Cognition, Sixth Edition
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Margaret W. Matlin received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She currently holds the title of Distinguished Teaching Professor of Psychology at SUNY Geneseo, where she has taught the course in cognitive psychology for 20 years.

Dr. Matlin is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the Canadian Psychological Association. She received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1977, the American Psychological Association’s Teaching of Psychology Award for four-year institutions in 1985, the American Psychological Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching in Psychology Award in 1995, and the Society for the Psychology of Women’s Heritage Award for outstanding lifetime contributions to the teaching of the psychology of women in 2001.


CHAPTER1. An Introduction to Cognitive Psychology.


A Brief History of Cognitive Psychology.

The Origins of Cognitive Psychology.

Wilhelm Wundt.

Early Memory Researchers.

William James.


The Gestalt Approach.

Frederick C. Bartlett.

The Emergence of Modern Cognitive Psychology.

Factors Contributing to the Rise of Cognitive Psychology.

The Information-Processing Approach.

Current Issues in Cognitive Psychology.

Cognitive Neuroscience.

Brain Lesions.

Positron Emission Tomography.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Event-Related Potential.

Single-Cell Recording Technique.

Artificial Intelligence.

The Computer Metaphor.

Pure AI.

Computer Simulation.

The Parallel Distributed Processing Approach.

The Development of the PDP Approach.

Basic Characteristics of the PDP Approach.

Reactions to the PDP Approach.

Cognitive Science.

An Overview of Your Textbook.

Preview of the Chapters.

Themes in the Book.

How to Use Your Book.

Chapter Outline.

Chapter Preview.

Opening Paragraph.


New Terms.

“In Depth” Features.

Section Summaries.

End-of-Chapter Review.

Recommended Readings.


Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER2. Perceptual Processes I: Visual and Auditory Recognition.


Background on Visual Object Recognition.

The Visual System.

Organization in Visual Perception.

Theories of Visual Object Recognition.

Template-Matching Theory.

Feature-Analysis Theory.

The Recognition-by-Components Theory.

Top-Down Processing and Visual Object Recognition.

The Distinction Between Bottom-Up Processing and Top-Down Processing.

Top-Down Processing and Reading.

Overactive Top-Down Processing and Occasional Errors in Word Recognition.

Overactive Top-Down Processing and Occasional Errors in Object Recognition.

Face Perception.

Recognizing Faces Versus Recognizing Other Objects.

Neuroscience Research on Face Recognition.

In Depth: Applied Research on Face Recognition.

Speech Perception.

Characteristics of Speech Perception.

Variability in Phoneme Pronunciation.

Context and Speech Perception.

Word Boundaries.

Visual Cues as an Aid to Speech Perception.

Theories of Speech Perception.

The Special Mechanism Approach.

The General Mechanism Approaches.

Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER3. Perceptual Processes II: Attention and Consciousness.


Three Kinds of Attention Processes.

Divided Attention.

Research on Divided Attention.

Divided Attention and Practice.

In Depth: Selective Attention.

Dichotic Listening.

The Stroop Effect.

Other Visual Selective-Attention Effects.

Saccadic Eye Movements.

Explanations for Attention.

Neuroscience Research on Attention.

The Posterior Attention Network.

The Anterior Attention Network.

Using the Event-Related Potential Technique to Explore Attention.

Theories of Attention.

Early Theories of Attention.

Automatic Versus Controlled Processing.

Feature-Integration Theory.


Consciousness About Our Higher Mental Processes.

Thought Suppression.


Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER4. Working Memory.


The Classic Research on Working Memory (Short-Term Memory).

George Miller’s “Magical Number Seven”.

Other Early Research on Short-Term-Memory Capacity.

The Brown/Peterson & Peterson Technique.

The Recency Effect.

Atkinson and Shiffrin’s Model.

Other Factors Affecting Working Memory’s Capacity.

Pronunciation Time.

Semantic Similarity of the Items in Working Memory.

The Working-Memory Approach.

Evidence for Components with Independent Capacities.

Phonological Loop.

Other Research on the Phonological Loop.

Other Uses for the Phonological Loop.

Neuroscience Research on the Phonological Loop.

Visuospatial Sketchpad.

Visual Coding in Working Memory.

Other Uses for the Visuospatial Sketchpad.

Neuroscience Research on the Visuospatial Sketchpad.

Central Executive.

Characteristics of the Central Executive.

The Central Executive and Daydreaming.

Neuroscience Research on the Central Executive.

Episodic Buffer.

In Depth: Individual Differences in Working Memory.

Working Memory and Verbal Fluency.

Working Memory and Other Cognitive Skills.

Working Memory and Memory Experts.

Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER5. Long-Term Memory.


Encoding in Long-Term Memory.

Levels of Processing.

Levels of Processing and Memory for Verbal Material.

Levels of Processing and the Self-Reference Effect.

Levels of Processing and Memory for Faces.

The Effects of Context: Encoding Specificity.

Research on Encoding Specificity.

Levels of Processing and Encoding Specificity.

In Depth: Emotions, Mood, and Memory.

