User:Todd P. Shuba
Homework - Week 2
In order to theorize how the mind works, I am of the belief that you actually have to explain how individuals learn. In order to learn, every individual must actively participate in his or her own learning by connecting information he or she receives from a particular experience and, in turn, reflecting on it. In doing so, each individual builds meaning or constructs understanding of a certain concept. Individuals then turn to those concepts when they encounter new experiences. They may use the concepts to help give meaning to the new experiences or use the new experiences to redefine the concepts. If the new experiences conflict too much with the meaning or understanding of the concepts, they may also simply dismiss the new experiences out of hand.
Put another way, individuals interact with the physical environment through their own experiences. Through these interactions, they construct schema to help them understand the world around them. Over time, they continue to build more and often larger schema and make connections between them. They then interact with each other, sharing their individual schema. As a result, one of three outcomes is possible. First, an individual fully accepts the schema of another individual and replaces his or her own with it. Second, an individual partially accepts the schema of another individual and modifies his or her own with it. Third, an individual rejects the schema of another individual and retains his or her own.
To clarify, the process associated with replacing, modifying, or retaining schema is not a binary one. Explained, an individual does not simply intake something novel and instantaneously output a decision to fully accept, partially accept, or reject it. Such a process lacks the iterative nature associated with the process of learning. True learning occurs in the space between input and output. When exposed to something for the first time, the mind performs any number of activities with respect to the new thing in order to make sense of it. These activities may include, but are not limited to, clarifying and questioning what an individual just saw. Once the individual is satisfied or all possible activities have been exhausted, the mind renders a decision on the novel concept. It is important to note that this decision is not a “snap” judgment. While the process may occur very quickly, it is still robust and mentally laborious.
Taking into consideration all of the above, the mind processes information by utilizing schema. In other words, schema are used in both the encoding of information into long-term memory and the retrieval of information from long-term memory. To encode new pieces of information into long-term memory, individuals first connect those pieces of information to form schema. They then make connections between those schema and schema already encoded into long-term memory. To retrieve information from long-term memory, individuals rely again on schema. Since schema serve as mental representations and associations of information, individuals take advantage of them as memory cues to aid them in recalling past knowledge.
Homework - Week 5
For purposes of context, the person tested holds a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Additionally, the person explained that he internally rehearsed the numbers, letters, and words until he had to externally recite them (i.e., the articulatory loop [Anderson, 2005, p. 153]).
1. 8 7 0 3 1 4 (6/6)
2. 7 1 5 0 5 4 3 6 (8/8)
3. 2 1 6 6 8 7 2 5 4 5 (10/10)
4. 6 8 1 4 3 7 9 5 2 4 7 0 (10/12)
5. 2 8 4 3 9 3 4 8 2 5 5 1 (12/12)
The person successfully recalled four of the first five items on the list. On the fourth item, the person flipped the tenth number and the eleventh number (i.e., 4 & 7). It would be interesting to see if the person would do the same thing on the fifth item if the tenth number and the eleventh number (i.e., 5 & 5) were unique (e.g., 5 & 6). Moreover, it is of interest that the person successfully recalled the second, third, and fifth items even though Anderson (2005) argues that short-term memory span is about seven elements only (p. 150).
6. T S Y L Q P (6/6)
7. C I M W O D X A (6/8)
8. Q W E R T Y U I P (9/9)
9. K W U C R A L N Y W G S J (9/13)
10. L A B O N N E M A I S O N (9/13)
The person successfully recalled two of the next five items on the list. The item of note here is the eighth one. Although the eighth item had one more letter than the seventh item, the person successfully recalled the former but not the latter. A possible explanation for this is that the person was able to focus all of his attention on the last three letters because the first six letters spelled out “QWERTY”. Moreover, the person's performance on those five items seems to lend support to Anderson's argument that short-term memory span is about seven elements only.
11. LEAF GIFT CAR FISH ROCK (5/5)
12. PAPER SEAT TIRE HORSE FILM BEACH TREE BRUSH (5/8)
13. BAG KEY BOOK WIRE BOX WHEEL BANANA FLOOR BAR PAD BLACK RADIO BOY (7/13)
14. LOVE EMOTION PLAN ATTEMP RULE LAW ANALYSIS SYSTEM FINE PAYMENT (9/10)
15. WHILE I WAS WALKING THROUGH THE WOODS A RABBIT RAN ACROSS MY PATH (13/13)
The person successfully recalled two of the final five items on the list. As is to be expected, the person could recall items that were either shorter or contextualized.
In regards to the class project, I am not married to any one particular area of content. However, I am interested in exploring hypertext versus linear text (or something along those lines.) I would expect to see two main differences between groups that study with the hypertext and groups that study with the linear text. First, assuming that the groups are composed of individuals from the current generation, I would expect to see greater engagement from the groups that study with the hypertext than the groups that study with the linear text because of the technological adaptation of the written material. Second, I would expect to see greater identification of cross-cutting themes from the groups that study with the hypertext than the groups that study with the linear text because the hypertext allows for relatively seamless navigation between topics.
