Antecedents of Cognitive Psychology

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Cognitive Psychology

Definition and Subject Matter

“Cognitive psychology is a modern approach to the study of [processes by which people come to understand the world- such processes as memory, learning, comprehending language, problem solving, and creativity. Cognitive psychology has been influenced by developments in language, computer science, and of course, earlier work in philosophy and psychology” – Hayes (cited by Lundin)

This definition of Hayes emphasizes the notion that cognitive psychology gives significance to the study of higher mental processes. According to Lichtenstein, among the appealing aspects of cognitive psychology is that it corresponds quite well to the common sense psychology of the layperson. If a student is
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He also agreed with Berkeley that human never experienced the physical directly and can have only perception of it. He did not deny the existence of physical reality, but he denied the possibility of knowing it directly.

Nativism: Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is much concerned about the operations of the mind. Though he believed in the existence of the mind, he held a different view from the empiricists when it comes to the nature and function of the mind. He set out to prove that Hume was wrong by claiming that some truths were certain and were not based on subjective experience alone. Kant argued that the very ingredients which are necessary for even thinking in terms of a causal relationship could not be derived from experience and therefore must exist a priori, or independent of experience. Though he did not deny the importance of sensory data, he thought that the mind must add something to that data before knowledge could be attained; that something was provided by a priori (innate) categories of thought (unity, totality, time, space, cause and effect, reality, quantity, quality, negation, possibility-impossibility, and existence-nonexistence). Kant claimed that the subjective experiences of human has been modified by the pure concepts of the mind and is therefore more meaningful than it would otherwise have been.


Cognitive psychology took its next step towards
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