Memory for Items Differing in Emotion.

Mood Congruence.

Mood-Dependent Memory.

Retrieval in Long-Term Memory.

Explicit Versus Implicit Memory Tasks.

Definitions and Examples.

Research with Normal Adults.

Individuals with Amnesia.


The Context-Specific Nature of Expertise.

How Do Experts and Novices Differ?

Professional Actors.

Own-Race Bias.

Autobiographical Memory.

Flashbulb Memories.

The Classic Research.

The Recent Research.

Schemas and Autobiographical Memory.

Source Monitoring.

Eyewitness Testimony.

The Misinformation Effect.

Factors Affecting the Accuracy of Eyewitness Testimony.

The Recovered Memory/False Memory Controversy.

Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER6. Memory Strategies and Metacognition.


Memory Strategies.

Suggestions from Previous Chapters: A Review.

Levels of Processing.

Encoding Specificity.


Divided Attention.


Total Time Hypothesis.

Distribution of Practice Effect.

Mnemonics Using Imagery.

The Keyword Method.

The Method of Loci.

Mnemonics Using Organization.


Hierarchy Technique.

First-Letter Technique.

Narrative Technique.

A Comprehensive Approach to Memory Improvement.

Improving Prospective Memory.

Comparing Prospective and Retrospective Memory.

Naturalistic Research on Prospective Memory.


Suggestions for Improving Prospective Memory.


Metamemory and the Prediction of Memory Performance.

Metamemory on an Item-by-Item Basis.

Metamemory on a Total-Score Basis.

Metamemory About Factors Affecting Memory.

In Depth: Metamemory and the Regulation of Study Strategies.

Allocating Time When the Task Is Easy.

Allocating Time When the Task Is Difficult.

Conclusions About the Regulation of Study Strategies.

The Tip-of-the-Tongue Phenomenon.

Brown and McNeill’s Classic Research.

Later Research on the Tip-of-the-Tongue Phenomenon.

Feeling of Knowing.


Metacomprehension Accuracy.

Improving Metacomprehension.

Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER7. Mental Imagery and Cognitive Maps.


The Characteristics of Mental Images.

Imagery and Rotation.

Shepard and Metzler’s Research.

Recent Research on Mental Rotation.

Imagery and Size.

Kosslyn’s Research.

Recent Research on Imagery and Size.

Imagery and Shape.

Imagery and Interference.

Visual Images and Visual Perception.

Motor Movement and Motor Images.

Imagery and Ambiguous Figures.

Imagery and Other Vision-Like Processes.

Revisiting the Imagery Controversy.

The Analog Viewpoint.

The Propositional Viewpoint.

Cognitive Neuroscience Research on Mental Imagery.

Visual Imagery.

Auditory and Motor Imagery.

Cognitive Maps.

Background Information About Cognitive Maps.

Cognitive Maps and Distance.

Number of Intervening Cities.

Semantic Categories.

Landmarks Versus Nonlandmarks as Destinations.

Cognitive Maps and Shape.



Cognitive Maps and Relative Position.

The Rotation Heuristic.

The Alignment Heuristic.

In Depth: Using Verbal Descriptions to Create Cognitive Maps.

Franklin and Tversky’s Research.

The Spatial Framework Model.

Further Research on Mental Models.

Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER8. General Knowledge.


The Structure of Semantic Memory.

Background on Semantic Memory.

The Feature Comparison Model.

Structural Components of the Feature Comparison Model.

Research on the Feature Comparison Model.

Conclusions About the Feature Comparison Model.

The Prototype Approach.

Characteristics of Prototypes.

Levels of Categorization.

Conclusions About the Prototype Approach.

The Exemplar Approach.

A Representative Study on the Exemplar Approach.

Comparing the Exemplar Approach with Other Approaches.

Network Models.

The Collins and Loftus Network Model.

Anderson’s ACT Theory.

The Parallel Distributed Processing Approach.

Schemas and Scripts.

Background on Schemas and Scripts.

Schemas and Memory Selection.

Enhanced Memory for Schema-Consistent Material.

Enhanced Memory for Schema-Inconsistent Material.

The Current Status of Schemas and Memory Selection.

Schemas and Boundary Extension.

Schemas and Memory Abstraction.

The Constructive Approach.

The Pragmatic Approach.

The Current Status of Schemas and Memory Abstraction.

In Depth: Schemas and Inferences in Memory.

The Classic Research on Inferences.

Research on Inferences Based on Gender Stereotypes.

Implications for Persuasion.

Schemas and Integration in Memory.

Integration and Delayed Recall.

Integration and Limited Memory Capacity.

Conclusions About Schemas.

Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER9. Language I: Introduction to Language and Language Comprehension.


The Nature of Language.

A Caution: Psycholinguistics Is English-Centered.

Background on the Structure of Language.

A Brief History of Psycholinguistics.

Chomsky’s Transformational Grammar.

Reactions to Chomsky’s Theory.

Psycholinguistic Theories Emphasizing Meaning.

Factors Affecting Comprehension.


The Passive Voice.

Nested Structures.


