Cognitive Psychology is another school of thought which examines the internal processes or cognition and attempts to study the thought processes, memory and the stages involved in cognitive development on a long term basis. The two crucial characteristics of Cognitive Approach which differentiates the Cognitive Psychologists from other schools of thought have been described below:
- Cognitive approach to Psychology relies heavily on the scientific techniques for behaviour analysis unlike the behavioural approach which focuses on introspection for investigating behavioural patterns.
- Cognitive psychologists acknowledge the importance of internal mental conditions like thoughts, emotions, feelings and desires in influencing the day to day behavioural patterns.
The main goal of Cognitive Psychology is to study how humans acquire and put to use the acquired knowledge and information mentally just like a computer processor. The main presumption behind cognitive theory is that solutions to various problems take the form of heuristics, algorithms or insights. The key areas of research interest in Cognitive Psychology are memory, attention, perception, learning, thinking, language, categorization, etc.
Historical Background of Cognitive School of Thought
Though research evidences prove that researchers have undertaken research work previously on cognitive approaches, but Cognitive Psychology gained its importance as a subfield of psychology during late 50s and 60s. The field of cognitive psychology is heavily influenced by the developments in the field of computer science and technology.
Donald Broadbent in his book Perception & Communication in 1958, propounded information theory in which he unleashed newer insights and led the development of a new model of cognition involving information processing. Ulric Neisser coined the term cognitive psychology in one of his published books in 1967. The foundation of this approach was laid in the Gestalt psychology in the works of Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Köhler and Jean Piaget, who tried studying the intellectual studied intellectual advancement and growth in children.
Although Cognitive perspective is not the brainchild of any one researcher or thinker, Noam Chomsky (1928), has a significant part to play with his far-sighted findings on the cognitive revolution. The American Linguist was quite dissatisfied with the perspective of behaviourism and considered the behaviourism to be short sighted. He believed that in order to provide a meaningful interpretation to the psychological predispositions, cognition or internal mental state should be integrated along with the behavioural patterns (Miller, 2003).
Jean Piagets Cognitive Theory
Jean Piaget is known for his contributions towards the stage theory of cognitive advancement, which describes how children progress in terms of logical and scientific thinking over a period of time. As the children advance to the next stage, a progressive change or development can be seen in their thinking and reasoning capabilities.
Applications of Cognitive Psychology as a Specialized Discipline
Cognitive Psychology studies complex internal or mental processes which involve an analysis of the higher-order brain functioning including problem solving, thinking and language usage. The theory uses diverse range of cognitive tools to describe how humans perceive, interpret and act in response to their surroundings, including decision making and reasoning. Cognitive psychologists equally try to analyze how our emotions like fear and desire, influence our cognitive capabilities and certain times investigate along with the neuroscientists for diagnosing the emotional manifestations and its effect on the cognitive capabilities. Cognitive Psychology has its applications in industrial organizations, management, child development & psychology, education and a lot more fields.
Cognitive Psychology has its applications in various other fields related to psychology for resolving psychological issues both in organizational and personal context.
- Depression: With the help of counselling techniques and cognitive therapies, the psychiatrists or the counsellors help their patients to fight out depression along with the antidepressants for treating depression.
- Anti-Social and Aggressive Behaviour: The aggressive and anti-social behaviour of people depends upon how people process the social information and respond to others in response to other peoples behaviour. Kenneth Dodge identified five cues which people follow for assessing and responding to other peoples behaviour, which has been described below:
- Encoding of the social information
- Interpreting the social information or cues
- Response search
- Evaluating the responses
- Implementing the response
By becoming better aware of the above 5 crucial processes, people can make informed choices with respect to their social behavioural patterns and learn to control their aggression level in their behaviour by taking out time and thinking of each step as it comes.
- Education: The study of cognitive psychology has an influence on the field of education in many different ways. Jean Piagets 4 stages of Cognitive Development take into consideration students mental and biological readiness during different stages to accept different information, which teachers must take into account while selecting the teaching modalities. Moreover, trainers and educators try to use Cognitive approach for imparting training to the learners by assessing the preferred learning styles which can be visual, auditory or kinaesthetic.
- Advertisement and Cognitive Psychology: The market specialists make use of Cognitive Psychology concepts for designing their marketing programs which can impress the audience and influence their purchase behaviour.
- Explains how Human Brains Process Information: Human brains do tend to process information just like computer processors by sorting, filtering and reproducing the desired outputs or eliciting the desired responses accordingly (Willingham, 2007).
Benefits and Limitations of Cognitive Approach
Cognitive approach has the advantage of being practically applicable in various fields and is appreciated for relying heavily on scientific techniques or experiments as the main method of research and investigation. The disadvantage of cognitive approach is that it relies heavily on the cognitive or internal mental processes, which cannot be observed directly. Since the findings are based on the investigation or study of the invisible processes, hence the theory has been criticized for being subjective and lacking the scientific approach, as a result of which the validity of the research findings are questionable. The theory has also been criticized for not taking into consideration the other factors which influence the behaviour as per Palmer and Hollin. The theory has been labelled as reductionist as the focus is just on 5 cognitive processes like attention, thought, perception, memory and language, while the other factors have been disregarded.
|❮❮ Previous||Next ❯❯|
Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
The article is Written By Prachi Juneja and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.
- Introduction to Psychology
- Major Perspectives in Psychology-Psychodynamic Approach
- Important Questions in Psychology and the Challenges to the field of Study
- Psychology as a Science and the Use of Scientific Methods in Psychological Research
- The Behavioural Approach and its application in Management field
- Cognitive Psychology
- Humanistic Perspective of Psychology
- Socio-Cultural Perspective of Psychology
- The Biological Perspective of Psychology (Biopsychology)
- Sigmund Freud-Founder of Psychoanalysis and his Theories
- Gestalt School of Psychology
- Human Brain, Neurons and Behaviour
- Theory of Brain Lateralization
- Effect of Endocrine System on Human Behaviour
- Sensation and Sensory Absolute Thresholds
- Sensation and the Sensory Organs (Vision and Audition)
- Sensation and the Sensory Organs (Gustation, Olfaction, Somatosensation, Proprioception and Kinesthesia)
- Perception: Introduction to the Perceptual Process
- Perceptual Illusions and Constancies
- Attention - Meaning, Types & its Determinants
- Learning: Definition, Characteristics and Types of Learning in Psychology
- Learning Theories: Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning and Learning by Observation
- Functioning of Human Memory
- Functioning of the Long-Term Memory
- Coaching to Lead the Mind