Such a concept as cognition can be viewed as the ability of a person to process the information about the external environment (Reed, 2007). The understanding of cognition is important for explaining the behavior of individual and groups. This is why issue attracts so much attention of psychologists. This paper is aimed at discussing three types of cognitive processes; in particular one should focus on attention, learning, and pattern recognition. Moreover, it is important to evaluate various studies that are supposed to examine these processes. Special attention should be paid to the methods used by the scholars.
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First, it should be noted that attention can be understood as the concentration of mental activities on a certain object, phenomenon, idea, or task. This cognitive process means that a person takes a conscious effort to control his/her mental activities (Reed, 2007). The main purpose of attention is to allocate mental capabilities of a human being in the most optimal way. It is possible to look at the empirical research carried out by Robert Savage et al (2006). Its main objective is to examine the relationship between attention and working memory (Savage et al, 2006, p. 379). In particular, the researched want to determine whether deficits in working memory can affect the ability of a person to cope attention tasks (Savage et al, 2006, p. 365). This study is based on the use of experiment that was attended by 1,811 children aged between 6 and 11. They had to do different exercises that were related to attention and working memory. In this way, scholars attempted to determine whether there are any predictors of attention problems. This study involved the use of different measurement of a person’s working memory and attention. On the whole, it is possible to say that the methodology selected by the authors enabled them to answer their research questions. Moreover, their findings should be considered by educators who work with children whose age ranges between 6 and 11.
Another cognitive process that should be examined is learning. It is oriented toward the acquisition of knowledge and skills. One can say that learning strongly depends on the ability of a person to process information. This concept has been examined in different academic studies. For example, one can refer the research conducted by Riedel and Barton (2006). This research is supposed to determine whether motor responses are necessary for learning auditory sequences (Riedel & Barton, 2006, p. 337). To a great extent, this study is based on the idea that people may have different learning styles. The researchers focus on sequence learning. The scholars rely on such a method as experiment and the subjects were asked to memorize an auditory sequence. One of the groups was asked to memorize these sequences only by listening alone. Other subjects were asked to respond to the auditory stimuli by pressing a button (Riedel & Barton, 2006, p. 337). The results of the study indicate that auditory sequences can be better learned when a motor response is involved (Riedel & Barton, 2006, p. 337). The methodology selected by the authors can indeed throw light on the learning strategies that people use. It shows what kind of factors affect their ability of subjects to process various stimuli. The results are relevant to teachers because these professionals work with students who have different learning styles.
Finally, it is important to look such a cognitive process as pattern recognition which is also important for the analysis of information. The main goal of pattern recognition is to identify patterns or regularities on the basis of which one can draw conclusions about a certain phenomenon (Baron & Ensley, 2006). This cognitive process is important for scientific discovery, decision-making, and problem-solving. One can look at the study by Robert Baron and Michael Ensley (2006) who examine the importance of pattern recognition for entrepreneurs. The methodology involved a semi-structured interview during which researchers discussed the ability of a person to recognize new opportunities for business development (Baron & Ensley, 2006, p. 1336). The sample of this study was divided into two groups, namely experienced and novice entrepreneurs. The study suggests that experienced leaders can better identify and predict market trends, customers’ demand, completion or business risks (Baron & Ensley, 2006, p. 1337). Nevertheless, the authors of this study acknowledge the limitation of the study. In particular, the answers of interviewees were retrospective. When looking at the events and decisions from a retrospective position, a person is more likely to identify patterns or regularities. Nevertheless, this study should not be disregarded because it shows the connections between business decisions and cognitive processes.
This discussion of these articles shows that cognitive processes are of great interest to psychologists and educators. Moreover, researchers, who study organizational behavior, are also interested in different aspects of cognition. The questions examined by different authors will continue to attract the attention of psychologists. Attention, learning, and pattern recognition are important for academic performance, business activities, and interpersonal relations.
Baron. R., & Ensley, M. (2006). Opportunity Recognition as the Detection of Meaningful Patterns: Evidence from Comparisons of Novice and Experienced Entrepreneurs. Management Science, 52 (9), 1331-1344.
Reed, S. (2007). Cognition: Theory And Applications. New York: Cengage Learning.
Riedel, B., & Burton, A. M. (2006). Auditory sequence learning: Differential sensitivity to task relevant and task irrelevant sequences. Psychological Research, 70(5), 337-344.
Savage, R., Cornish, K., Manly, T., & Hollis, C. (2006). Cognitive processes in children’s reading and attention: the role of working memory, divided attention, and response inhibition. British Journal Of Psychology (London, England: 1953), 97(Pt 3), 365-385.