Cognitive Psychology When an individual faces a problem, they may not know its solution, but might have insight, increasing knowledge, and a notion of what they are looking for. When an individual faces a mystery, however, they might only be able to stare in wonder and puzzlement, not knowing what an explanation would even look like. Many theories have been projected over the years to explain the developmental adjustments that individuals experience over the path of their lives.
These theories vary in the beliefs of human nature they embrace and in what they consider to be the essential causes and means of human inspiration and behavior. Cognitive psychology has had many stemmed milestones and has become one of the major schools of thought within psychology which examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language, studying how people think, perceive, remember, learn, then behave. Key Milestones In the late 19th century many psychologists became more and more fascinated in cognition.
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After following earlier behaviorists and their theories, such as Jean Piaget in the early 19th century with his interest in child thought, B. F. Skinner in the mid 19th century with his language and operant conditioning, or even Noam Chomsky who disputed B. F. Skinner’s theory a few years after. What substituted these behaviorists’ theories after many uncertainties of proficiency was what is called cognitive psychology today. The fascination with cognition began to expand and cognition became an extreme inspiration within psychology being called the cognitive revolution then appointed the name of cognitive psychology.
Milestones within the development of cognitive psychology could start with the name Wilhelm Wundt a psychologist who was one of the firsts to recognize the discipline of psychology in his laboratory which was started in the late 18th century. Wundt believed that psychology was rooted on the observation of experience (structuralism), which he planned to portray in a table of the mind, similar to the periodic table. Wundt was disputed by a psychologist named William James who believed that mental processes must have a purpose, in other words, the adjustment of individuals to their environment (functionalism).
He also later played a part in the James-Lange Theory, which states that individuals feel an emotion because of the action in which they select to engage. After Wundt’s structuralism and James’ functionalism a theorist named John Watson emerged and challenged their theories by his own belief which was named behaviorism. Behaviorism can be defined as what an individual is doing, or is observed by another individual to be doing (Overskeid, 1995). Watson’s theory outlined as this, first observe the individuals behavior and make guesses or assumptions, then determine underlying relations between the stimuli and response.
Watson believed that a stimuli and response can be interchangeable. After Watson’s theories of behaviorism, behaviorism began to deteriorate and an alternate was initiated to analyze the mind, this alternative compared the mind to a computer. This turned into the link connecting behaviorism and cognitive psychology. This comparison of the mind to a computer as technology enhanced, psychologists were able to comprehend more and more of the internal human, which played a large part in how theorists examined human thought processes and behavior.
Behavioral Observation Psychologists’ transformed curiosity into the mental process was brought about by the development of the computer. This process offered a captivating image for the human mind, which linked the computer to the brain. The computer codes presented step by step prototype of how information from the natural world is recorded, stored, and recovered to supply a response. Establishment of the computer comparison gave psychologists the idea to begin devising information processing prototypes of the human thought process and behavior.
The mission of a cognitive psychologist is to interpret the action of humans performing intellectual tasks to assumption of the synopsis methods motivating the behavior. Cognitive psychologists offer theories about what is occurring inside an individuals head on the foundation of the individual’s exterior behaviors. Of course, there is no way to identify for sure what is truly going on inside. What is significant is that the theory be precise in calculating an individual’s action in a particular condition.
Theories of comprehending human cognitive functioning begin with eye movements, because of the connection to perception, image memory, and pattern recollection. Eye movements perform a critical role in vision by being controlled by cognitive forms existing in the brain already. The human mind processes, retains, and retrieves information in systematic steps. These steps are run down something like this: The first step in this process is that information is given from an outside source or stimulus (Sensation) when a sensory organ picks up the stimulus it changes immediately into an electrical impulse (traces), which begins Perception.
These traces then move into Primary memory (Attention), while information is in Primary memory it last for about 15 seconds and if information is not used within those 15 seconds then the thought leaves or passes back out of primary memory. If information is used within 15 seconds in Primary memory then the traces are moved into Secondary memory (Short-term), which begins Storage. Again the information last in secondary memory for about what a researcher in the field of Mental Retardation named Norman R. Ellis calls “a semester” but is about 6 months.
Some information or knowledge might be retained in short-term memory until it hooks onto something else like maybe another similar memory. Individuals can select what they want to move on to Tertiary Memory better known as Long-Term Memory, even though not necessarily true that the information or knowledge will definitely go into Long-Term Memory. In Long-Term Memory, information or knowledge brought back to the surface (Retrieval) and go through the process repeatedly then could even bring along more information that is similar or knowledge that is in short term memory into Long-term memory.
When this happens, the process just continues repeatedly, unless a trauma or memory loss occurs. Even though this process sounds like it could take a long time to go through, it only takes a few minutes and is done unconsciously. Cognition can be considered the mental process that takes place among the antecedent and the behavior. Given that these processes cannot be quantified, cognitive psychologists use behavioral studies, most times in the usage of carrying out tasks, to calculate an individual’s performance in particular situations helping the understanding of the mental process.
From Classical conditioning, Operant conditioning, even to Experimental cognitive psychology. These all and some play a part in the what, where, and how of cognitive psychology. Conclusion Most people take their ability to learn and remember for granted. Without this ability individuals would not be able to think, use language, and recognize people in the environment. Understanding how the brain is able to acquire and process new information, store memory within neurons, then retrieve it when needed is a challenge to anyone interested in psychology.
It is very important to understand that cognitive psychology provides us insight into the human brain. It gives us the chance to help individuals who have disorders like dementia or amnesia, because of these disorders and others, plus the large fascination from the most of man kind, research for cognitive psychology will be around for many years to come. Reference Overskeid, G. (1995). Cognitivist or behaviourist–Who can tell the difference? The case of implicit and explicit knowledge. British Journal of Psychology, 86(4), 517. Retrieved September 4, 2008, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 9156094).