Cognitive Psychology Definition Paper Essay

Cognitive Psychology Definition Paper Tiffany Barbieri PSY/360 Kelly Carroll 8/2/2010 Out of the many branches of psychology, cognitive psychology is the “branch of psychology that studies mental processes” (Cherry, 2010). Many individuals have contributed too many milestones related to the development and growth of cognitive psychology. Behavioral observation is very important in cognitive psychology die to the abstract nature of cognition. The mental processes that cognitive psychology studies include how people think, perceive, remember, and learn.

The main core focus of cognitive psychology is how people gather, process, and store information (Cherry, 2010). Cognitive psychology us very different from previous psychological approaches in two major ways: • It accepts the use of the Scientific Method and generally rejects introspection as a valid method of investigation, unlike the symbol-driven approaches used in Freudian psychology (Schunk, 2008). • It explicitly acknowledges the existence of internal mental states, such as belief, desire, and motivation, unlike behaviorist psychology (Schunk, 2008).

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There are several positive aspects behind cognitive psychology such as ways to improve memory, increase decision making accuracy, and also how to enhance learning (Cherry, 2010). Ulric Neisser played a major role in the development of cognitive psychology when he published his first, and most influential, of his books: Cognitive Psychology in 1967. Then in 1976, Neisser wrote another book titled, Cognition and Reality, in which he expressed his criticisms on the field of cognitive psychology.

First, he was unhappy with the linear programming model of cognitive psychology and how it over-emphasized information processing models that were used to describe and explain behavior. Secondly, Neisser felt that cognitive psychology had failed, in many ways, to address human behavior. Lastly, which seems of the most importantance, Neisser developed respect for the theory of direct perception that was proclaimed by the affective psychologist J. J. Gibson.

In this book, Neisser came to the conclusion that he believed that cognitive psychology had little to no chance on becoming popular until Gibson’s’ work on perception had been re-worked (Massaro, 1990). One milestone linked to cognitive psychology would be Individual Psychology, which was developed by Dr. Alfred Adler. In 1902 Freud invited Adler to help create psychological treatments for neuroses and at one point Alderian psychology had already made tremendous progress.

Then in 19122, Adler started to doubt Freud about Freud’s theories behind sexual impulses and how they are the chief factor in forming both normal and neurotic personalities. Adler left Freud to develop his own ideas, these then became the basis for all the cognitive psychologies and therapies that would come later (Cherry, 2010). George Mandler and his work with the organization of memories is another developmental milestone in cognitive psychology. Mandler was a contributor in the cognitive revolution in the mid-twentieth century.

His work was vast improvements in the fields of “cognition and emotion and the importance of autonomic feedback” (Kessen. Ortony, & Craik, 1991). Mandler’s work with the use of organization theory for an understanding of memory and recall and recognition made great strides in cognitive psychology. Behavioral observation is very important in the field of cognitive psychology. The reasoning is that cognitive psychology is all about how people think, act, remember and learn. Behavioral observation would be required in order to fully understand how an individual, or a group, acts, learns, and thinks based a psychology perspective.

Cognitive psychology has played a major role in the kerning behind the human mental processes. If it wasn’t for George Mandler, Alfred Adler, J. J. Gibson, and Ulric Neisser, cognitive psychology would not be as developed as it is today. In fact without all of the research and tools, we would never have cognitive psychology. With the continuing research behind cognitive psychology and through behavioral observations, cognitive psychology will continue to grow and prosper. References Cherry, K. (2010). Psychology.

The New York Times. Retrieved from http://psychology. about. com. od/cognitivepsychology/f/cogpsych. htm Schunk, D. H. (2008). Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective. (5th ed. ). New York, N. Y. : Pearson, Merrill Prentice Hall. Massaro, D. W. (1990, Autumn). Boof Review of Remembering Reconsidered. American Journal of Psychology. 103(3), 403-31 Kessen, W. , Ortony, A. , & Craik, F. (1991). Memories Thoughts and Emotions: Essays In Honor of George Mandler. Hillsdale, N. J. : Lawrence Erlbaum Associations.


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