Cognitive Psychology

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Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes such as how people think, perceive information, and learn (Willingham, 2007). This area of psychology mainly concentrates on the way people acquire, process, and store information. It has practical uses because it can enhance a person’s ability to learn by improving memory and advancing a person’s ability to make decisions.

There are four milestones in the development of cognitive psychology as a discipline. The research conducted by Dr. Alfred Adler was the first milestone in cognitive psychology. He is responsible for creating the theory of “Individual Psychology”. According to Alfred Adler’s “Individual Psychology”, every individual is born with the feeling of inferiority. From infancy, individuals first experience the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. Individuals overcome the feeling of inferiority by striving for superiority towards the people they surround themselves with. Alfred Adler describes this feeling of inferiority as the driving forces behind all human emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Some individuals experience the feeling of inferiority to an excessive level. These individuals have a high potential of developing inferiority complex. Inferiority complex is a condition where an individual feels hopeless and engages in unmotivated behavior. These individuals tend to become weaker and feel even more inferior as they age. (Adler, 1927).

The second milestone in cognitive psychology is credited to Dr. Sigmund Freud. Freud introduced that the impulses governing sexuality were the factors that led to a normal or neurotic state of mind (Esterson, 1993). The third milestone was the work of Dr. Albert Ellis. His cognitive theory was called the “Rational Emotive Therapy”. “Rational Emotive Therapy” concentrates on resolving emotional and behavioral problems in order to lead people to live a happier life (Ellis, 1994). The fourth milestone in cognitive psychology is credited to the cognitive...
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