Do you agree with the analogy of human cognition as a computer? Why or why not provide an example of a mental process that supports your position provide at least 1 personal example and 1 research citation
The analogy of human cognition as a computer has been a topic of debate in cognitive science and psychology. Some scholars argue that the comparison between the human mind and computer processing is valid, while others disagree. In my analysis, I am inclined to agree with the analogy to some extent, albeit with a few reservations. I believe that while there are similarities between human cognition and computer processing, there are also crucial differences that limit the direct comparison.
One fundamental similarity between human cognition and computer functioning is the processing of information. Like computers, humans perceive, encode, store, retrieve, and use information to make decisions and solve problems. Both systems entail the manipulation of symbols and utilize algorithms for processing. For example, just as a computer processes data by executing a series of logical operations, humans engage in mental processes to solve mathematical problems or analyze complex information.
However, it is important to note that the analogy of human cognition as a computer has its limitations. One major difference lies in the nature of information processing. Computers perform operations in a linear and sequential manner, following a predefined set of rules. In contrast, human cognition has the ability to process information in a parallel and non-linear way, often involving contextual factors and personal experiences. Humans possess flexibility, creativity, and the ability to adapt their thinking strategies based on the situation at hand. Computers, on the other hand, rely on predetermined algorithms and lack the capacity for independent, creative thinking.
To illustrate this distinction, let me provide a personal example. While working on a research project, I faced a complex problem that required multiple solutions. Initially, I attempted to solve it using a logical and step-by-step approach, similar to the way a computer might tackle the problem. However, I soon realized that this approach was limiting my ability to arrive at innovative solutions. I then decided to adopt a more flexible and creative thinking strategy, allowing myself to think outside of the box and explore alternative perspectives. This shift in mental processing led me to develop a novel approach to solving the problem, which ultimately resulted in a more successful outcome. This personal experience highlights the unique cognitive ability of humans to deviate from strict computational processes and incorporate subjective factors into problem-solving.
Furthermore, research in cognitive psychology also supports the idea that human cognition cannot be entirely equated with computer processing. For instance, studies on memory have demonstrated that humans do not operate like computers when it comes to the storage and retrieval of information. The human memory system is highly complex and influenced by a variety of factors such as emotion, context, and personal relevance. Contrary to computers, humans do not store information in a rigid, static manner. Instead, our memories are context-dependent and often subject to alterations and re-interpretations over time (Roediger III & McDermott, 1995). This flexibility of memory processing further highlights the divergence between human cognition and computer functioning.
In conclusion, while there are certainly similarities between human cognition and computer processing, it is important to recognize the fundamental differences that make the analogy incomplete. The processing of information and the use of algorithms are shared features, but human cognition possesses unique qualities such as creativity, flexibility, and subjective interpretation that set it apart from the strictly computational nature of computers. My personal experience and research in cognitive psychology support the notion that human cognition cannot be fully analogized to a computer.