Assignment: Cognitive Processing
Assignment: Cognitive Processing
Assignment: Cognitive Processing
Having a great deal of knowledge and experience in a given area has all kinds of benefits for cognitive processing. Compared to a beginner, a veteran has familiar concepts and ready-made strategies to apply to a problem (Siegler, 2005). Given that the terrain is familiar, the expert expends less cognitive energy and is free to apply mental workspace to high-order activities such as metacognition (Flavell et al., 2002). Consider for a moment how a 6-year-old might respond to a cigarette advertisement in a magazine compared with how a 16-year-old would process the same message. The 6-year-old presumably has never smoked, has little knowledge of how the lungs work, is unaware of the legal battles being waged against the tobacco industry, is not cognizant of who paid for the placement of the ad in the magazine, and has little experience with the cost of various products in a grocery store. The teenager certainly has less experience than an adult would have in this domain, but compared with the grade schooler, the adolescent brings a much broader knowledge base from which to draw in interpreting and evaluating such an ad.
Increase in Processing Capacity. Regardless of age or level of development, all humans experience limits in the capacity of their working memory (Fougnie & Marois, 2006). In other words, certain situations and tasks are so demanding that they exceed a person’s available cognitive resources. One way this has been demonstrated is through reaction time studies that show that people perform slowly or poorly on secondary tasks when their mental energies are consumed by a primary task (Kail, 1991; Lang, 2000).
Developmental research demonstrates that as children mature, they are able to hold increasing amounts of information in working memory (Cowan,
Nugent, Elliott, Ponomarev, & Saults, 1999; Gathercole, 1998). For example, a 5-year-old is typically able to deal with only four or five bits of information at once (e.g., digits, letters), whereas the average adult can handle seven (Dempster, 1981). There are differing theoretical accounts for this increased processing capacity. Some have argued that the structure or size of one’s memory space actually increases with development (Cowan et al., 1999). Others have argued that the size remains fixed, but the functional use or efficiency of the space increases (Kail, 1993). As certain tasks become familiar, they are easily categorized into preexisting schemas. This categorization and routinization mean that fewer demands are placed on the cognitive system, and hence space is freed up for other cognitive processing.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
- The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CLASS
Discussion Questions (DQ)
- Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
- Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
- One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
- I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
- Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
- In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
- Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
- Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
- Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
- Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
- I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
- I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
- As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
- It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
- For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
- Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
- Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
- Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
- The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
- Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
- If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
- I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
- As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
- Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
- Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
- Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.