An Introduction to Applied Cognitive Psychology

An Introduction to Applied Cognitive Psychology

An Introduction to Applied Cognitive Psychology

An Introduction to Applied Cognitive Psychology

Synopsis

An Introduction to Applied Cognitive Psychology offers a student friendly review of recent research in the application of cognitive methods, theories and models to real-world scenarios. The authors approach cognitive psychology by looking at how people use basic cognitive skills in everyday environments. In this way, they explore how people use their knowledge to influence their behaviour in life, and throw light on the inter-relationships between each part of the cognitive system. The central areas of visual perception, attention, memory, language, thinking, decision making and human performance are covered, as in conventional cognitive textbooks, but they are addressed in terms of practical applications to skill training, expertise and skilled behaviour. Whereas experimental psychology often remains in the laboratory, this book will show undergraduates how the implications and methodological insights of theoretical work can be brought into the real world, and vice versa.

Excerpt

We decided to write this book because we could not find any other current titles covering the field of applied cognitive psychology adequately. There are plenty of books about cognitive psychology, but none of them deal specifically with the application of cognitive psychology to real-life settings. This seemed rather odd to us, but it probably reflects the fact that applied cognitive psychology is a relatively new science. Applied cognitive psychology has only really begun to take off as a major research area over the last 20-30 years, and even in recent times the applications of cognitive research have been relatively sparse and sometimes of doubtful value. It is only now beginning to be accepted that cognitive psychologists really do have something useful to say about real-life situations.

We have tried to collect together in this book some of the most important examples of the application of applied cognitive research. There are chapters about improving the effectiveness of your learning and exam revision, improving the accuracy of eyewitnesses, and optimising the performance of individuals working under stress and multiple inputs, such as air-traffic controllers. There are also chapters about the effects of drugs and circadian rhythms on cognitive performance, and on the factors that cause errors in our decision making. These are all areas in which the findings of cognitive psychologists have actually been put to use in the real world. Being a new and developing area, applied cognitive psychology remains somewhat incomplete and fragmented, so inevitably the chapters of this book tend to deal with separate and fairly unrelated topics. One advantage of this fragmentation is that you can read the chapters in any order you like, so you can dip into any chapter that interests you without having to read the others first.

One problem when dealing with a relatively new and developing area of research is that there is still no clear agreement about which topics should be included in a book of this kind. We have tried to pick out what we think are the main areas, but we are well aware that not everyone will feel that our book is comprehensive enough. No doubt there will be several topics that some of you may think should

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