Cognitive Psychology Essay

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Cognitive Psychology

Psychology is defined as the study of mind, emotion and behaviour. One major perspective within psychology is known as cognitive psychology, which is primarily concerned with the explanation of thought processes through the development of theoretical mental systems. Cognitivism is somewhat broad in it’s approaches to psychology and only linked in it’s goal to create hypothetical mental structures to explain behaviour (“History & Scope Of Psychology”).

The exact origins of cognitivism are difficult to pinpoint. Ideas that make up the perspective have been traced back to ancient Greece;
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It aims to understand the mental accompaniment of everyday perceptions and actions (Barber, 1988). By devising mental structures of mental functions and the way in which information is processed, it could then be possible to explain observable behaviour.

The most significant concept of cognitivism is the computer or information processor metaphor. It underlies the majority of theoretical and empirical research in the field (Frensch, 2001). This analogy related the mind to a computer with sequences of computational processes. A Mathematical Theory of Communication was an influential paper written by Claude Shannon (published in 1948) which first presented the idea that to be communicated; information had to travel via signals through a sequence of stages and transformations. Such theories gave a substantially more complicated view of human behaviour, especially in comparison to simpler stimulus-response theories formed in behaviourism, by adding the important dimension of the mind. This concept gave a mechanical view of the human mind and behaviour, implying that the brain works similarly to piece of computer software programmed to perform pre-defined functions.

Cognitivism also introduced the concept of an intervening process between stimuli and responses,
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