The cognitive psychology is the branch of psychology that with cognition involved, so all those mental processes that deal with issues such as understanding, knowledge, memories and memory, problem solving and information processing. It is one of the cognitive sciences. The little researched and complex psychic mechanisms of human thought form the research object of this branch in science. In applied cognitive psychology, the specialty also has a more application-oriented sub-discipline.
In contrast to a branch of psychology as behaviorism, cognitive psychology is not based on the behavior of individuals, and the observable impression they make on the outside world, but cognitive psychology sees cognition as the subject that can be studied independently.
After Behaviorism, which was rampant in the mid- 20th century in the United States, Edward C. Tolman and Frederic Bartlett were the first to open the black box of behaviorism, as it were. They also studied the whole of phenomena that take place between the stimulation of the organism by the environment and the observable reaction of this organism.
Cognitive psychology actually arose in the 1950s, simultaneously with artificial intelligence. When one began to study what was once considered the “black box”, it was necessary to develop concepts to describe the processes that took place. The beginning of computer science has contributed an arsenal of concepts with which cognition could be treated, with notions such as information, information processing and information systems. Human cognition was often compared with the way in which information is processed by computers. Incidentally, the English term cognitive psychology only became available in 1967first used by Ulrich Neisser.
Although considerable progress has been made since this period, the notion of information systems continues to play a central role in cognitive models. Both within formal approaches, in which symbol manipulation represented cognition, as well as within connectionist approaches, with neural networks, as well as within hybrid approaches.
Two important points on which cognitive psychology broke with previous trends in psychology are:
- The use of the scientific method and rejection of introspection, as used in phenomenological approaches, such as psychoanalysis
- The explicit recognition of the existence of internal mental states, such as belief, desire and motivation, in contrast to behaviorism
Cognitive psychology and linguistics
A linguist who played an important role in cognitive science in general and cognitive psychology in particular, is Noam Chomsky. His rationalistic language theories, which were based on an innate language or universal grammar, stimulated cognitive psychological research, for example in older theories where transformations took place between a depth structure and a surface structure of sentences, one went on to measure brain research to see if the time this transformations, were measurable and whether they resulted in certain observable brain activity. He strongly opposed behaviorism and criticized BF Skinner. Within his approaches, linguistics was regarded as a branch of cognitive science. The branch of linguistics that deals specifically with psychological aspects of natural language processing is psycholinguistics.
Other scientists also made a connection between linguistics and cognitive psychology. One of the first cognitive psychologists, George A. Miller, is known for dedicating his career to the development of WordNet, a kind of semantic network for the English language. The development started in 1985 and today WordNet is the basis for many ontologies.
Cognitive psychology and neuroscience
Much use is made of the results of brain research in cognitive psychology. This approach is called cognitive neuroscience. The physiological aspects of cognition are examined by neurosciences such as neuropsychology (a branch of psychology), neurophysiology (a branch of biology), and neurology (a branch of medical science). The term cognitive neuroscience refers to a new discipline in which systematic attempts are made to approach brain research and cognition research from a more integrative perspective. In test setups Animal experiments are often used, because experimenting with humans is in many cases not considered ethically justified. Animal experiments are also often criticized for the same reason.