What is COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY?

The collection of theories into a system. This system states that human mental and physical tasking can be explained in terms of information processing by a computer. It attempts to interrogate how a mind works by focusing on how human and other organisms see things, retain data, process data, and gain experience from this data. As an adjunct discipline, this system integrates ideas from diverse 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 procedures, (2). interaction between an organism and its environment influences its initial behavior as well as its knowledge of the environment, and this affects its subsequent response to the environment, (3). how animals behave may not be directly applicable to the study of human behavior, but how machines learn may be, (4). development of learning strategies and structuring of learning environments brings understanding, (5). knowledge is not acquired, but produced by a learner, based on what the learner’s existing experiences and knowledge, (6). an instructor must focus on encouraging exploration towards knowledge formation, development of judgment, and acquisition and organization of information by the learner. Cognitive psychology traces it roots to the observations and theories of the Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. In modern times, it owes its development mainly to the works of (1) 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, (2) his US contemporary William James (1842-1910), who developed the theory of multi-component memory and the concept of streams of consciousness, and (3) the US psychologist Edward Chase Tolman (1886-1959), who was first to argue that cognitive procedures must be studied to understand behavior. Other major contributors include (1) Swiss researcher Jean Piaget (1896-1980), who during the 1940s and 1950s studied cognitive development in children and presented theories of learning, and (2) the German US researcher Ulrich Neisser (1928) , who in the 1960s developed information processing models of the human brain, and in 1967 wrote the first textbook on the subject, entitled ‘Cognitive Psychology’. Refer also to constructivism.

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