NAME: ERIC OTU BOAKYE
COURSE CODE: PSYC 403
COURSE TITLE: HIGHER ORDER COGNITION
DATE SUBMITTED: 29th SEPTEMBER, 2011
DISCUSS REASONS FOR THE INCREASED INTEREST IN COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY AND THE DECLINE OF BEHAVIORIST APPROACH ,IN ADDITION DESCRIBE THE FIELD OF COGNITIVE SCIENCE NOTING THE DISCIPLINE THAT ARE INCLUDED IN THE THIS FIELD. Behaviorism also called learning perspective is defined by Wikipedia ‘ as a philosophy of psychology based on the proposition that all things that organisms do-including acting , thinking, and feeling can and should be regarded as behaviors and that psychological disorders are best treated by altering behaviors patterns or modifying the environment”. The Behaviorist school of thought are of the view that behaviors can be described scientifically without recourse either to internal physiological events or hypothetical constructs such as the mind. During their developmental years and prime time , Behaviorist championed ideas that were in harmony with philosophical position of logical positivism equally hailed in the field of physics. In that , both fields held the stand that concepts should be defined by operations used to measure them to keep science tightly grounded to observable data in order to remove all sort of speculative fancy. John Watson for instance called for the banishment of all mental language from use in psychological research. But their radical and narrow theories and concepts made them victims of constant critique. Thus, Behaviorist were seen as too one dimensional to behavior and that behavioral theories did not recognize free will and internal influences such as moods, thoughts and feelings. Behaviorist were criticized for their failure to account for other types of learning that occurs without reinforcement and punishment. Lastly their inability to appreciate that people and animals are able to adapt their behavior when new information is introduced even if a previous behavior pattern has been established through reinforcement meant Behaviorist explanation was getting out of touch. By the second half of the 20th century Behaviorist faced other dominant opponents ,it was finally eclipse by cognitive revolution which ushered a new school of thought called Cognitive psychology.
Cognitive psychology is defined by most scholars as the scientific investigation of organisms mental abilities, perception, learning, remembering, thinking, reasoning, and understanding .Unlike Behaviorism, Cognitive psychology is based on the assumption that (1) Human cognition can at least in principle be fully revealed by scientific methods ,that is individual components of mental processes can be identified and understood,(2)Internal mental processes can be descried in terms of rules or algorithms in information processing models. With a preview of Cognitive Psychology discussed i will now address what triggered these thought into a school which finally sent Behaviorist into hiding.
Cognitive psychology is a new addition to psychological research. The concept of cognition is not a new knowledge, cognitive inquiries can be traced back to Aristotle’s De Memoria (Hothersall , 1984) as well as 1800’s and early 1900’s in the works of Wundt , Catelli and William James (Boring,1950). Although Cognitive Psychologist generally agree 1956 as birth of this domain of psychology ,cognitive revolution is believed to have been initiated by Noam Chomsky’s 1959 critique of Behaviorism and empiricism concepts .Just as necessity is the mother of inventions, the inability of Behaviorist to explain...