Information Processing

Information Processing
   1) Origin of the Term "Information Processing"
   The term "information processing" originated in the late fifties in the computer field as a general descriptive term that seemed somewhat less contingent and parochial than "computer science," which also came into use during the same period. Thus, it was the name of choice for two of the encompassing professional organizations formed at the time: the International Federation of Information Processing Societies and the American Federation of Information Processing Societies. Although the transfer of the phrase from activities of computers to parallel activities of human beings undoubtedly occurred independently in a number of heads, the term was originally identified pretty closely with computer simulation of cognitive processes . . . ; that is, with the kind of effort from which arose the theory in this book. (Newell & Simon, 1972, p. 888)
   Assumptions of Information Processing Psychology
   It was because the activities of the computer itself seemed in some ways akin to cognitive processes. Computers accept information, manipulate symbols, store items in "memory" and retrieve them again, classify inputs, recognize patterns and so on. . . . Indeed the assumptions that underlie most contemporary work on information processing are surprisingly like those of nineteenth century introspective psychology, though without introspection itself. (Neisser, 1976, pp. 5, 7)
   2) The Processor and the Logical Nature of Problem-Solving Strategies
   The processor was assumed to be rational, and attention was directed to the logical nature of problem solving strategies. The "mature western mind" was presumed to be one that, in abstracting knowledge from the idosyncracies of particular everyday experience, employed Aristotelian laws of logic. When applied to categories, this meant that to know a category was to have an abstracted clear-cut, necessary, and sufficient criteria for category membership. If other thought processes, such as imagery, ostensive definition, reasoning by analogy to particular instances, or the use of metaphors were considered at all, they were usually relegated to lesser beings such as women, children, primitive people, or even to nonhumans. (Rosch & Lloyd, 1978, p. 2)

Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science. . 2015.

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