- Introspection – A movement in early psychological research which depended on self-reporting of mental lives and the sequence of experiences. Notable names include William Wundt and Edward Bradford Titchner. A weakness of the introspective method is that it offered no option for outside observation, and so lacked verification.
- Behaviorism – A reaction to the introspection method, behaviorism sought to only record observations made by another individual. John B. Watson was a well known behaviorist. A weakness of behaviorism is that it can only observe actions taken externally. Internal processes, such as how language was processed by the brain could not be observed.
- Cognitive Psychology – Mental processes can be indirectly observed via the visible consequences of these processes. This paradigm is one of the most prevalent in modern psychological research.
- Working memory – An active form of memory which allows day to day actions. For example, one must hold words in working memory while reading in order to grasp the meaning of a sentence.
- Span test – a test to find the capacity of an individual’s working memory.
- Central executive system – The heart of the working memory system. The portion of the working memory system which coordinates the other parts.
- Articulatory rehearsal loop – A portion of the working memory system which internally repeats information needed in the near future. This is accomplished via subvocalization (see below).
- Subvocalization – aka silent speech. Your internal “voice”, in working memory, it is used to repeat information to yourself to keep the information available.
- Phonological buffer – The part of the articulatory rehearsal loop that is “listening”
to your subvocalizations.
- Concurrent articulation task – A task in which an individual is speaking while attempting to use the articulatory rehearsal loop for a span task. For example, they may have to remember a string of numbers, while repeating the sound “tah” over and over again. When these kinds of tasks are used for an experiment, they can illustrate how an individual’s working memory can be taxed.
- Cognitive neuroscience – the study of the biological basis for cognitive functioning.