In Depth: Neurolinguistics.

Individuals with Aphasia.

Hemispheric Specialization.

Neuroimaging Research with Normal Individuals.

Basic Reading Processes.

Comparing Written and Spoken Language.

Discovering the Meaning of an Unfamiliar Word.

Reading and Working Memory.

The Role of Sound in Word Recognition.

Research on the Dual-Route Hypothesis.

Implications for Teaching Reading to Children.

Understanding Discourse.

Forming a Coherent Representation of the Text.

Inferences in Reading.

The Constructionist View of Inferences.

Factors That Encourage Inferences.

Higher-Level Inferences.

Artificial Intelligence and Reading.

The FRUMP Project.

Subsequent Projects.

Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER10. Language II: Language Production and Bilingualism.



Producing a Word.

Producing a Sentence.

Speech Errors.

Types of Slip-of-the-Tongue Errors.

Producing Discourse 338

The Social Context of Speech.

Common Ground.



A Cognitive Model of Writing.

Planning the Writing Assignment.

Sentence Generation During Writing.

The Revision Phase of Writing.

Writing in Real-World Settings.

Psychologists’ Professional Writing Style.

Writing on the Job.

Writing About Emotional Problems.

Bilingualism and Second-Language Acquisition.

Background on Bilingualism.

Advantages of Bilingualism.

In Depth: Second-Language Proficiency as a Function of Age of Acquisition.




Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER11. Problem Solving and Creativity.


Understanding the Problem.

Paying Attention to Important Information.

Methods of Representing the Problem.




Visual Images.

Situated Cognition: The Importance of Context.

Problem-Solving Strategies.

The Hill-Climbing Heuristic.

The Means-Ends Heuristic.

Research on the Means-Ends Heuristic.

Computer Simulation.

The Analogy Approach.

The Structure of the Analogy Approach.

Factors Encouraging Appropriate Use of Analogies.

Factors That Influence Problem Solving.


Knowledge Base.



Problem-Solving Strategies.

Speed and Accuracy.

Metacognitive Skills.

Mental Set.

Functional Fixedness.

In Depth: Stereotypes and Problem Solving.

The Nature of Stereotype Threat.

Research with Asian-American Females.

Research with European American Women.

Potential Explanations.

Insight Versus Noninsight Problems.

The Nature of Insight.

Metacognition During Problem Solving.



Approaches to Creativity.

Divergent Production.

Investment Theory of Creativity.

Task Motivation and Creativity.

The Relationship Between Intrinsic Motivation and Creativity.

The Relationship Between Extrinsic Motivation and Creativity.

Incubation and Creativity.

Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER12. Deductive Reasoning and Decision Making.


Deductive Reasoning.

An Overview of Conditional Reasoning.

Difficulties with Negative Information.

Difficulties with Abstract Reasoning Problems.

The Belief-Bias Effect.

The Confirmation Bias.

The Standard Wason Selection Task.

Variations on the Wason Selection Task.

Failing to Transfer Knowledge to a New Task.

Decision Making.

The Representativeness Heuristic.

Sample Size and Representativeness.

Base Rate and Representativeness.

The Conjunction Fallacy and Representativeness.

The Availability Heuristic.

Recency and Availability.

Familiarity and Availability.

Illusory Correlation and Availability.

The Simulation Heuristic and Availability.

The Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic.

Research on the Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic.

Applications of the Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic.

Estimating Confidence Intervals.

The Framing Effect.

Background Information and the Framing Effect.

The Wording of a Question and the Framing Effect.

In Depth: Overconfidence in Decisions.

General Studies on Overconfidence.

Overconfidence in Political Decision Making.

Students’ Overconfidence About Completing Projects on Time.

Reasons for Overconfidence.

The Hindsight Bias.

Research About the Hindsight Bias.

Explanations for the Hindsight.

Two Perspectives on Decision Making: The Optimists Versus the Pessimists.

Chapter Review Questions.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.

CHAPTER13. Cognitive Development Throughout the Lifespan.


The Lifespan Development of Memory.

Memory in Infants.

Recognizing Mother.

Conjugate Reinforcement with a Mobile.

Memory in Children.

Children’s Working Memory.

Children’s Long-Term Memory.

Children’s Memory Strategies.

In Depth: Memory in Elderly People.

Working Memory in Elderly People.

Long-Term Memory in Elderly People.

Explanations for Age Differences in Memory.

The Lifespan Development of Metacognition.

Metacognition in Children.

Children’s Metamemory: How Memory Works.

Children’s Metamemory: Realizing the Necessity of Effort.

Children’s Metamemory: Accuracy of Predictions.

Children’s Metamemory: The Relationship Between Metamemory and Memory Performance

Children’s Metacomprehension.

Metacognition in Elderly People.

The Development of Language.

Language in Infants.

Speech Perception in Infancy.

Language Comprehension in Infancy.

Language Production in Infancy.

Adults’ Language to Infants.

Language in Children.





Chapter Review Questions.

One Last Task.

New Terms.

Recommended Readings.




Name Index.

Subject Index.