Homework - Week 6
For purposes of context, the person tested holds a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering.
The list: Paper, Seat, Tire, Love, Beach, Analysis, conjunction, brush, chairman, accurate, woods, green, hunger, gift, keyboard, number, bottle, jogging, wheel, system
Immediate Recall: Paper, Seat, Tire, Love, woods, green, jogging, wheel, system
The person correctly recalled NINE items on the list. Primacy and recency probably explain the data with the exceptions of “woods” and “green”, which will be explained later. In other words, “Paper”, “Seat”, “Tire”, and “Love” were the first four items on the list, and “jogging”, “wheel”, and “system” were the last three items on the list.
Delayed Recall: Tire, woods, green, wheel
The person correctly recalled FOUR items on the list. Motivation (or lack thereof) probably best explains the data. While the person knew that his job was to remember as many words as he could, he also knew that there were no consequences linked to his performance. Thus, rehearsal was not taken seriously and was, at best, minimal, and, therefore, the words were barely committed to memory. Furthermore, the person stated that he remembered the words “Tire” and “wheel” by pairing them based on their association with a car. The person also admitted that he remembered the words “woods” and “green” through an association with golf (i.e., Tiger “woods” and putting “green”).
As a special comment, the experiment appears to be fundamentally flawed. The intended purpose is to test both encoding and retrieval with respect to long-term memory. However, I argue that it actually tests the idea of a human being unintentionally or automatically encoding information into long-term memory. Recall that Kellogg (2003) states “encoding processes do not function well at all when attention is not allocated to them” (p. 166). Accordingly, if a person does not perceive a future need for a given set of information, why would he or she divert his or her attention to encoding that information? Returning to the experiment, why would a subject even consider encoding the list of words without the knowledge of another recall test delayed until sometime in the near future?
Homework - Week 7
Two different methods of analysis could be performed on recall of the story, “War of the Ghosts”. The first method of analysis could be performed from week to week (i.e., analyzing both the similarities and the differences between weeks). Performing such an analysis on my transcripts would not be worthwhile because every recall is essentially identical, with differences existing between grammatical structure and not information. The second method of analysis could be performed by comparing and contrasting the story in its original form and the story as it was recalled. That analysis follows.
My transcripts indicate that I was unable to recall all of the information presented in “War of the Ghosts”. However, the information that I was able to recall is consistent with the information presented in “War of the Ghosts”. In other words, I did not “recall” information that is not in “War of the Ghosts”.
I would argue that an insignificant amount of information was encoded in and retrieved from episodic memory. However, an interesting question to investigate in the future is whether any environmental context significantly effected encoding and/or retrieval of information (Kellogg, 2003, p. 169). Two environmental contexts of interest are  encoding from paper versus retrieving on computer and  retrieving on computer only. Godden and Baddeley (1975) appears to support the notion that both of those environmental contexts played some role in encoding and retrieving information.
Conversely, I would argue that a significant amount of information was encoded in and retrieved from semantic memory since there was better memory for facts than events. Moreover, there was better memory for what I will classify as “episodic information based facts” than what I will classify as “semantic information based facts”. Explained, “episodic information based facts” are knowledge of human action, whereas “semantic information based facts” are knowledge of inanimate objects. To illustrate, consider the following from “War of the Ghosts”: [a] two young men escaped to the shore, [b] one of the young men went up the river to make war, [c] the other young man returned home, [d] the young man did not feel sick, [e] the young man had been shot, [f] something black came out of the young man’s mouth, and [g] the young man was dead. I was able to recall all of the above information because I could place myself in the shoes of the young man. I was unable to recall that the river became foggy and calm though because the information is merely an observation of weather conditions.
Homework - Week 8
For purposes of context, the person tested is an elementary school student.
Upon analysis of the concept map, two major conclusions can be deduced about the subject’s knowledge on the task.
First, the subject’s object concepts with respect to fruits and vegetables are organized hierarchically up to the second level ONLY. Recall that object concepts are organized hierarchically from superordinate to basic and from basic to subordinate. Kellogg (2003) gives the example of a tool (i.e., superordinate), a hammer (i.e., basic), and a claw hammer (i.e., subordinate) (p. 206). With respect to the concept map, the subject has both superordinate and basic knowledge BUT NOT subordinate knowledge. Explained, the subject can recognize superordinate concepts including, but not limited to, fruits and vegetables and subsequently can generate basic concepts such as types of fruit and vegetable. However, the subject does not generate descriptions beyond that. This seems to be consistent with the notion that children operate on much lower levels of thinking than adults.
Second, recall that Kellogg (2003) notes that object concepts have “fuzzy boundaries” (p. 210). With respect to the concept map, the subject appears to be struggling with the notion of “fuzzy boundaries.” Given the concepts of fruits and vegetables, the subject automatically operates under the notion that the two concepts are mutually exclusive and, thus, draws no connection(s) between them. Furthermore, the subject draws no connection(s) between the types of fruit beyond that they are all fruit. The same is true for the types of vegetable.