Cognition: The Thinking Animal, Second Edition

3.58 avg rating
( 36 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780131824478: Cognition: The Thinking Animal, Second Edition

This unique book helps readers understand why cognitive psychologists approach problems as they do. It explains the questions cognitive psychologists ask, gives clear answers, and provides interesting, lively, and comprehensive coverage of controversies in the field. This book is a study of cognition: of how humans think. Topics covered include visual perception, attention, sensory and primary memory, memory encoding, memory retrieval, memory storage, motor control, visual imagery, decision making and deductive reasoning, problem solving, and language. For readers that are interested in understanding the mysteries of cogition, including psychiatrists, psychologists, psychoanalysts, and those in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap:

PREFACE

A long-standing goal of human enquiry is to understand ourselves. How can we characterize the human species? Here are some of the better-known proposals:

Man is by nature a political animal—Aristotle
Man is a noble animal—Sir Thomas Browne
Man is a tool-using animal—Thomas Carlyle
Man is a reasoning animal—Seneca
Man is a social animal—Benedict Spinoza
Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called
upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason—Oscar Wilde

I would propose that all of these proposals are, in a sense, correct, but they are all rooted in another characteristic. We are able to act politically, to use tools effectively, to understand nobility, etc., because of our ability to think. The heart of the matter is that we are thinking animals, and it is thinking that affords these other abilities or, at least, affords our having these abilities in the manner that we do. The book you are reading is a study of cognition—of how humans think.

This book is intended for students taking their first course in cognitive psychology. No background. knowledge in psychology or statistics is presupposed. As is typical of other books designed for such a course, the book is organized around the major subject areas of cognitive psychology, and most of the book can be covered over the course of a semester. Again, as is typical of cognitive psychology textbooks, the coverage begins at what may be loosely thought of as lower-level processes, and proceeds toward higher-level processes.

There are three things I would like you to know about this book: what I have done regarding it's readability, what I have done regarding pedagogy, and how I have handled the inclusion of material from cognitive neuroscience. READABILITY

I have friends throughout the country who teach introductory cognitive psychology at their college or university. None of them ever says something like, "My students are crowding office hours, calling me at home, and filling my email in-box demanding to know more, more, more cognitive psychology! They love it like a mouse loves cheese!" The comments of my friends usually run more along the lines of, "They hate the subject matter, hate the course, hate the book, hate me."

Why? I don't know, but it has been the guiding force in my writing this book. My goal is to have a class full of students who have done the assigned reading, and who are excited by cognitive psychology. The way to do that, I think, is to communicate what makes cognitive psychology interesting. To be honest, I've never cared much for the way that other textbooks have sought to keep students interested. The usual strategy is to include lots of "real world" examples and lots of demonstrations, usually found in little boxes that appear every few pages. This strategy seems to confirm the reader's growing suspicion that they are bored by sending the implicit message, "Yes, yes, I know this stuff is boring, but hang in there, and every few pages I'll toss in one of those boxes with a demonstration or real-world application to keep you going."

I've done three things in this book to try to arouse the reader's interest in the material:

I have tried to be careful about making the questions that motivate cognitive psychologists explicit. I think the questions we ask are of interest to a lot of people, but we don't always do the best job of explaining the questions in any detail. We plunge right into the answers, and the answers seem arcane and removed from anything anyone would care about. Each chapter in this book is organized around two or three straightforward questions that are easy to appreciate, and the importance of which are explained in detail. To the extent possible, I have used a narrative structure. By that I mean that there are causal links within and across chapter sections, so that it makes it more clear why you are reading something. Nothing is more boring than a list of unconnected facts. I have tried to write in a non-stilted, not-especially-academic style.

Despite the light tone, this book is not light in content. As you can see by flipping through any given chapter, I cover the major topics in each sub-area of the field. (An easy way to check the coverage is by examining the "key terms" section at the end of each chapter.) Included in the coverage of almost all of these topics are significant details from landmark experiments, including the methodology, graphs of results, and so on. Again, a lighter tone should not be interpreted as indicating lighter coverage. PEDAGOGY

Readability is fine, but the goal of a textbook is, after all, that students learn the material. Different students like and use different pedagogical features, so I've included a few different ones to help them learn.

