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3.4 Showing a good grasp of ideas

To show your grasp of the ideas you have been studying you have to express them for yourself, in your own words. Your tutor will certainly be looking out for signs that you understand the centrally important issues. For example, Philip showed that he understood the significance of Ellis's point about women's loss of a household management role. But he was very vague about the effects this had on women's lives in the countryside, which suggests he hadn't really sorted out that part of h
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2.5.1 Sentences

We can see that Philip knows what a sentence is because he writes some perfectly good ones. For example:

In many ways going into urban life from the countryside was beneficial to woman of the upperclass.

This sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. It has a subject (urban life) and a main verb (was). As any sentence is, it is a self-contained ‘unit of meaning’. It m
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2.5 Other aspects of writing

Now we will look at the way Philip and Hansa wrote and presented their essays. Did you find them both easy to read? As regards Philip's, my answer is, ‘yes and no’. It is sometimes easy because he has a fluent way with words. But it is often difficult because he does not use enough punctuation to help us make sense of his words, and because of certain mistakes he makes. I found Hansa's essay easier to read. Her writing is more technically correct and more assured than Philip's. But
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1.3.3 Stage 1: Preparation

The task here is very different from our task when faced with numbers, where we need to deal with a high level of abstraction. Writing is often dense and multi-layered, and usually gives us, if anything, too much surface information about our subject. We need to make a mental effort this time in selecting and abstracting information ourselves. In order to do this effectively we need to be aware of the context of the writing. We need to check if we can, for instance, the political and s
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1 The importance of evidence

The gathering, presentation and assessment of evidence are crucial and indeed inescapable parts of the practice of social science, hence the crucial role of evidence in the circuit of knowledge (see Figure 1).

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Introduction

This unit looks at the prevalence of maps in everyday life, their uses and their importance. From mental maps to public transport and street maps it moves on to historical and history-making maps. Along with assessing the political importance of some maps it examines how we read maps and looks at how to evaluate the information contained within them. Although maps might seem to be objective and factual the unit looks at the values embedded in both maps themselves and our perceptions of them.<
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2.1 Reading techniques: scanning

There are three main techniques that you can use in order to read in such a way as to achieve your purpose: scanning, skimming, and focused reading. Let's take each in turn.

The technique of scanning is a useful one to use if you want to get an overview of the text you are reading as a whole – its shape, the focus of each section, the topics or key issues that are dealt with, and so on. In order to scan a piece of text you might look for sub-headings or identify key words and p
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Starting with psychology
The most ‘important and greatest puzzle’ we face as humans is ourselves (Boring, 1950, p. 56). Humans are a puzzle – one that is complex, subtle and multi-layered, and it gets even more complicated as we evolve over time and change in different contexts. When answering the question ‘What makes us who we are?’, psychologists put forward a range of explanations about why people feel, think and behave the way they do. Just when psychologists seem to understand one bit of ‘who we are’
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Acknowledgements

The material below is contained in Social Psychology Matters, Wendy Holloway, Helen Lucey and Anne Phoenix, published in association with Open University Press, 2007.

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under creative commons licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is m
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3.1 Lived experience

Phenomenologists seek to describe people's lived experience, meanings and consciousness (i.e. the way we perceive, think and feel). They focus on how bodies are experienced at a subjective and intersubjective (relational) level. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), an early existential philosopher, insisted on the primacy of the body, and resisted mind–body dualism, arguing for the unity of mind (or soul) and body:


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5.4 Summary of Section 5

Many familiar themes have re-emerged in this section, together with the recognition that attention is involved in the assembly of remembered material as well as of current perceptions.

  • Attention is associated with the generation of perceptual objects.

  • In addition to being an essential part of external stimulus processing, attention influences remembered experiences.

  • ERP data show that cortical signals derived from una
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5.3 Event-related potentials

When a sense organ (eye, ear, etc.) receives a stimulus, the event eventually causes neurons to ‘fire’ (i.e. produce electrical discharges) in the receiving area of the brain. The information is sent on from these first sites to other brain areas. With appropriate apparatus and techniques it is possible to record the electrical signals, using electrodes attached to the scalp. The electrical potentials recorded are called event-related potentials (ERPs), since they dependably follow
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3.3 Non-target effects

Treisman's feature integration theory has been very influential, but it does not appear to explain all experimental observations, and there have been alternative accounts of the feature-binding process. Duncan and Humphreys (1989) reported effects which do not fit too well within the basic Treisman account. They required participants to search for the letter ‘L’ (the target) within a number of ‘Ts’ (the non-targets). You may get a feel for the relative difficulty of different v
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3.2 Serial and parallel search

Examine the three sections of Figure 5 and in each case try to get a feel for how long it takes you to find the ‘odd one out’. The figure is a monochrome version of the usual form of these stimuli you can see a coloured example in colour Plate 3.

Click 'view document' to open Plate 3: Typical stimuli used in Triesman’s experiments
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3.1 Introduction

The binding of features emerges as being a very significant process when displays are brief, because there is so little time in which to unite them. With normal viewing, such as when you examine the letters and words on this page, it is not obvious to introspection that binding is taking place. However, if, as explained above, it is a necessary precursor to conscious awareness, the process must also occur when we examine long-lived visual displays. Researchers have attempted to demonstrate th
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1.5 Summary of Section 1

The auditory system is able to process sounds in such a way that, although several may be present simultaneously, it is possible to focus upon the message of interest. However, in experiments on auditory attention, there have been contradictory results concerning the fate of the unattended material:

  • The auditory system processes mixed sounds in such a way that it is possible to focus upon a single wanted message.

  • Unattended material a
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • understand different cognitive psychological aproaches used to examine such forms of attention as attention to regions of space, attention to objects and attention for action;

  • summarise the different cognitive psychological approaches undera fairly abstract definition of the term;

  • know how ideas about attention have changed and diversified over the last fifty years and how well they have stood up to ex
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Introduction

For many of us the concept of attention may have rather negative connotations. At school we were told to pay attention, making us all too aware that it was not possible to listen to the teacher while at the same time being lost in more interesting thoughts. Neither does it seem possible to listen effectively to two different things at the same time. How many parents with young children would love to be able to do that! One could be excused for feeling that evolution has let us down by failing
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References

Aaron, P.G., Wleklinski, M. and Wills, C. (1993) ‘Developmental dyslexia as a cognitive style’, in Joshi, R.M. and Leong, C.K. (eds) Reading Disabilities: Diagnosis and Component Processes, Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Adams, M.J. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.
Anderson, R., Hiebert, E., Scot
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3.2 Behavioural approaches

Behavioural therapies are based on principles of classical conditioning and operant conditioning (the latter being more properly referred to as behaviour modification therapy). Operant conditioning is about the presentation of a reinforcement being dependent (contingent) on the appearance of a given behaviour. Based on this idea, Skinner (1953) suggested that sometimes ‘abnormal’ behaviour is the result of bad contingency management, where inappropriate behaviours have been
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