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Recognition (learning)

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Cognitive Psychology: Attention · Decision making · Learning · Judgement · Memory · Motivation · Perception · Reasoning · Thinking  - Cognitive processes Cognition - Outline Index


Recognition (re+cognition) is a process that occurs in thinking when some event, process, pattern, or object recurrs. Coming from the base cognition; cognition has various uses in different fields of study and has generally accepted to be used for the process of awareness or thought. In psychology, cognition is used for information processing view of a person’s psychological functions. This takes place as we process the stimuli with pervious memories and experiences and find relationships between the current stimuli and our memories.

Thus, in order for something to be recognized, it must be familiar. This recurrence allows the recognizer to more properly react, survival value. Recognition is a survival mechanism. Humans and animals will recognize certain foods, which are poisonous through taste, as they have tasted them before. This works also for sounds and alarms, which we are trained to react to such as fire alarms. This can also mean acknowledgment; especially: “formal acknowledgment of the political existence of a government or nation b: knowledge or feeling that someone or something present has been encountered before or special notice or attention. ” Taken from the Webster’s Dictionary, it deals with the more government oriented version of recognition as two countries will acknowledge each other as independent states or possibly together in the same alliance.

When the recognizer has correctly responded, this is a measure of understanding. For example, when some animals have never seen a human being before, they do not hide and they show no fear; but when they learn that a human being may be a threat, they may emit distress cries, flee or hide. Animals have the ability to recognize and imitate actions. Baby spiders will flee when a mother spider sends a sharp pulse along the spider web. A male spider will gently poke a female spider's web to assess whether it is without being killed himself. “Even non-mammals can recognize when a situation signals danger, and will flee or hide.” As an example of recognition the article discusses how not only humans are subject to recognition but animals also recognize characteristics and figures. The National Geographic includes an article, which involves animal’s ability to recognize and imitate actions. This can be seen, as dogs will bark at strangers or when they sense something different in their surroundings. In a forest-fire animals will sense the smoke and flee in the opposite direction. The following quote is an example of what animals have been studied doing. As “sheep can recognize faces; chimpanzees use a variety of tools to probe termite mounds and even use weapons to hunt small mammals.” We also see birds building nests with twigs and other small sticks and leafs, this too can be seen as tools used to build. "In philosophy, recognition became very important in Hegel's attempt at understanding the emergence of self-consciousness. Lack of recognition can also be attributed as alienation.” The work done by Hegel is brought into recognition, as it is a philosophical view. It is slightly hard to interpret all of what is to be said in the sentence but the last part of his work involves alienation as the lack of recognition. This is the absence of reoccurring subject.

Not all recognition is dealing with human interpretation of their surrounding stimulus but also takes place within the body’s cells. This type of recognition cannot be seen with the naked eye but can be witnessed with a microscope with a high enough magnification. “Recognition, in molecular biology and immunology, refers to the process for an enzyme or antibody to find its target, a specific short nucleotide or protein sequence.” This definition is a different meaning to the word recognition as it speaks on a molecular level. It is involving the cells in the body and the enzyme activity. This involves how “Enzyme-mononucleotide interactions: Three different folds share common structural elements for ATP recognition.”

Without recognition we would go through life reliving everything without learning from the past. Experiences would be pointless, as they would not be remembered. Recognition is uses the memories we have in place to help with the situation, which the person(s) is going through in the present.


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