Brief previews of each section pose the broad questions and provide the broad answers contained in the section. Key terms are identified by bold-face type, and are defined immediately thereafter. They are also collected in a glossary. Each section closes with a series of questions. The Stand-on-one-foot summary questions simply ask the student to summarize what they have learned in the section they have just read. I call them stand-on-one-foot-summaries after the talmudic story of the heretic who went to great sages, asking each to summarize all of the Torah in the time that he could stand on one-foot. (He finally found a willing sage in Hillel who quoted from Leviticus, "What is hateful to you, do not to others.") Thus, the idea is simply to get the reader to pause for a moment and make sure they understood the major points by summarizing what they have just read. The end of each section also includes questions that require considerably more thought; the student will need to apply what he or she has just learned to new situations, or to go beyond the material in some way. I call these Questions that require two feet. Answers to all questions are provided at the close of each chapter. There is a companion web site prenhall/willingham to accompany the text, authored by Robert Bramucci of the California State University, Fullerton. The web site includes an online study guide for students (lots of self-test questions in different formats), a recap and summary of each chapter, links to relevant sites on the internet, and more.

Another feature of this book that I think students and professors will find useful is the Appendix. This book assumes r1o background knowledge on the part of the student, but an appreciation of the work in cognitive psychology often requires knowledge of statistical or methodological concepts. The Appendix contains background information and explanations of several concepts (e.g., statistical significance) that may be familiar to a student who has taken other psychology courses, but that a beginning student may not know. In order to maintain the flow of the book, these explanations are collected in the Appendix.

THE BRAIN

There is no doubt that the influence of neuroscience on cognitive psychology is substantial, and it is increasing. This trend poses a problem for the writers of textbooks, and the teachers of cognitive psychology courses. Cognitive neuroscience can easily fill a semester-long course, and indeed, there are stand-alone texts on the subject. Further, discussion of this work presupposes some background in neuroscience. How, then, to fairly represent the impact of cognitive neuroscience on cognitive psychology without making the course twice as long, and without setting another prerequisite for the students?

I have tried to represent the state of the field, including key findings from cognitive neuroscience, and at the same time to give the instructor some flexibility. The chapters of this book make reference to key neuroscientific studies where appropriate; there are certain findings that have had such an impact on cognitive psychology that they simply must be part of any course. I have tried to describe these findings in a way that assumes no background on the part of the student.

For the instructor who prefers a greater emphasis on cognitive neuroscience, I have included additional materials. The "Brain Interlude" that follows Chapter 1 introduces the student to the rationale behind cognitive neuroscientific studies, the methods they use, and a brief introduction to brain anatomy. Throughout the rest of the book, key studies from cognitive neuroscience are discussed in boxes set off from the main text. These experiments were selected with an eye towards exposing students to a variety of methods and some of the key issues in cognitive neuroscience. Those instructors who place less emphasis on cognitive neuroscientific approaches can, of course, instruct students to simply skip over this material.

I hope that I have written a textbook that will make students enthusiastic about this field, and will make them want to know more than they can find in this book. Hillel's answer to the impatient heretic is not always quoted in full; after providing the summa

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

A long-standing goal of human enquiry is to understand ourselves. How can we characterize the human species? Here are some well-known definitions of "man."

Man is by nature a political animal.—Aristotle
Man is a noble animal.—Sir Thomas Browne
Man is a tool-using animal.—Thomas Carlyle
Man is a reasoning animal.—Seneca
Man is a social animal.—Benedict Spinoza
Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.—Oscar Wilde

All these proposals are, in a sense, correct, but are all rooted in another characteristic. We are able to act politically, use tools effectively, understand nobility, and so on because of our ability to think. The book you are reading is a study of cognition—of how humans think.

