Evolution of Cognitive Psychology

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Evolution of Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology is defined as “the scientific study of mental processes” (Riegler & Riegler 2008, p. 1). During the 1960s, cognitive psychology became an emerging presence in the field of psychology. During this time period, attention to the study of “how internal states, such as thoughts, feelings, and moods influence behavior” (Cherry 2010, p. 12). Cognitive psychology studies how individuals think, comprehend language, and form beliefs. Human development involves cognitive development. Researchers attempted to study thought through introspection. However, introspection was not impartial because individuals are far too complex and do not share similar thoughts and ideas.
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21). Human beings process information in a similar way. The creation of the computer was a great advantage in the field as well. Scientists found that the human mind and a computer shared many features in input, information processing, and organization.

Another reason in the emergence in cognitive psychology was the S-R approach. The S-R approach of learning language was devised by B.F. Skinner; which was a behaviorist approach. Skinner argued “that even complex ability like language could be captured in purely S-R terms” (Riegler & Riegler 2008, p. 20). Noam Chomsky criticized Skinner’s analysis regarding the S-R approach claiming it to appear to be scientific. Chomsky felt that language was grasped in the mind, thus, popularized cognitive psychology. Overall, behaviorism was unreliable in the explanation of language.

Impact of the Decline of Behaviorism on Cognitive Psychology

The decline of behaviorism enabled the presence of cognitive psychology. Critics of behaviorism believed that the failure was to address factors such as free will, internal thoughts, and other methods of learning (Cherry, 2010). Behaviorists introduced the emphasis on scientific method, therefore, opening the door to cognitive psychology. According to Riegler & Riegler (2008) “the failure of the S-R approach, coupled with the promise and excitement
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