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For undergraduate level courses in Cognition and Theories of Learning.
The psychology of human memory and cognition is fascinating, dealing with questions and ideas that are inherently interesting, such as how we think, reason, remember, and use language. Using a first person narrative, posing direct questions to the reader, and balancing classic research with cutting edge topics, the author draws in the reader and conveys the excitement of the field.
Reflecting the increasing use of new technologies to study memory and cognition, Ashcraft and the new co-author, Gabriel Radvansky, continue to integrate sections on neurosciences within individual chapter topics.
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To the Student
The psychology of human memory and cognition is fascinating, dealing with questions and ideas that are inherently interesting; how we think, reason, remember, and use language, to name just a few. When cognitive psychologists talk research at conventions, they are agitated, intense, and full of energy. In contrast to this enthusiasm, however, undergraduate texts often portray the field as dull, too concerned with the minutiae of experimental method and technical jargon and not concerned enough with the interesting issues.
Without slighting the empirical foundation of the field, I have tried to capture some of the excitement of the area. All professors want their students to understand the material, of course, but I also want you to appreciate cognitive psychology as one of the most interesting and memorable topics of your student career. Several features of the book are designed to accomplish this.
To the Instructor
Like the first two editions, this edition is directed primarily toward undergraduates at the junior and senior level, who are probably taking their first basic course in memory and cognition. It has also been used successfully in introductory graduate surveys, especially when first-year students need a more thorough background in memory and cognition.
There is much continuity between the second edition of Human Memory and Cognition and this edition, now titled simply Cognition: The foundation areas in cognition are still covered thoroughly, as you'll see in the Table of Contents. But this revision has several new features that you'll want to note.
I hope that the balance between classic research and current topics, the style I have adopted, and the standard organization I have used will make the text easy to teach from and easy for students to read and remember. More important, I hope that you will find my portrayal of the field of cognitive psychology useful. As always, I am delighted to receive the comments and suggestions of those who use this book, instructors and students alike. Write in care of the Psychology Department, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The list of students, colleagues, and publishing professionals who have helped shape this project continues to grow. For editorial support and assistance, I thank Jane Sudbrink, Denise Workman, Rebecca Strehlow, Jean Dal Porto, Catherine Woods, Marcus Boggs, Heide Chavez, Eric Stano, and Jayme Heffler. Professional colleagues who have assisted across the years include R. Reed Hunt, John Jonides, Michael Masson, James S. Nairne, Marjorie Reed, Gregory B. Simpson, Richard Griggs, Richard Jackson Harris, Donald Homa, Paul Whitney, Tom Carr, Frances Friedrich, Dave Geary, Mike McCloskey, Morton Gernsbacher, Art Graesser, Keith Holyoak, George Kellas, Mark Marschark, and Fred Smith. In addition to many of my undergraduate classes, I'd like to thank a few special students who have helped in a variety of ways, from reading and critiquing to duplicating and checking references: Mike Faust, David Fleck, Elizabeth Kirk, David Copeland, and Don Seyler. I'm very grateful to all.
Mark H. Ashcraft
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