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Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology refers to a school of thought that studies mental processes, such as how individuals think, learn, remember, and perceive. The common topics include memory, attention, concept formation, reasoning, mental imagery, language, judgment, and problem-solving (Henley, 2018). Cognitive psychology assumes that mediational processes take place between response and stimulus. Behaviorists refuted the notion of studying the mind as they argued that internal mental processes could not be objectively measured and observed. On the contrary, cognitive psychologists claim that it is important to look at an organism’s mental processes as well as how such processes affect behavior. As opposed to the stimulus-response connection posited by behaviorism, cognitive psychologists assert the importance of comprehending the organism’s mediational processes, as a lack of understanding results in an incomplete comprehension of behavior (McLeod, 2020).

Summary of Major Concepts

This school of thought also argues that human beings are information processors. Like computers, humans are assumed to have the ability to process, transform, store, and retrieve information from their memory. Models like memory and attention posit that mental processes follow a certain sequence. For instance, input processes involve stimuli analysis; storage processes are concerned with things that affect the stimuli internally in one’s brain and can entail stimuli manipulation and coding. Output processes involve the preparation of apposite stimuli response. Lastly, cognitive psychology posits that cognitive processing is often influenced by schemas (the mental frameworks of expectations and beliefs developed from individuals’ experiences), which help determine the quality of one’s interaction with their environment (Henley, 2018).

Relation To The Development Of Psychology As A Science: World War II

During World War II, new theories and concepts were developed regarding signal communication and processing. Such concepts had a key influence on the psychologists who were active during this time. In 1948, Shannon published a paper on information theory, proposing that information was normally communicated by sending a signal via a sequence of transformations or stages, suggesting that human memory and perception might be conceptualized. This means that sensory information enters certain receptors and is fed into perceptual analyzers whose outputs are then input into memory systems (McClelland, 2019). This marked the beginning of the approach to information processing, the notion that cognition could be well comprehended as an information flow in an organism, an idea that persists even today. As behaviorism’s influence declined in the early 60s, the idea of information processing became more popular as the human mind was likened to a computer. Noam Chomsky’s argument that the complexity of language cannot be explained by only operant principles, claiming that the human brain is genetically programmed to create language, also played a crucial role in cognitive psychology development. Chomsky argues that every child is born with brain structures, a language acquisition device that makes it easy for such children to learn language rules, syntactical structures, and deep grammar common to every language (Henley, 2018).

Generally, cognitive psychology took shape as a new manner of comprehending the mind’s science in the late 50s. Research discoveries in attention and memory fueled the formative events. Also, learning together with ideas outside experimental psychology like communication theory, social psychology, developmental psychology, computer science, and linguistics provided cognitive psychologists with extra breadth in dealing with the complexity of thinking and information processing among human beings. This reemergence is commonly regarded as the Cognitive Revolution, which emerged in 1956 following a conference regarding the communication theory and seminal papers presented by Jerome Bruner, Noam Chomsky, as well as George Miller, Herbert Simon and Jerome Bruner, were made. World War II also played a crucial role in understanding brain injuries as clinical data on language, memory, and perception as by-products of such injuries were made (Psychology, 2022).

Significance of Cognitive Psychology Today

Cognitive psychology is widely relevant today. Some of the practical applications of this theory include offering help coping with memory disorders, enhancing decision-making accuracy, treating learning disorders, finding ways to aid individuals in recovering from brain injury, and structuring educational curricula that can improve learning. The present cognitive psychology research helps play a key role in how professionals approach the management and treatment of various mental illnesses, degenerative brain diseases, and traumatic brain injury. As a result of cognitive psychology research, it is easier to pinpoint ways of measuring human intellectual abilities, decode the human brain’s workings, and develop new strategies that can help deal with memory problems (Cherry, 2020).

How These Factors Show The Continued Influence Of The History Of Psychology On Modern-Day Psychology

Besides enhancing comprehension of how the human mind operates, cognitive psychology has also had a major influence on mental health approaches. Before 1970, various mental health approaches focused on humanistic, behavioral, and psychoanalytic approaches (Cherry, 2022). Nevertheless, when the cognitive revolution took place, more emphasis was placed on comprehending how individuals process information and how thinking patterns might influence psychological distress. Consequently, there are new approaches to treating such disorders as anxiety, depression, phobias, and other psychological disorders. Furthermore, cognitive psychology and brain science are among the most versatile specialties in psychology today, as individuals in various fields seek to understand how the human brain operates. For instance, in clinical settings, cognitive psychologists strive to manage issues linked to human mental processes, such as speech issues, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and perception or sensory difficulties (American Psychological Association, 2022).


American Psychological Association. (2022). Understanding Brain Science and Cognitive Psychology.

Cherry, K. (2020). Major Schools of Thought in Psychology. Verywellmind.,Wilhelm%20Wundt%20and%20Edward%20Titchener.

Cherry, K. (2022). Cognitive Psychology: The Science of How We Think. Verywellmind.,educational%20curricula%20to%20enhance%20learning.

Henley, T. (2018). Hergenhahn’s An Introduction to the History of Psychology (8th Edition). Cengage Learning US.

McClelland, J.L. (2019). Cognitive Psychology: History. Cognitive neuroscience, 3(2), 2140-2147.

McLeod, S. (2020). Cognitive Psychology.

Psychology. (2019). Cognitive Psychology.


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p 210 assignment.
This assignment is designed to help you think about the history of psychology as a progressive, continuous process. In this assignment, you will choose one school of thought and look at its influence throughout history and in modern-day psychology. You will research past and present factors and relate them back to the development of psychology as a science. Your assignment should be supported by at least two scholarly resources, including references to the readings and at least one outside resource obtained from the Purdue Global Library.

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology

Write a 3- to 4-page informative essay incorporating the following:

Choose one school of thought and summarize its major concepts.
Based on this school of thought, provide an example that shows the continued influence of the history of psychology on modern-day psychology by:
Researching past and present factors (e.g., societal values, world events, life events of the theorist, advances in technology) and relating them to the development of psychology as a science. For example: How did the World Wars impact the development of behaviorism?
How is this school of thought still being used today?
How do these factors show the continued influence of the history of psychology on modern-day psychology?

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