Fluidity of Cognitive Psychology

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Cognitive Psychology is defined as the scientific study of mental process such as, attention language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and thinking. Most of the work derived from cognitive psychology has been integrated into various other modern disciplines such as Cognitive Science and of Psychological study known to have suggested that the brain was the seat of the mental processes.

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In 1637, Ren© Descartes posited that humans are born with innate ideas, and forwarded the idea of mind-body dualism, which would come to be known as substance dualism . From that time, major debates ensued through the 19th century regarding whether human thought was solely experiential, or included innate knowledge . Some of those involved in this debate included George Berkeley and John Locke on the side of empiricism, and Immanuel Kant on the side of nativism. With the philosophical debate continuing, the mid to late 19th century was a critical time in the development of psychology as a scientific discipline.

Two discoveries that would later play substantial roles in cognitive psychology were Paul Broca’s discovery of the area of the brain largely responsible for language production, Both areas were subsequently formally named for their founders and disruptions of an individual’s language production or comprehension due to trauma or malformation in these areas have come to commonly be known as Broca’s aphasia and Wernicke’s aphasia.

From the 1920s to the 1950s, the main approach to psychology was behaviorism. Initially, its adherents viewed mental events such as thoughts, ideas, attention, and consciousness as unobservables, hence outside the realm of a science of psychology. One pioneer of cognitive psychology, who worked outside the boundaries of behaviorism was Jean Piaget. From 1926 to the 1950s and into the 1980s, he studied the thoughts, language, and intelligence of children and adults. In the mid-20th century, three main influences arose that would inspire and shape cognitive psychology as a formal school of thought: With the development of new warfare technology during WWII, the need for a greater understanding of human performance came to prominence. Problems such as how to best train soldiers to use new technology and how to deal with matters of attention while under duress became areas of need for military personnel. Behaviorism provided little if any insight into these matters and it was the work of Donald Broadbent, integrating concepts from human performance research and the recently developed information theory, that forged the way in this area. of behaviorism, and empiricism more generally, initiated what would come to be known as the ‘cognitive revolution’. Inside psychology, in criticism of behaviorism, J. S. Bruner, J. J. Goodnow & G. A. Austin wrote ‘a study of thinking’ in 1956. In 1960, G. A. Miller, E. Galanter and K. Pribram wrote their famous ‘Plans and the Structure of Behavior’.

The same year, Bruner and Miller founded the Harvard Center for Cognitive Studies, which institutionalized the revolution and launched the field of cognitive science. Formal recognition of the field involved the establishment of research institutions such as George Mandler’s Center for Human Information Processing in 1964.

Mandler described the origins of cognitive psychology in a 2002 article in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Ulric Neisser put the term ‘cognitive psychology’ into common use through his book Cognitive Psychology, published in 1967. Neisser’s definition of ‘cognition’ illustrates the then-progressive concept of cognitive processes. The term ‘cognition’ refers to all processes by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used. It is concerned with these processes even when they operate in the absence of relevant stimulation, as in images and hallucinations. … Given such a sweeping definition, it is apparent that cognition is involved in everything a human being might possibly do; that every psychological phenomenon is a cognitive phenomenon.  

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Fluidity Of Cognitive Psychology. (2021, Mar 28). Retrieved November 29, 2022 , from
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