Angela M. Beal
Professor Kasey Macnair
Cognitive Psychology is the study of the mental processing, which can include thinking, problem solving, believing, speaking, decision-making, and learning. To summarize it is the study of the mind and how the mind functions in daily life and situations. In our daily life cognitive Psychology is always being used in order to stimulate some sort of action that is needed. There are many milestones that have been developed in relation to Cognitive Psychology. One is Neuroscience, which examines the brain and how it interacts with the nervous system in determining behaviors. Behavioral Neuroscience began in the late 18th and 19th century as different forms of philosophical behavioral psychology. In philosophy, many people gathered evidence that would explain animal and human behavior. It usually investigates different brain functionalities and chemicals and how it ties in with abnormal human behavior as well as the mind. The research allows an understanding of different states that include consciousness, sensory experiences, emotion, motivation, development through life spans, and psychological, and physical health. Another is criticism, which is a form of behavior observations that will give cognitive psychologists a way to test and evaluate different theories about behaviors as well as a way of testing out different predictions about those behaviors. Cognitive psychologist are unable to directly observer the behavior process of a human, therefore behavioral observations allow one to derive logical conclusions of their existence based on observable behaviors. “Behavioral observations enable different types of behavioral research methods to help and serve the needs of cognitive psychology in testing theories, which include descriptive, relational, and experimental research. Descriptive research is an individual’s description of behavior collected by naturalistic observation.” (Willingham 2007) “The study of ethology could have been what started pointing doubt toward behaviorism, and likewise could be considered another milestone toward the development of cognitive psychology. By showing that the “clean slate” of behaviorism could not be true ethnologists introduced fixed-action patterns of behavior with the wild animals they studied in their natural habitat “(Willingham, 2007). Behaviors that are shown in various types of animal groups show that not all types of behaviors are based upon repetition as well as experience, but may come as genetics and given by the nature of the animal. One aspect of ethology shares correlation with the study of psychology in the finding of a critical period defined by Willingham as a time where “an organism is primed to learn some particular information”. This has been studied and identified through research in children for development of primary language as well as early years where children have an easier time absorbing multiple languages. The information Processing system is a key milestone as well. Cognitive psychologists use this model as a base that can describe the mental process. This model compares human thinking to the basis of a computer and how it functions. The human mind is in close relation to that of a computer, it takes in information, stores, and organizes so that it can be retrieved later. An example can be that the eye will receive some sort of visual information and will code the information into electric neural activity which then is given back to the brain where it is stored and a code is placed on it. This form of information can be used by other parts of the brain that can relate to mental activities such as memory, perception and attention. The output might be something as reading a page that was printed out and able to understand as well as function on it. “In humans the sensory register, composed of sensory organs, such as the ears and eyes and...
References: Willingham, D.T. (2007). Cognition: The Thinking animal (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ
Kowalski, R., & Western, D. (2011). Psychology (6t ed.) Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
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