COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY: The Cognitivists; Mind meets Military
The General Problem Solver (GPS) was a theory that developed from the psychologists who sought to seek the explanation of human thinking in cognitive psychology. This attempted to explain the behaviour of how the memory of a human being operates and how he is able to remember things that happened or that he had seen before. The basic features of a General Problem Solver were how it could be able to transform one object into another and also be able to reduce the difference between two objects. General Problem Solver provided a core set of processes that the researchers could take into their advantage and solve a number of several problems that were not the same. The General Problem Solver was in the form of a simulation program which acted as a metaphor for the human behaviour when engaged in a certain task (Hunt, 2007).
Donald O Hebb came up with neuropsychological concepts that have overtime had a great influence on the researches done in the field of neuroscience in the last half century. Hebb formulated the dual trace mechanism on his own. He found a connection between circuits which were also dependant on each other to be active, and stated that these circuits alter permanently the efficacy of the various pathways that have been activated in the brain. His greatest discovery was how the cerebral cortex is capable of associating, dissociating and storing circuit activity in a very fast manner. His discoveries were very relevant in the field of neuroscience and understanding how the brain functions (Hunt, 2007).
In the Story of Psychology, Morton Hunt notes that there are ways that the human mind differs from a computer. He first goes explains about the memory size of the human mind. Every individual is has got a different memory level that cannot be adjusted to fit like that of another human being. This is different for the computers whereby their memory sizes can be adjusted and made similar to another computer. Hunt then goes on to describe how the speed of processing information differs from that of a computer. The computer processes everything with a certain fixed speed but a human mind will operate at a speed relevant to the circumstances that the person is in. Finally, the human memory undergoes decay and is subject to loss of information as the person grows older or sick. This is however not the case with the computer whereby information has got to be deleted or tampered with. Thus the computer cannot be used in comparison when studying the human mind (Hunt, 2007).
There is a theory in the cognitive science that the thoughts that occur in a persons mind work in a way t similar to Parallel-Distributed Processing. This is different to the serial processing like in the GPS. This is also known as the stage theory.
In the video “The living dead 2/3: You Have Used Me as Fish Long Enough” by Adam Curtis, the reason why Dr. Ewen Cameron became interested in doing the research that was funded by the CIA on brainwashing was mainly because of the theories that had come up during the cold war. There were emerging theories that there was brainwashing of the communists who were then later on trained to become assassins. This was done contrary to the will of many of them (Curtis, 2010).
In the film, “The living dead 2/3: You Have Used Me as Fish Long Enough”, it is evident that several organizations were funding this project for the artificial intelligence in the United States. According to Adam Curtis, among these groups the core organization was the Central Intelligence Agency that funded the project on the largest scale.
Hunt, M.M (2007). The Story of Psychology. New York: Anchor Books.
Curtis, A. (2010). The living dead 2/3: You Have Used Me as Fish Long Enough. Retrieved 14, Nov. 2010 from http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8179092243297154729#