Cognitive Psychological Theory

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COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY THEORY Overview Cognitive psychology is a modern school of psychology that departs from the traditional view of psychology as primarily a function of responses to stimuli and patterns of conditioned responses. It does not reject the behaviorist school of psychology as much as it expands its scope to include elements of responses and behavior that are not fully addressed by behaviorism (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2009). Cognitive psychology appreciates the value of observational data and empirical or "scientific" analysis but rejects the introspection-oriented methods relied upon within Freudian psychodynamic psychology. Generally, cognitive theory suggests that perception and corresponding external behavioral responses are dictated by a much more complex set of variables than cause and effect or the one-dimensional focus of classical conditioning (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2009). It incorporates internal states of mind as well as subjective variables such as social learning and belief, the cumulative impact of previous experiences, individual desires and perspective, and personal motivation. It also emphasizes the significance of differences in brain structure and function from individual to individual as elements that contribute to the perceptions and responses of different individuals to experiences that are objectively similar (Pinker, 2002). Rejection of the Blank Slate Concept The behaviorist view of psychology is that the individual begins life as a
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