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academic learning cognitive assessment natural semantic networks psychology students semantic priming

Cognitive Technology to Evaluate the Academic Learning of Computational Cognition in Psychology Students

Guadalupe Elizabeth Morales-Martinez , Angel Garcia-Collantes , Rafael Manuel Lopez-Perez

This study illustrated an alternative way to evaluate students’ academic learning. It involved the joint and intertwined application of the natu.

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This study illustrated an alternative way to evaluate students’ academic learning. It involved the joint and intertwined application of the natural semantic network technique, computer simulations, and semantic priming experiments to assess the cognitive changes in knowledge structures due to academic learning in two groups of psychology students. The experimental group was enrolled in a course on computational cognition, while the control group was oblivious to this course. The results indicated that the cognitive assessment tools discriminate the cognitive changes produced as a result of general training undertaken in a psychology degree versus the influence of a specific course. After the course, the experimental group increased their technical vocabulary, changed their conceptual valuation of definers related to computational theories of mind, and reorganized the relations among definers according to the computational cognition approach. Also, this group presented a higher connectivity index between the concepts of the semantic network, their conceptual activation level and conceptual co-activation pattern changed, and their access level to the evaluated schema’s concepts improved. In contrast, the control group did not show significant changes in their cognitive patterns after the course. These findings suggest that cognitive tools may be helpful in the diagnosis of academic learning.

Keywords: Academic learning, cognitive assessment, natural semantic networks, psychology students, semantic priming.

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