READABILITY

Cognitive psychology does not seem to have the intrinsic interest of some other areas of the field. Textbook authors are aware of this problem, but to be honest, I've never cared much for their remedies. The usual strategy is to include "real world" examples and demonstrations, usually found in little boxes that appear every few pages. This strategy seems to confirm. the reader's growing suspicion that they are bored by sending the implicit message. "Yes, yes, I know this stuff is boring, but hang in there, and every few pages I'll toss in one of those boxes with a demonstration or real-world application to keep you going."

I've done three things in this book to try to arouse readers' interest in the material.

  • I have explicitly stated the questions that motivate cognitive psychologists. These questions we ask are of general interest, but psychologists don't always do the best job of explaining the questions in any detail. We plunge right into the answers, which seem arcane. Each chapter in this book is organized around two or three straightforward questions that are easy to appreciate and explained in detail.
  • To the extent possible, I have used a narrative structure. By that I mean that there are causal links within and across chapter sections, so that it is clear why you are reading something. Nothing is more boring than a list of unconnected facts.
  • I have tried to write in a non-stilted, not-especially-academic style.

Despite the light tone, this book is not light in content. An easy way to check the coverage is by examining the key terms section at the end of each chapter.

PEDAGOGY

Readability is fine, but the goal of a textbook is, after all, that students learn the material. Different students like and use different pedagogical features, so I've included a few different ones to help them learn.

  • A brief preview poses the broad questions and provides the broad answers covered in each section.
  • Key terms are identified by boldface type and are defined immediately thereafter. They are also collected in a glossary.
  • Each section closes with a series of questions. The "stand-on-one-foot" summary questions ask students to summarize what they learned in the section they just read. The name comes from the Talmudic story of the heretic who went to great sages, asking each to summarize all of the Torah during the time he could stand on one foot. (He finally found a willing sage in Hillel, who quoted from Leviticus: "What is hateful to you, do not to others.") The idea is simply to get readers to pause for a moment and make sure they understood the major points.
  • The end of each section also includes questions that require considerably more thought; the student will need to apply what he or she has just learned to new situations, or go beyond the material in some way. I call these "questions that require two feet." Answers to all questions are provided at the back of the book.

I've also included an appendix containing background information and explanations of several concepts, such as statistical significance, that will be familiar to students who have taken other psychology courses but that beginning students may not know.

THE BRAIN

The influence of neuroscience on cognitive psychology is substantial and increasing. This trend poses two problems for teachers of cognitive psychology courses: how much of this material to include (given that it could support a semester-long course) and how to deal with the fact that understanding cognitive neuroscience requires some background knowledge of the brain.

With regard to background, there is a section of the book titled "Interlude: The Brain" after chapter 1. Other cognitive textbooks include some description of neuroscience, but I handle this topic a bit differently. I don't think it's optimal to try to present the basics of neuroscience in a dozen pages. The truth is that much of the basic material (such as the workings of an action potential) is not needed for beginning cognitive neuroscience. Instead, I focus on three points: (1) Why do cognitive psychologists want to learn about the brain? /2) How do they gather information about the brain? (3) What are the brain structures that cognitive neuroscientists frequently refer to?

How much cognitive neuroscience should be in a cognitive psychology textbook? My goal is to give the instructor some flexibility. Certain findings have had such an impact on cognitive psychology that they simply must be part of any course. I have tried to describe these findings in a way that assumes no background on the part of the student. For the instructor who prefers a greater emphasis on cognitive neuroscience, I have included additional materials. Besides the "Interlude," key studies from cognitive neuroscience are discussed in supplemental boxes set off from the main text. Those instructors who place less emphasis on cognitive neuroscientific approaches can, of course, instruct students to simply skip over this material.

I hope that I have written a textbook that will make students enthusiastic about this field and will make them want to know more than they can find in this book. Hillel's answer to the impatient heretic is not always quoted in full; after providing the summary of the Torah, Hillel added, "Now go and study," acknowledging that a one-sentence summary was bound to be lacking and that the heretic should learn more. I have not succeeded in summarizing cognitive psychology in a sentence, but I hope that this book will serve as a starting point for students who will then want to learn more about the field.

