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Cognitive Psychology Definition
Maria Del Carmen Muraira
May 2012
Instructor: Monica Gauna

Cognitive Psychology
Cognitive psychology is one of the most interesting components helping to make the study of psychology so interesting. Psychology defined as the study of mind, emotion and behavior. It is also known that cognitive psychology was outnumbered by behaviorism butlater revived, bringing into being cognitive revolution. Cognition has aspects involved in mental processes that include perception, attention, memory, problem solving, reasoning, and decision making.
Perceptions vary from person to person. Different people perceive different things about the same situation. But more than that, we assign different meanings to what we perceive. Andthe meanings might change for a certain person. One might change one's perspective or simply make things mean something else. Research shows that cognitive psychology began when mind researches were first done. With the rise of behaviorism approach, the study of mind got discouraged and cognitive psychology fade. Later, cognitive psychology was established as a major psychology area resultingto cognitive revolution. This brought about rebirth of science of mind. This has developed to modern approaches used in the study of mind.
Attention is more than just noticing incoming stimuli. It involves a number of processes including filtering out perceptions, balancing multiple perceptions and attaching emotional significance to these perceptions. There are two major forms ofattention: passive and active. Passive attention refers to the involuntary process directed by external events that stand out from their environment, such as a bright flash, a strong odor, or a sudden loud noise. Active attention is voluntary and is guided by alertness, concentration, interest and needs such as curiosity and hunger. Active attention also involves effort.
According to Goldstein(2007), the research of cognitive psychology began in 19th century long before the psychology field with Franciscus Donders being its pioneer. Decline of behaviorism initiated cognitive revolution. Behaviorism brought the idea that, by studying the stimulus response relationships, behavior can be understood. At around 1950s, several events occurred resulting to cognitive revolution. Cognitiverevolution can be defined as a shift form stimulus response relationship to explanation of behavior in mind’s concept. Therefore, cognitive revolution in the history of cognitive psychology can be considered as the most influential part in the practice of modern psychology. As noted by Benjamin (2007), cognitive psychology is a representation of gradual shift in concept and methodology borrowingknowledge from other fields such as computers, theory of information, theory of linguistics, and communication networks among others. It continues today in the research of cognition. For instance, neurophysiology is reached through neuroscience and biochemistry for better understanding of cognition. Cognitive revolution provided information processing approach as a new way of mind study.Introduction of digital computers, devices of processing information, inspired many psychologists who began to view mind in the basis of information processing. The ability of computers to process information in stages captured the attention of many cognitive psychologists. By understanding that information in a computer as it is first received by input processor, then storage in memory unit follows,and lastly processing in arithmetic unit, many cognitive psychologists experimented and applied this layout. For instance, Goldstein (2007) shows that Cherry, a psychologist, experimented on attention where he presented two different messages at a go to people and later told them to repeat the messages. He realized that people pay attention to one message among many. He also deduced that the...
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