Cognitive Psychology Definition Paper
Paul R. Smith
April 4, 2016
Cognitive psychology is the study of the processes of the mind and focuses on memory, attention, perception, creativity, and problem solving among other things. The study of cognitive psychology is by no means a new science and the fundamental idea of it has been around since as early as the ancient Greeks. The term cognition refers to all processes by which sensory input is changed, minimized, described, stored, recovered and used. There have been several key milestones involved in the development of cognitive psychology as a discipline. During the course of this paper we will be examining four of them and their psychological significance. Another subject of importance in the science of cognitive psychology is behavioral observation. We will also be discussing how this type of observation is critical in the study of cognitive psychology.
One of the first major milestones of cognitive psychology was the introduction of behaviorism. This school of psychology took off in the 1930’s and dominated academia until well into the 1960’s. Allot of people considered it a branch of functionalism because both are similar in some ways. Behaviorism as a perspective of psychology is not without its downfalls such as not being able to account for all experimental data being introduced but is still an invaluable observational tool. Among the experimental data included are studies in language and memory. Another shortcoming of behaviorism was that while founded on the principle of psychology that states we should only focus it on that which is observable, this can sometimes cast other unprovable research into the shadow of speculation. Ultimately everything is not categorized as observable such as someone’s thoughts or feelings which would be deemed not important to behaviorism.
The second milestone that we will be discussing is actually...