The exact origins of Cognitivism are difficult to pinpoint. Ideas that make up the perspective have been traced back to ancient Greece; however it is in modern times that it has developed to its prominent status of today. This period of time is referred to as the “cognitive revolution” of the 1960’s, lead by the work of those such as Piaget and Chomsky. Prior to this revolution, behaviorism (the study of cause and effect; environmental factors and their effect upon behavior) was considered to be the dominant school of thought in psychology; however cognitivism soon emerged as the new dominant perspective (“The HSoP”). It was in the 1967
publication of Cognitive Psychology by Neisser that a name was coined for the rising field of psychological science, and an outline of major research-to-date and significant concepts was offered (Maclin & Solso, 2000).
The goals of cognitivism are to attempt to understand the way in which the many processes of our minds work, through use of the scientific research method. It emphasizes the importance of the mind in behavior; something was virtually disregarded in perspectives such as behaviorism. Focus is placed upon thinking, memory, perception,
attention, pattern recognition, consciousness, decision-making, language and attention. It aims to understand the mental accompaniment of everyday perceptions and actions (Barber, 1988). By devising mental structures of mental functions and the way in which information is processed, it could then be possible to explain observable behavior....