Cognitive Psychology Definition

Topics: Psychology, Cognitive science, Cognition Pages: 4 (1019 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Cognitive Psychology Definition
The definition of cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes such as perception, attention, memory, language, thinking, and problem-solving (Ruisel, 2010). Cognitive psychology is currently one of the most important schools of psychology. Cognitive psychology is interested in how humans receive information, process information, and use information. Milestones

Numerous milestones exist in cognitive psychology. One important milestone is the development of cognitive psychology in the 1950s. Before the birth of cognitive psychology, behaviorism existed as the main school of thought in psychology. When behaviorism started to fall apart cognitive psychology was born. Behaviorism fell apart because it focused on how the environment was important to explaining behavior. Cognitive psychology placed importance on how genetics also affects behavior. Behaviorists such as B.F Skinner attempted to explain how humans attain language, but failed. Cognitive psychology became popular when linguist, Noam Chomsky explained how humans attain language. Noam Chomsky was important to psychology because he disagreed with B.F Skinner’s explanations and believed behaviorist cannot explain how language is attained. Chomsky became popular when he proved that a connection existed between language and math precision. Chomsky later argued that language can be explained by central processes not peripheral processes as Skinner explained. The work of Chomsky and his dispute of Skinner’s work was an important milestone in cognitive psychology. Another important milestone in cognitive psychology was in 1956. Allen Newell and Herbert Simon were the first to construct a computer simulated human thought. Computers as well as humans receive information, use various ways of processing information, and produce outputs (Rusiel, 2010). Because the computer works like humans it makes sense to use computers for simulating human cognition. Allen Newell later...

References: Alvero, A. M., Austin, J., & Sasson, J. R. (2007). Behavioral observation. Professional Safety, 52(4), 26-32.
Ruisel, I. (2010). Human knowledge in the context of cognitive psychology. Studia Psychology, 52(4), 267-284.
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