Cognitive psychology . Essay

Topics: Psychology, Cognitive psychology, Cognitive science Pages: 15 (5556 words) Published: August 23, 2013
Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes. The American Psychological Association defines cognitive psychology as "The study of higher mental processes such as attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, and thinking."[1] Much of the work derived from cognitive psychology has been integrated into various other modern disciplines of psychological study including social psychology, personality psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and educational psychology. Cognitive psychology is the scientific investigation of human cognition, that is, all our mental abilities – perceiving, learning, remembering, thinking, reasoning, and understanding. The term “cognition” stems from the Latin word “ cognoscere” or "to know". Fundamentally, cognitive psychology studies how people acquire and apply knowledge or information. It is closely related to the highly interdisciplinary cognitive science and influenced by artificial intelligence, computer science, philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, biology, physics, and neuroscience. -------------------------------------------------

History [edit]
Cognitive psychology in its modern form incorporates a remarkable set of new technologies in psychological science. Although published inquiries of human cognition can be traced back to Aristotle’s ‘’De Memoria’’ (Hothersall, 1984), the intellectual origins of cognitive psychology began with cognitive approaches to psychological problems at the end of the 1800s and early 1900s in the works of Wundt, Cattell, and William James (Boring, 1950). Cognitive psychology declined in the first half of the 20th century with the rise of “behaviorism" –- the study of laws relating observable behavior to objective, observable stimulus conditions without any recourse to internal mental processes (Watson, 1913; Boring, 1950; Skinner, 1950). It was this last requirement, fundamental to cognitive psychology, that was one of behaviorism's undoings. For example, lack of understanding of the internal mental processes led to no distinction between memory and performance and failed to account for complex learning (Tinklepaugh, 1928; Chomsky, 1959). These issue led to the decline of behaviorism as the dominant branch of scientific psychology and to the “Cognitive Revolution”. The Cognitive Revolution began in the mid-1950s when researchers in several fields began to develop theories of mind based on complex representations and computational procedures (Miller, 1956; Broadbent, 1958; Chomsky, 1959; Newell, Shaw, & Simon, 1958). Cognitive psychology became predominant in the 1960s (Tulving, 1962; Sperling, 1960). Its resurgence is perhaps best marked by the publication of Ulric Neisser’s book, ‘’Cognitive Psychology’’, in 1967. Since 1970, more than sixty universities in North America and Europe have established cognitive psychology programs.( http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Cognitive_psychology)

Philosophically, ruminations of the human mind and its processes have been around since the times of the ancient Greeks. In 387 BC, Plato is known to have suggested that the brain was the seat of the mental processes.[2] In 1637, René Descartes posited that humans are born with innate ideas, and forwarded the idea of mind-body dualism, which would come to be known as substance dualism (essentially the idea that the mind and the body are two separate substances).[3] From that time, major debates ensued through the 19th century regarding whether human thought was solely experiential (empiricism), or included innate knowledge (nativism). Some of those involved in this debate included George Berkeley and John Locke on the side of empiricism, and Immanuel Kant on the side of nativism.[4] With the philosophical debate continuing, the mid to late 18th century was a critical time in the development of psychology as a scientific discipline. Two discoveries that would later play substantial roles in cognitive psychology were Paul...
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