Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology 150 150 Peter

Cognitive Psychology

Consider the earlier example of short-term memory loss: of entering a room and forgetting your reason for doing so. Also consider distortions of perception and attention from last week.

Individuals can experience difficulty recognizing an object, focusing their attention, or maintaining their short-term memories. Such examples are routine: they occur among many individuals whose brain function resides within the realm of “normal.”

Consider the potential effects on perception, attention, and short-term memory function by damage to different areas of the brain. Also consider the notion that these processes are core elements of higher-level cognitive functions such as language, capacity for abstract thought, and ability to construct plans. These critical brain activities depend on perception, attention, and memory.

For this Assignment, you explore effects of psychological and traumatic conditions on cognitive functioning.

The Assignment: (5–7 pages)

  • Select one of the following conditions: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), traumatic brain injury, stroke, or autism.
  • Explain the nature of the conditions in terms of the following cognitive functions: perception, attention, and short-term memory.
  • Explain effects of medications or other strategies to address one or more of these cognitive functions.

Support your Assignment with at least five original, peer-reviewed sources, in addition to any course material used in its preparation. You are to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

Sample Paper

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that is obvious in school age children, usually starting as early as the preschool years. Children with this disorder find it hard to control their behavior as well as pay attention. Approximately 2 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD. Parents, teachers, and doctors need to work together in order to meet the child needs and to avoid a misdiagnosis. Various forms of treatment options can be beneficial for a child’s development with ADHD, including drug, counseling, and therapy. Research conducted has concluded that women continue to go undiagnosed. ADHD is a lifetime disorder. People learn how to effectively treat and deal with their diagnosis and live a normal life.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Diagnosis and Treatment

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition involving hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, is the most frequently diagnosed childhood psychological disorder. ADHD children are impaired in cognitive, social, and behavioral functioning, but the diagnostic criteria are solely behavioral based. Factors that complicate the diagnostics of an ADHD child include learning disabilities, depression and conduct, oppositional and anxiety disorders. Children are most often referred for ADHD, due to a history of behavioral problems that result from attention. A diagnosis of ADHD may include disruptive and aggressive behaviors, which sometimes continue into adulthood.

Many children are misdiagnosed every year; which often makes the situation more difficult and contributes to a child’s inability to learn. Children are labeled with disorders due to the symptoms they present. Symptoms of ADHD can be misdiagnosed for other disorders because of an inaccurate diagnosis and proper treatment will not be prescribed. Proper testing and careful diagnosis is necessary when interpreting a child’s behavior. False positives and false negatives are often the result of improper test theories and use of discrepancy based models. Proper testing models and careful diagnosis must be conducted by a specialist.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is treatable with options like drugs, therapy and counseling. Therapy and counseling treatment is used to help children learn coping skills and adaptive behaviors. Ritalin is a very common drug prescribed to children with ADHD. There are many other medications used for the treatment of ADHD including Adderall, Concerta, Metadate, Focalin, and Stattera. ADHD is a result of neurobiology and genetics, and some environmental factors may contribute to the disorder. Environmental agents such as smoking, drinking as well as brain injuries, food additives and sugar, and genetics may often contribute to the disorder.

There has been numerous research conducted in the field of neuropsychological disorders. Studies are based on performance patterns such as attention, activity, and vocalization. Published studies have been used to produce sample size test measures which distinguish behaviors in children and adults. One review based its findings from 33 published studies using adults as their primary focus. A similar review was based on 39 empirical studies which focused its observations on children in classrooms instead of laboratories environments.


Throughout the years ADHD and ADD have had a number of different names. In 1902 it was called Morbid Defect of Moral Control (Attention deficit disorder help center). In 1922 the name changed to Post-encephalitic Behavior Disorders, followed by Minimal Brain Dysfunction in 1960, and so on. In 1980 the new term created was Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity. The main focus of this disorder was predominantly on hyperactivity because researchers connected the symptoms lack of focus and the outward impulsivity and hyperactivity. Not until the 1990’s that ADHD began to be studied and diagnosed.

ADHD is a chemical imbalance in the brain which causes interference with our ability to focus, sustain attention, and with memory retrieval. The main characteristics are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. There are three types of ADHD, predominantly hyperactive impulsive, predominantly inattentive, and combined. Symptoms of ADHD take months to develop, in some cases years. ADHD children are poor at focusing, channeling effort, and channeling energy for useful purposes. They have a short attention span and a tendency to be distracted by whatever is irrelevant and to jump from activity to activity, without completing one. Motivation plays a large role in their attention span. Their attention focus varies from every situation. Children with ADHD get distracted because mental discipline is not learned. They have trouble recognizing an object that stands out; because they have trouble recognizing what is important. These children usually look scatterbrained, absentminded, and forgetful; they cannot prioritize, and are absent minded. ADHD children have trouble understanding conversations and need help sorting out details. They get confused by instructions, when there are multiple steps to follow. ADHD children cannot sit still or walk slowly, they tend to jump, fidget, squirm, wiggle, and run. These children are usually very talkative and loud. They like loud noise and making sounds and clicks with their mouths. Many ADHD children also have sleeping problems, coordination problems, are self-centered, impatient, reckless, and have extreme emotional problems. Children with ADHD, during adolescence have problems such as aggression, poor self-concept, impaired peer relationships, and poor school performance, they are sad and depressed, but hyperactivity does decrease.

ADHD is very difficult to diagnose because, like many other behavior disorders, it tends to appear gradually. Neurological and physiological studies show that people with ADHD have a wide range of biochemical imbalance and uniqueness. The symptoms may not be present at all times; they can change depending on the environment and moment. Diagnosis of this disorder is difficult because you must assess how much of the child’s behavior is normal, most children with ADHD usually are mentally alert, smiling, energetic, and interested in contact with others. Boys and girls who have this disorder do not always present the same symptoms. Boys are usually more overactive, aggressive, and disruptive. Both girls and boys are physically active and rowdy, and girls tend to be tomboyish. ADHD children are made up of 60 percent to 80 percent being boys. A diagnosis should be conducted by a professional trained in ADHD and mental disorders. Psychiatrist, psychologist, and development/behavioral pediatricians are among the best trained professionals in this field. Parents should start by consulting the child’s pediatrician which will most often refer them to a mental health specialist. There are different types of specialist that diagnose ADHD. A child psychologist specializes in treating and diagnosing childhood mental and behavioral disorders; this is the best type of specialist to consult for a child with ADHD. Having a doctor experienced in treating and diagnosing ADHD is essential. The specialist conducts a number of tests including an evaluation for social adjustment and mental health. If the child shows learning disabilities, intelligence and learning test will also be conducted. Once, the diagnosis is completed the child will be provided with the help they need to support them emotionally, educationally, and medically.