Pillsbury, suggested three methods for measuring attention.
The first relied upon tests that measured attention through performance of a task judged to require a high degree of attention; the second measured diminished attention through decreased performance; and the third gauged the strength of attention by the stimulus level required to distract the individual.
As the 20th century progressed, psychology and the study of behaviour were subject to new influences that had far-reaching consequences for notions of attention. One such area of influence originated in the work of Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlovwho reported what is now usually referred to as the orienting response.
In dogs and other animals this includes such signs of attention as pricked-up ears, head turned toward the stimulus, increased muscular tension, and physiological changes detectable with instruments. Many psychologists came to regard the conditioned reflex an involuntary response conditioned by reward as the basic building block of all human learning.
The influence of behaviourism During this period the development of the psychological school of behaviourism marginalized the study of attention.
Watsonwas interested primarily in stimulus—response relations. Attention seemed an unnecessary concept in a system of this kind, which rejected mentalistic notions, such as volition, free willintrospection, and consciousness. If used at all, the term attention was operationally defined in terms of discriminative responses to external stimuli.
Ultimately, however, it became apparent that behaviourism failed to explain situations in which multiple stimuli compete with one another for attention. This led to a new emphasis on notions of attitude and expectancy and to a renewed interest in attention.
Relation to information theory Interest in attention revived in the s, when engineers and psychologists became involved in problems of man-machine interaction in various military contexts.
Faced with this new range of problems, such as helping soldiers stay alert when they were watching radar systems, applied psychologists found no help in existing academic theories and sought a new communications theory. As the occupational psychologist D. Paradoxical as it may seem, attention appears to depend on both the unexpectedness of events and on their familiar association.
Information theory suggests that the significance of any event can only be estimated in terms of what else might have happened; hence, its tendency to attract attention is considered a function of its statistical improbability.
The degree of novelty, which is estimated according to the number of times an event has been experienced previously, provides a measure of its surprise value. Thus an event that has never been experienced before has a high surprise value and should attract attention, even if it lacks any specific associations or consequences.
The attempts to apply information theory to a diversity of psychological problems met in the end with limited success.
Nevertheless, the view of the human brain as an information processor, a type of computer, was becoming more prevalent, and the notion that one might be able to quantify the gain or flow of information proved attractive.
Information itself was defined as that which reduces or removes uncertainty. The process of removing uncertainty was seen as a series of binary yes or no choices. The unit of information that expressed this primitive choice between two alternativesor halving the residual uncertainty, was called the bit short for the term binary digit.
In the terms of this theory, humans are seen as a communication channel, through which information is transmitted at the rate of so many bits per second. Attempts were made to measure the capacity of this communication channel in many areas of human activity, but the experimental results were found to be too inconsistent to be useful.
Cognitive psychologists ultimately abandoned information theory, recognizing the incalculable effect of past experience on the information carried by any bit.Session Activities Readings.
Read the following before watching the lecture video. One of the following textbook chapters:  Chapter 1, "Introduction to the Science of Psychology: History and Research Methods" Study outline for K&R Chapter 1 (PDF) Chapter 1, "Introducing Psychology".
Cognitive psychology explores the branch of mental science that deals with motivation, problem-solving, decision-making, thinking, and attention. 6. Biased attention toward signs of social rejection, and lack of attention to signs of social acceptance. For example, during social interactions, paying attention to someone yawning but not.
Cognitive distortions are exactly what the name implies: distortions in our cognition. Irrational thoughts/beliefs that we unknowingly reinforce over time. 9/21/ 1 Theories of Cognitive Development How Children Develop (4th) Chapter 4 What is a theory?
A logically self-consistent for describing a related set of natural or. Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes such as "attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and thinking".
Much of the work derived from cognitive psychology has been integrated into various other modern disciplines such as Cognitive Science and of psychological study, including educational psychology, social psychology, personality psychology.