Description of a Cognitive Model

Description of a Cognitive Model

Much of cognitive psychology’s goal is to create and test models of cognitive processes. A model is a theoretical explanation of how the brain completes a particular process. Once a model has been hypothesized, experimental data is collected which either supports or fails to support the model. By this point in the course, you should

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  • be familiar with what a cognitive model is
  • understand how they are developed and described
  • be able to critically evaluate research that attempts to test the model
  • be able to integrate findings of research with current existing models
  • be able to differentiate a “phenomenon” or “results” from a model

The following assignment will put those skills to the test.

Outline a theoretical model of a cognitive process: your explanation must provide an outline of the complete model. The model must describe a cognitive process. Many of the models will have a graphical representation of the model. You may not include that graphic in your paper. Your description of the model must be in written form.

Be careful! Many of the models are developed based on a phenomenon. Although a description of the phenomenon may be important in order to fully describe your model, the phenomenon is not the model. For example, there is a phenomenon called “The Attentional Blink” and there are several models that attempt to account for (explain) this phenomenon. The goal for this paper would be to describe one of those models.

This portion of the paper should take approximately three (3) typed, double-spaced pages; however, the actual length will depend on the model chosen.

A list of possible models and their primary source are listed below. It is strongly suggested that you choose one of the models provided; however, it is possible to choose a different model. If you choose a model of your own, you must get the course instructor’s approval first. The model you choose must be recent (2000 or later) and must be one that accounts for a cognitive model.

Note:    Many people in the past have tried to choose “Cognitive Behaviour Therapy” or something related to it. Even though it has the word cognitive in it, it is not a cognitive model and cannot be chosen as a topic for your paper.

APA Format

All Psychology courses (unless otherwise stated) expect you to use APA formatting when completing written work.

List of Approved Cognitive Models

  1. Unified model of immediate serial recall, Hebb repetition learning, word form learning and recognition
  2. Model of decay
  3. Model of face recognition
  4. Baddeley model of working memory
  5. Working memory resource-sharing model
  6. The attention cascade model and attentional blink
  7. Model of primacy gradient
  8. Source of Activation Confusion Model (SAC)
  9. Model of eye movement control
  10. SWIFT reading model
  11. Lexical reinterpretation model
  12. Page, M. P. A., & Norris, D. (2009). A model linking immediate serial recall, the Hebb repetition effect and the learning of phonological word forms. The Royal Society364, 3737-3753.
  13. Altmann, E. M., & Gray, W. D. (2002). Forgetting to remember: The functional relationship of decay and interference. Psychological Science13, 27-33.
  14. Schweinberger, S. R., & Burton, A. M. (2003). Covert recognition and the neural system for face processing. Cortex, 39(1), 9-30.
  15. Baddeley, A. D. (2002). Is working memory still working? European Psychologist, 7(2),85-97.
  16. Barrouillet, P., Gavens, N., Vergauwe, E., Gaillard, V., & Camos, V. (2009). Working memory span development: A time-based resource-sharing model account. Developmental Psychology, 45(2), 477-490.
  17. Shih, S. I. (2008). The attention cascade model and attentional blink. Cognitive Psychology, 56(3), 210-236.
  18. Page, M. P., & Norris, D. (1998). The primacy model: A new model of immediate serial recall. Psychological Review, 105, 761-781.
  19. Schunn, C. D., Reder, L. M., Nhouyvanisvong, A., Richards, D. R., & Stroffolino, P. J. (1997). To calculate or not to calculate: A source activation confusion model of problem familiarity’s role in strategy selection. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition23, 3‑29.
  20. Reichle, E. D., Pollatsek, A., Fisher, D. L., & Rayner, K. (1998). Toward a model of eye movement control in reading. Psychological Review,105, 125-157.
  21. Engbert, R., Nuthmann, A., Richter, E. M., & Kliegl, R. (2005). SWIFT: A dynamical model of saccade generation during reading. Psychological Review112(4), 777-813.
  22. Duffy, S. A., & Keir, J. A. (2004). Violating stereotypes: Eye movements and comprehension processes when text conflicts with world knowledge. Memory & Cognition, 32(4), 551-559.


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