Catherine Malasa Essay.
Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Psychology is a multifaceted discipline and includes many sub-fields of study areas such as human development, sports, health, clinical, social behavior and cognitive processes. Because psychology is new a social science, it attempts to investigate the causes of behavior using systematic and objective procedures for observation, measurement and analysis, backed-up by theoretical interpretations, generalizations, explanations and predictions Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors with the immediate goal of understanding individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases, and by many accounts it ultimately aims to benefit society.
In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and neurobiological processes that underlie certain cognitive functions and behaviors.
Question: What Is Cognitive Psychology? Answer: Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that studies mental processes including how people think, acquire knowledge, perceive, learn, remember or store information and then apply it.
As part of the larger field of cognitive science, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including neuroscience, philosophy and linguistics. Cognitive psychology studies in areas of research such as, Perception, attention, reasoning, thinking, problem solving, memory, learning, language, and emotion are areas of research. Classical cognitive psychology is associated with a school of thought known as cognitivism, whose adherents argue for an information processing model of mental function, informed by functionalism and experimental psychology.
On a broader level, cognitive science is an interdisciplinary enterprise of cognitive psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, researchers in artificial intelligence, linguists, human–computer interaction, computational neuroscience, logicians and social scientists. Computational models are sometimes used to simulate phenomena of interest. Computational models provide a tool for studying the functional organization of the mind whereas neuroscience provides measures of brain activity. The core focus of cognitive psychology is on how people acquire, process and store information.
There are numerous practical applications for cognitive research, such as improving memory, increasing decision-making accuracy and structuring educational curricula to enhance learning. Until the 1950s, behaviorism was the dominant school of thought in psychology. Between 1950 and 1970, the tide began to shift against behavioral psychology to focus on topics such as attention, memory and problem-solving. Often referred to as the cognitive revolution, this period generated considerable research on topics including processing models, cognitive research methods and the first use of the term “cognitive psychology. The term “cognitive psychology” was first used in 1967 by American psychologist Ulric Neisser in his book Cognitive Psychology. According to Neisser, cognition involves “all processes by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used.
It is concerned with these processes even when they operate in the absence of relevant stimulation, as in images and hallucinations… Given such a sweeping definition, it is apparent that cognition is involved in everything a human being might possibly do; that every psychological phenomenon is a ognitive phenomenon. ” Noam Chomsky helped to launch a “cognitive revolution” in psychology when he criticized the behaviorists’ notions of “stimulus”, “response”, and “reinforcement”. Chomsky argued that such ideas—which Skinner had borrowed from animal experiments in the laboratory—could be applied to complex human behavior, most notably language acquisition, in only a superficial and vague manner. The postulation that humans are born with the instinct or “innate facility” for acquiring lan [pic] [pic] The Muller-Lyer illusion.
Psychologists make inferences about mental processes from shared phenomena such as optical illusions. helped to renew interest and belief in the mental states and representations—i. e. , the cognition—that had fallen out of favor with behaviorists. English neuroscientist Charles Sherrington and Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb used experimental methods to link psychological phenomena with the structure and function of the brain. With the rise of computer science and artificial intelligence, analogies were drawn between the processing of information by humans and information processing by machines.
Research in cognition had proven practical since World War II, when it aided in the understanding of weapons operation.  By the late 20th century, though, cognitivism had become the dominant paradigm of psychology, and cognitive psychology emerged as a popular branch. Assuming both that the covert mind should be studied, and that the scientific method should be used to study it, cognitive psychologists set such concepts as subliminal processing and implicit memory in place of the psychoanalytic unconscious mind or the behavioristic contingency-shaped behaviors.
Elements of behaviorism and cognitive psychology were synthesized to form the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy modified from techniques developed by American psychologist Albert Ellis and American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. Cognitive psychology was subsumed along with other disciplines, such as philosophy of mind, computer science, and neuroscience, under the cover discipline of cognitive science. Cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that studies mental processes including how people think, perceive, remember and learn.
As part of the larger field of cognitive science, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including neuroscience, philosophy and linguistics. The core focus of cognitive psychology is on how people acquire, process and store information. There are numerous practical applications for cognitive research, such as improving memory, increasing decision-making accuracy and structuring educational curricula to enhance learning. Until the 1950s, behaviorism was the dominant school of thought in psychology.
Between 1950 and 1970, the tide began to shift against behavioral psychology to focus on topics such as attention, memory and problem-solving. Often referred to as the cognitive revolution, this period generated considerable research on topics including processing models, cognitive research methods and the first use of the term “cognitive psychology. ” The term “cognitive psychology” was first used in 1967 by American psychologist Ulric Neisser in his book Cognitive Psychology. According to Neisser, cognition involves “all processes by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used.
It is concerned with these processes even when they operate in the absence of relevant stimulation, as in images and hallucinations… Given such a sweeping definition, it is apparent that cognition is involved in everything a human being might possibly do; that every psychological phenomenon is a cognitive phenomenon. ” How is Cognitive Psychology Different? • Unlike behaviorism, which focuses only on observable behaviors, cognitive psychology is concerned with internal mental states. Unlike psychoanalysis, which relies heavily on subjective perceptions, cognitive psychology uses scientific research methods to study mental processes. Who Should Study Cognitive Psychology? Because cognitive psychology touches on many other disciplines, this branch of psychology is frequently studied by people in a number of different fields.