Supplement Program

Web sitewww.prenhall.com/willingham

Prepared by Glenn E. Meyer, Trinity University includes an online study guide for students, chapter objectives, web links, flashcards of key terms, and much more!

PowerPoint slides

Prepared by Glenn E. Meyer, Trinity University includes selected art from the text available in a chapter-by-chapter lecture format. These slides can be accessed on the text web site: www.prenhall.com/willingham and can be customized to fit your lecture style.

Instructor's Manual with Tests

includes chapter outlines, suggestions for demonstrations, classroom activities, research and discussion questions, and more. The testing portion of the manual has approximately 65 questions per chapter.

TestGen Software

Prepared by John Philbeck, George Washington University Computerized version of the test questions, which operates on both PC and MAC systems, includes 65 questions per chapter.

Research Navigator

Is there a writing requirement to your course? Prentice Hall's new Research Navigator helps students conduct online research. Research Navigator provides students with extensive help on the research process and gives the students access to three exclusive databases full of relevant and reliable source material including EBSCO's ContentSelect Academic Journal Database, The New York Times Search by Subject Archive, and the Best of the Link Library. FREE when packaged with any Prentice Hall text. Contact your local Prentice Hall sales representative for more details or take a tour at www.researchnavigator.com.

WHAT'S NEW IN THE SECOND EDITION?

Needless to say, all chapters have been updated as appropriate. I have tracked all of the relevant journals to be sure the book is as up to date as possible. In some cases, new material represents true breakthroughs that have been made in the last few years; in other cases, the new material supports the central points of the story told in the last edition. Likewise, there have been numerous small changes that I hope will make things clearer to the student; I've expanded important points that seemed unclear, changed examples, and dropped a few discussions that seemed more distracting than enlightening. Still other changes are more revolutionary than evolutionary.

  • A new chapter on motor control discusses perception, attention, memory, problem solving, and other aspects of cognition that have an impact on the world only if the perceiver or attender makes some motor movement. Despite the centrality of motor control to mental life, most cognitive psychology textbooks don't cover the topic. This new chapter will make it easier for instructors to include this topic in their courses.
  • The brief introduction to brain anatomy in the "Interlude" is handled differently than it was in the first edition. Many books, including my first edition, begin with a high-level description of brain anatomy. But for a course in cognitive psychology, most of this material needs to be understood at only the most basic level. At the same time, continued and repeated reference is made to particular cortical areas, with the mad-tea-party approach to nomenclature that marks that field. Thus in this edition I pass over most of ...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 121.40
US$ 41.30

Convert Currency

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Willingham, Daniel T.
Published by Prentice Hall (2003)
ISBN 10: 0131824473 ISBN 13: 9780131824478
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Prentice Hall, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110131824473

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 41.30
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Willingham, Daniel T.
Published by Prentice Hall
ISBN 10: 0131824473 ISBN 13: 9780131824478
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Prentice Hall. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0131824473 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0048774

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 59.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Daniel T. Willingham
Published by Prentice Hall (2003)
ISBN 10: 0131824473 ISBN 13: 9780131824478
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Prentice Hall, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 2. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0131824473

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 79.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Daniel T. Willingham
Published by Prentice Hall (2003)
ISBN 10: 0131824473 ISBN 13: 9780131824478
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Prentice Hall, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0131824473

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 89.73
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Daniel T. Willingham
Published by Prentice Hall PTR
ISBN 10: 0131824473 ISBN 13: 9780131824478
New Soft cover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Supernew USA
(Bangkok, ., Thailand)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Prentice Hall PTR. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. New, US Edition, 2nd Edition . Delivery time is 3-5 business days via either UPS, FedEx, DHL. Premium quality books. Bookseller Inventory # 0131824473

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 130.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 10.00
From Thailand to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Daniel B. Willingham
ISBN 10: 0131824473 ISBN 13: 9780131824478
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801318244781.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 158.25
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds