What are the meeting points between psychology and computer science?

What are the meeting points between psychology and computer science?

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In the study of psychology there have been several unknowns of psychic phenomena regarding human behavior and psychologists have used several research strategies to approximate as close as possible to where they arise and how our thoughts are processed and what relationship they have with our conduct.

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and experience, how human beings and animals feel, think, learn and know to adapt to their surroundings. Modern psychology has focused with great importance on how humans process information and has used other branches of study such as computer science that is the science of automated information, everything that is related to data processing using the computer and automatic information process equipment.

The relationship between computer science and psychology

Psychology has several areas of study and the closest to computer science is Cognitive Psychology, which is the branch that deals with the processes through which the individual gains knowledge of the world and becomes aware of their environment, as well as their results. The origin of cognitive psychology is closely linked to the history of general psychology. Modern cognitive psychology has been formed under the influence of related disciplines, such as information treatment, artificial intelligence and language science.

Next we will expose the meeting points between psychology and computer science, which gives us a broader perspective of the relationship between them regarding the approach to their object of study

Psychology and computer science are two scientific disciplines that focus on identifying the particular characteristics of information processing, the first in the human being and the second in the construction of a technical tool that aims to emulate the brain: the computer. Computer science has been conceptually built from its own elements what cognitive science offers linking neuroscientific and biologist contributions; One of the most interesting scientific advances of the last decades has been the birth of a new field of interdisciplinary research called cognitive science. This science includes the research of psychologists, linguists, neuroscientists, philosophers, and computer scientists, all of whom share the same object of study: the cognitive system.

Psychology as a science has been built from the investigations of learning principles such as: classical conditioning, operant and instrumental conditioning; focusing primarily on behavior. In recent decades, psychological research has shown increasing attention for the role of cognition in human learning, freeing itself from the most restrictive aspects of behavioral approaches, focusing on the role of mental processes such as: attention, memory, perception, patterns of recognition and the use of language in the learning process, and this approach has gradually passed from the laboratory to therapeutic practice.

From the general point of view of Cognitive Science, the interest is focused on understanding the operation and nature of intelligent systems, whether artificial or human. Hence the analogy between the mind and the computer is proposed. The similarity between computers and the human mind is obvious and has been exploited in both directions. Electronic engineers and, above all, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technicians try to intuitively transfer their ideas about mental functioning to the computer field. For their part, cognitive psychologists use the computer as a model to raise psychological hypotheses and develop theoretical interpretations. Artificial intelligence is a distinguished branch of computer science or computer science, that is, of the discipline of design, construction and use of computers or computers. An initial idea of ​​computer science was to store, retrieve and process information; it was about ordering the information, which should have seemed natural to talk about computers. Another initial idea was to perform numerical calculations and how, in the United Kingdom, computers were members of the armed forces that developed calculation tables (for navigation, shooting, etc.).

The artificial intelligence It has been developed with notable successes and some failures, following diverse lines of research and with increasing applications. In addition to game programs, in particular chess, there are programs for logical or mathematical demonstrations, natural language processing programs, computer vision programs, learning programs, expert or knowledge-based systems for the most diverse tasks, or scientific investigation.

It should be clarified that the mind-computer analogy is functional, not physical. In the material or hardware aspect the differences are considerable. Neurons are the basic units of the nervous system: they are living organisms with thousands of three-dimensional synaptic connections and complex biochemical signal transmission processes. In today's computers the elementary units are silicon circuits, distributed two-dimensionally and with few connections to each other (although recent developments have also explored this similarity, proof of this is the artificial neural networks). On the other hand, similarities emerge from a functional perspective. The mind and the computer are general purpose processing systems; both encode, retain and operate with internal symbols and representations.

Fields of application of Cognitive Science: preceptual systems, language processing systems, expert systems, intelligent tutors etc. Another meeting point is computer methods in psychology, considering the instrumental function of the computer and computer science in psychology. Many applications of computers can be found in different fields of psychology (not only in research but also in the clinical context). , social, educational, etc.) It can be said that, in general, any well-defined process is likely to be analyzed and controlled by a computer.

In my opinion, the information processing in the human brain has very similar similarities to computer science, since the computer has been a great advance and development that simulates in a very approximate way to the functioning of the human mind; perhaps our thoughts are very complex phenomena that are difficult to investigate but the intriguing thing is that progressively more unknowns arise from the complexity of our thoughts and how we represent and process what we perceive through our senses, having a whole mechanism at the level internal difficult to observe. Cognitive psychology has focused on the study of higher mental processes to have a clearer view of where our thoughts arise; Although analyzing the mystery of our brain, we have mechanisms very close to computing, but there are still many doubts as our mental functions are so complex difficult to discover in their entirety; Cognitive science has been progressively charged with cognitive functions and they are managing to complexly investigate higher mental processes; Cybernetics and artificial intelligence are valuable simulations that allow us to have a better idea of ​​the mechanisms and processes by which we think, perceive and reason.

It must be taken into account that computers are machines that are incapable of feeling and perceiving, while the human being possesses, a totality of functions that no machine can match. Psychology and computer science have a very close relationship with regard to information processing, and are very important aids for the understanding of the mind; but what I do not agree with is that from the scientific advances the subjects begin to be replaced by machines. In my view, the man-computer relationship reduces the capacity for autonomy in people, since it would create a dependency on computers thinking for them, indirectly it would be damaging the ability of human beings to solve problems and adapt to the world in the best way; but taking into account that everything is relative and that it may vary in some subjects and circumstances.

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