The following are just a few of those who may benefit from studying cognitive psychology a web site that should be useful if you are studying psychology • PsychBLOG • Course Content • Themes • Investigations Core Studies • Home Top of Form [pic][pic][pic][pic] Bottom of Form Search Holah Top of Form [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic] [pic][pic][pic] Bottom of Form [pic]Core Studies • Cognitive Psychology • Developmental Psychology • Individual Differences • Physiological Psychology • Social Psychology Exam Help • Course Structure • Exam Questions • Exam Technique A Bit More Stuff • About • Links • Further Reading [pic][pic] [pic][pic]Home ;gt; Cognitive Psychology Cognitive Psychology masters in psychology Cognitive psychology studies our mental processes or cognitions.
These mental processes that cognitive psychologists focus on include memory, perception, thinking and language. The main assumption of the cognitive approach is that information received from our senses is processed by the brain and that this processing directs how we behave or at least justifies how we behave the way that we do. Cognitive processes are examples of hypothetical constructs. That is, we cannot directly see processes such as thinking but we can infer what a person is thinking based on how they act.
Cognitive psychology has been influenced by developments in computer science and analogies are often made between how a computer works and how we process information. Based on this computer analogy cognitive psychology is interested in how the brain inputs, stores and outputs information. However we are much more sophisticated than computer systems and an important criticism directed at the cognitive approach is that it often ignores the way in which other factors, such as past experiences and culture influence how we process information.
Loftus and Palmer’s (1974) study of eyewitness testimony demonstrates how the cognitive process of memory can be distorted by other information supplied after an event. This highlights that memory is not merely a tape recording but is a dynamic process which can be influenced by many events such as leading questions. The study also shows that memory is a dynamic process and changes to make sense of experiences. When we behave in a particular way towards another person it is likely that we attempt to understand how the other person is thinking and feeling.
Baron-Cohen’s (1997) study shows that our behaviour can be influenced by a cognitive process called a theory of mind. Having a theory of mind enables a person to appreciate that other people have thoughts and beliefs that are different from their own. Baron-Cohen’s study attempts to demonstrate that the central deficit of autism is a failure to fully develop this cognitive process of a theory of mind. It has been argued that humans are unique in possessing the ability to communicate with language which involves very sophisticated cognitive skills.
However this argument is challenged by the study from Savage-Rumbaugh et al. (1986) who studied the language capabilities in pygmy chimpanzees. A main strength of cognitive psychology is that this approach has tended to use a scientific approach through the use of laboratory experiments. A strength of using laboratory experiments is that they are high in control therefore researchers are able to establish cause and effect. For example Loftus and Palmer were able to control the age of the participants, the use of video and the location of the experiment.
All participants were asked the same questions (apart from changes in the critical words), and the position of the key question in the second was randomised. Furthermore, such standardised experiments are easy to test for reliability. However, as many cognitive studies are carried out in laboratory settings they can lack ecological validity. When cognitive processes such as memory and theory of mind are studied in artificial situations it may be difficult to generalise the findings to everyday life. A further strength of the cognitive approach is the useful contributions that have arisen from this approach.
For example, many modern types of therapy are based on the cognitive approach. Understanding cognitive processes allows us to help people to improve their cognitive processes such as memory and language. The Baron-Cohen et al. study enables us to better understand the behaviour of people with autism, Loftus and Palmers’ study highlights the limitations of eye-witness testimonies and the ape research may offer strategies to help children with language difficulties to develop language or to use strategies such as the lexigram system.
Furthermore the cognitive approach has become the dominant approach in psychology particularly since it has become allied with neurology. The cognitive approach nowadays is often called cognitive science and is able to provide a very sophisticated understanding of how the brain processes information. A weakness of the cognitive approach relates to the validity of measuring cognitive processes. We can only infer what a person is thinking and therefore the cognitive approach relies heavily on self report measures and observation.
There are a number of reasons why we have to question the validity of self report measures and observation. For example we can only infer that adults with autism have theory of mind difficulties from the results of the Eyes Task or that pygmy chimps are really using language when they communicate through a Lexigram. However, because of the developments of brain scanning techniques we are able to record the active parts of the brain more accurately nowadays and cognitive science is providing a more and more detailed description of how cognitive processes work.
For example, brain scanning techniques are giving great insights about how memory works. It has been argued that a weakness of the cognitive approaches reliance on the computer analogy leads to a reductionist and mechanistic description of experiences and behaviour. Reductionism is the idea that complex phenomena can be explained by simpler things. The cognitive approach often takes this narrow focus and ignores social and emotional factors which may impact on cognition. For example, the autism study investigated just one central cognitive deficit as an explanation for autism.
However the reductionist approach does have strengths. An advantage of the reductionist view is that by breaking down a phenomenon to its constituent parts it may be possible to understand the whole. This type of single mindedness has lead to some great discoveries in psychology as it has in the ‘natural’ sciences.