Cognitive Psychology Definition Paper

892 words - 4 pages

Cognitive Definition PaperSunday, December 11, 2011PSY/360Cognitive DefinitionCognitive psychology is a part of psychology that focuses on our mental processes to include how we perceive, think, learn, and remember things. Belonging to the same group of disciplines in the psychology field, cognitive psychology is an element of a larger branch of cognitive science. Other disciplines that this branch of psychology is related would be philosophy, neuroscience, and linguistics. There are different events and people that has played a vital role in the development of the field of cognitive psychology. What is the main focus of this discipline and how did it come to be?Cognitive psychology focuses on a number of things to include how information is obtained, processed, and kept. As a science this branch of psychology can be used as a tool for different life functions such as: improving the accuracy of our decision making, improving our memories, and also enhancing our learning abilities. "Cognitive Psychology revolves around the notion that if we want to know what makes people tick then we need to understand the internal processes of their mind" (Mcleod, S. 2007). It wasn't until the mid 1950's when cognitive psychology became of any importance and there are different factors that played a role in making it the discipline that it is today. These factors include: not being satisfied with the behaviorism approach because it focused more on external behaviors rather than the processes internally, comparing processing information between computers and humans, and the start of new experimental methods.Wilhelm Wundt is a milestone that is known for different factors that helped cognitive psychology develop as a discipline. Mr. Wundt is known for his association with structuralism as well as setting up the first psychology lab. When it comes to structuralism, "he believed that psychology was the science of conscious experience and that trained observers could accurately describe thoughts, feelings, and emotions through a process known as introspection (Cherry, K. 2011). By establishing the first laboratory, Wilhelm Wundt made it possible for psychology to be created as well as making a way for experiments to ran but most importantly paving the way for behaviorism.Behaviorism (behavioral psychology) is based on the theory that our behaviors derive from conditioning that can be in response to different interactions with the environment. What made this form of psychology the most dissatisfying was that it took the approach that behavior can be studied in an observable and systematic way without even taking into consideration one's mental state. Behaviorism suggests that when we are born it is not with cognitive functions such as memory,schemas, or perception but with a blank slate. According to the text, it has been argued by different critics that the approach that behaviorism takes to understanding the behavior of humans is that of one-dimensional,...

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