Donald Broadbent: a brief biography of this cognitive psychologist.
A brief review of the life and career of this psychologist famous for his studies on attention.
The history of mankind has left us people and celebrities whose wisdom echoes even today in our modern world. Many of his researches, works and studies were the basis for the development of today's knowledge.
In this article we will talk about a very relevant person in the field of cognitive psychology: Donald Broadbent. We will know who this researcher was through a brief biography of Donald Broadbent. a brief biography of Donald Broadbentaspects of his scientific career, which were his most relevant contributions and on what he based these contributions.
Brief biography of Donald Broadbent
Donald Eric Broadbent FRS (Fellow Royal Society) was an experimental psychologist born in Birmingham in 1926 and died in 1993 at the age of 66. His career was focused on cognitive psychology, which is the area of psychology that focuses on cognition.which is the area of psychology that focuses on cognition, that is, those mental processes involved in cognition.
As his name indicates, Donald was a Fellow of the Royal Society. This is an honorary title awarded to senior scientists, nationals or residents of the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland (scientists of other nationalities may belong as foreign members). This title is chosen by the members of the Royal Society themselves, and implies that members have made "a substantial contribution to the improvement of knowledge".
Donald Broadbent focused his career on the scientific field of psychology. A 2002 survey conducted by Review of General Psychology, a scientific journal that stems from the American Psychological Association, ranked Broadbent as the the 54th most cited psychologist, in terms of scientific articles, of the 20th century..
Donald Broadbent studied at the University of Cambridge, becoming in 1958 the director of the Applied Psychology Research Unit, a unit that was previously created by the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom in 1994.
Much of his work focused on practical problems in military or private industry, always combined with theoretical work. His working career gained recognition for his two theories his two theories: selective attention theory and short-term memory theory.The two theories are combined to form what is known as the Single Channel Hypothesis, called "Donald Broadbent's Filter Model".
The two theories combine to form what is known as the Single Channel Hypothesis, referred to as "Donald Broadbent's Filter Model". This concept proposes that the physical characteristics (e.g., pitch) of an auditory message are used to focus attention only on the particular message.
This implies that irrelevant messages are filtered out by the brain, before the stimulus information is processed for meaning.
Contributions to cognitive psychology
Donald Broadbent was one of the pioneers of cognitive psychology, also known as cognitivism.. The term cognitive means the act of knowledge, which contemplates the actions of storing, retrieving, recognizing, understanding, organizing and using the information received through the senses.
This discipline of psychology focuses on the study of the basic and deep the study of the basic and deep mechanisms through which knowledge is elaborated, from perception, memory and memory.It focuses on the study of the basic and deep mechanisms through which knowledge is elaborated, from perception, memory and learning, to the elaboration of simple and complex concepts, as well as logical reasoning.
Donald Broadbent's theories are elaborated around cognitive psychology, and specifically, based on the attentional filter models.
The attentional filter model
The filter model is a theory of psychology that states that a person's attention is focused on information that is filtered by the brain. This consists of receiving information, and of this information, a fragment will go to the sensory flow (that of the senses) and will be processed in the central processing channel, and the other information will not (selective attention).
In the case of Donald Broadbent's filter model, it is a filter that we name "precategorical", that is, the filter goes before the semantic analysis of the information.. In other words, the stimuli appear first, which are stored in the sensory area. And then the filter would act, which would select the information.
This information would be stored in the short-term memory (a channel of limited capacity), and finally certain information would pass to the long-term memory. The sensory memory retains the information transiently.
The proposed filter is rigid and selective, since it chooses a fragment of the sensory flow and gives it access to the central channel, while the rest of the irrelevant information is lost..
Investigation of the attentional model
Specifically, Donald Broadbent's attentional filter model postulates the existence of a theoretical filter device, located in the brain, that links the incoming sensory register and short-term memory storage.
This means that this filter allows the person to handle two types of stimuli displayed at the same time. So when two stimuli are when two stimuli are received at the same time, one of them remains on standby in the brain for further processing, while the other is recorded.. This filter prevents short-term memory overload.
This theory of Donald Broadbent was based on the following experiment: three pairs of different digits were presented simultaneously, three digits in one ear and three digits in the other ear.
Most participants remembered the digits ear to ear, rather than pairwise. For example, if 382 was presented in one ear and 497 in the other, participants remembered the digit 382497 together, rather than 348927 (pairwise).
Authors who leave a mark
They say that the difference between fame and prestige is that with fame, people know you; with prestige, on the other hand, it is the important people who know you. With this in mind, Donald Broadbent was a prestigious man, known for his contributions to experimental psychology and basic psychology.
This is evidenced by the fact that he was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and that annually, a lecture in honor of Donald Broadbent takes place at the British Psychological Society.
In addition, his work led to the award of two highly prestigious prizes by the scientific community.APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology in 1975, and the William James Award in 1989.
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(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)