What is Cognitive Psychology?

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What is Cognitive Psychology?

According to the American Psychological Association, cognitive psychology explores the multifaceted mental processes engaged in human learning, collaboration, and memories. In addition, cognitive psychologists investigate the many mental tools people employ to observe, comprehend, and act on their environment, such as language, thinking, and strategic planning.

Cognitive psychology involves a wide range of cognitive states such as neuroscience, attentiveness, memory, sense, perception, creativity, emotions, thinking, visualization, and other processes connected to the human psyche, the pattern of its thinking, and consequently its intellectual progress. For two key reasons, the cognitive approach begs for critical study:

  • First, cognitivism is the prevailing viewpoint in social, personal, and developmental psychology. Patterns and processes within the person’s mind have been the principal focus of significant ideas and empirical research in one way or another.
  • Second, numerous researchers (Kruglanski, 1979; Weisz & Zigler, 1979) have proposed that cognitive forms are psychology’s long-sought contender for fundamental standing, the essential building elements of the human mind.

What are the main ideas of cognitive psychology?

Cognitive psychology acknowledges a gap between what is “out there” and its interior representation and contends that conduct results from the subjective world as modified and represented interiorly. Individuals reacted to how they characterized stimulus circumstances rather than the objective realities of such events.

The cognitive viewpoint has a long and rich history in psychology, with philosophical roots extending from Descartes and Kant to the recent offshoots of this particular matter (Sampson, 1981). Thus Western intellectual tradition comprises two significant and related reductions:

  • The first includes a subjectivist reduction, which gives importance to the forms and operations of the knowing subject.
  • The other is an individualistic reduction, which gives importance to the analyzing and reasoning of the particular knower, such as Descartes’ legacy of the “I think” (Witkin, Goodenough, & Oltman, 1979).

Subjectivism and individualism intersect to provide a view of reality that draws consistency and order from the orderliness and uniqueness of the individual mind’s basic building block. The pattern of human thought and reasoning gives order and purpose to the realm of reality. Clear and distinct mental forms result in a clear, definite, and truthful comprehension of reality. Therefore, seeking mental clarity is elevated to the top of the principles derived from this practice.

Findings from cognitive psychology can also allow us to comprehend how people store, develop and retrieve memories. By deeper understanding of how these processes function, psychologists might devise novel methods to assist people in improving their memories and combating memory difficulties associated with aging.

Check the following reference articles to learn more about What is Cognitive Psychology?
  1. Kruglanski, A. W. (1979). Causal explanation, teleological explanation: On radical particularism in attribution theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(9), 1447-1457.
  2. Sampson, E. E. (1981). Cognitive psychology as ideology. American Psychologist, 36(7), 730.
  3. Weisz, J. R., & Zigler, E. (1979). Cognitive development in retarded and non-retarded persons: Piagetian tests of the similar sequence hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 86(4), 831-851.
  4. Witkin, H. A., Goodenough, D. R., & Oltman, P. K. (1979). Psychological differentiation: Current status. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(7), 1127-1145. 
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