cognitive psychology

Popular Terms
System of theories which states that human mental and physical activity can be explained in terms of information processing by a computer, and attempts to investigate how mind works by focusing on how organisms perceive, remember, think and learn. As an emerging discipline, it integrates ideas from fields such as artificial intelligence, epistemology, linguistics, mathematics, neuroscience, and philosophy. It maintains that (1) behavior can only be understood by studying the underlying mental processes, (2) interaction between an organism and its environment influences its behavior as well as its knowledge of the environment which affects its future response to the environment, (3) how animals behave may not be applied directly to the study of human behavior, but how machines learn may be, (4) development of learning strategies and structuring of learning environment brings understanding, (5) knowledge is not something that is acquired but something that is created by a learner based on what he or she already knows, (6) an instructor should focus on encouraging exploration and knowledge formation, development of judgment, and acquisition and organization of information by the learner.
Cognitive psychology traces it roots to the observations of the Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. In modern times, it owes its development mainly to the works of the German philosopher Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) who believed that learning is not merely an accumulation of facts and events but occurs when understanding is achieved, his US contemporary William James (1842-1910) who developed the theory of multi-component memory and the concept of streams of consciousness, and the US psychologist Edward Chase Tolman (1886-1959) who was first to argue that cognitive processes must be studied to understand behavior.
Other major contributors include Swiss researcher Jean Piaget (1896-1980) who during 1940s and 1950s studied cognitive development in children and presented theories of learning, and the German-US researcher Ulrich Neisser (1928- ) who in 1960s developed information processing models of human brain, and in 1967 wrote the first textbook on the subject (titled 'Cognitive Psychology'). See also constructivism.

Use 'cognitive psychology' in a Sentence

People are making major advances with cognitive psychology in making programs that allow computers to react the same as humans.
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I had a vaguely better understanding of why my friends and I interacted the way we did after the unit we did on cognitive psychology in my Psych class back in my senior year of high school.
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As an educator is it important to learn and understand the concept of cognitive psychology as it will help you understand learners and learning styles.
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