The Relevance Of Cognitive Psychology Today Psychology Essay

2669 words (11 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Psychology Reference this

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The term behaviorism was founded by John B Watson. It refers to the school of psychology that believes that all behaviors can be measured, changed and trained. Behaviorism also known as behavioral psychology it based on that theory that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Conditioning happens through interaction with the environment. Behaviorists believes that the responses to environment stimulus shapes the behavior. Behaviorists ignore mental processes as something to be studied. In general, behaviorists are concerned purely with observable behaviours, rather than investigating the inner processes of the mind. Behaviorists studied behavior in a systematic and observable manner and totally ignoring the internal mental states, such as cognition, emotions and moods because they are too subjective. Two major types of conditioning are Ivan Pavlov theory of classical conditioning and B.F. Skinner theory of operant conditioning. Behaviorism was a major trend in psychology, that directly followed from functionalism, which was a branch of psychology that examines mental processes and how they relate to human behaviour. Behaviorist theory was that it reject the unique nature of mental events. It does this by declaring that Psychology is the study of only observable behaviours. Therefore mental events and events that happens outside the explanation of behavior was not a concern for Psychology. In definition, behaviorism is the study of the relationship between individual environment and their behaviour, without taking into concern what occurs within their minds. Since behaviorism dismiss the study of metal states, there was however many efforts made to restore the mind also called cognitive processes. This is what led to the ”cognitive revolution”(Baars, 1986; Sperry, 1993). This revolution cause the rise of cognitive psychology and also cognitive science. It is said that the cognitive revolution caused the replacement, decline or even death of behaviorism including behavior analysis(Baars, 1986; Friedenberg & Silverman, 2006).

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This behaviorist movement receive vast support from scientists who claimed that others theories of psychology were invalid and not empirical and as a result not quantifiable. Behaviorism takes an objective stand to ensure that research findings will be valid and capable to relied upon. Behaviorist achieves it by ignoring what they called the ” black box” of the mind, because people cannot measure what goes on in the individual minds. However, people can measure and study behaviours through interaction with the environment. Behaviorism was ruling psychology fields for many years, however there was a major flaw. Behaviorism dominance over psychology restricted the science of observable behaviour. Behaviorists viewed psychology as a natural science with two important deductions, firstly psychology must be objective and secondly psychology viewed as a science field must be empirically as well. Concepts such as consciousness were considered to be outside the domain of psychology. Whereas cognitive psychology concentrates on the mental states.

The criticism of behaviorism are that it is a one-dimensional way of studying behavior and behavioral theories do not account for free will and internal influences such as thoughts, moods and feelings. Behaviorism learning revolves around reinforcements and punishments and do not account for other types of learning. The strengths of behaviorism are since it study observable behaviors, data and information’s would be easier to collect when conducted research. Effective therapeutic techniques such as intensive behavioral intervention, behavior analysis and cognitive psychology are all rooted in behaviorism, while behaviorism is not the dominant in the modern world compared to the middle of the 20th century, it still remains as a influential force in psychology. These approaches are very useful in changing unwanted or harmful behaviors in adults and children. Animals trainers, teachers and parents make use of behavioral techniques to encourage new behaviors and discard unwanted behaviours.

Many psychologists have disagreed with behaviorism and reject this perspective and turned to the study of thinking and consciousness, known as cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychologists are interested to know more on how a person understands and solve problems. Cognitive psychology being a newer school of though in psychology as it started developing in the 1950’s and the early 1960’s. It had becomes the dominant perspective in psychology in the 1970’s. People were more acceptance of the cognitive approach and dissatisfied with the behavioral perspective. The development of better experimental methods and the development of the computer contributed to the cognitive perspective dominance.

Cognitive psychology is about studying cognition, particularly it affect learning and behavior. It explores internal mental processes such as language, problem solving and memory. One of the most influential psychologists in this field is Piaget theory of cognitive development. There are a few assumptions based on cognitive psychology . Firstly it is a pure science based on mostly laboratory experiments. Which is a form of deductive reasoning. Another assumption is that the brain works very much like a computer, like how the mind operates and process information. The brain input, stores and retrieve information very much like how a computer operates. Cognitive psychology is very useful and popular because it can be applied to many fields in psychology, which includes memory, attention, perception, child development, problem solving, eyewitness testimony and gender role development. Cognitive psychology have many practical applications, like cognitive principles are often used in creation of educational curriculum and software design. Some prominent cognitive psychologists are Jean Piaget, Wilhelm Wundt, Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis.

Cognitive psychologists conducts research on human thoughts processes. Cognitive psychologists works in many areas like universities, government agencies, corporate businesses. They study thinking, perception, decision making, memory and judgment. It examines how a person gathers, process, stores and recall information. This branch of psychology prefers to carry out research for the theories to be proved. Cognitive psychologists usually carried out their research on humans. They may carried out experiments on how to improve memory, and to better understand why some people can recall information faster than others, research can be carried out on what influences decision-making.

Businesses is one of the field that benefited from cognitive psychology, as businesses also employ cognitive psychologists. Companies will want their employees to perform to the best. Cognitive psychologists will work with the top management on how to improve the working environment and to developed strategies to help employees to improve the work performance. Having a poor working environment, the workers will therefore be unhappy, less productive and most likely resign for a better job. As the turnover rates can have a huge financial burden for companies because companies will have to find a replacement, find solutions to get the work done as the position is vacant, as training the new employees takes time and money. The new employee may have to attend courses take required them to perform the job and more time is needed to guide the new employees on the job scope. As it is a very tedious process to retrain a new employee and watching them exit the company after a short stay at the company. It will be more impact when several employees exit the company at around the same time, and the new employees are not as experience to handle the job therefore compromising on the productivity and the employees working in the companies for years will have to coach and guide the new employees along making the employees not working to the best of their abilities and making them unproductive. Companies would want to hire people who can work for a long period of time for the company and want their workers to be happy working in their positions. Therefore a psychologist can help the companies on all these situations. When marketing department likes to study more about what affects the consumer to buy their products. Cognitive psychologists may be helpful to explain what affects the consumer decision making process. Cognitive dissonance theory suggest that our attitudes and beliefs must go in harmony with each other and avoid disharmony known as dissonance. Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This in turn will produce a feeling of discomfort which will lead to change in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behavior to reduce the discomfort and restore harmony. Humans are hard-wired to be very uncomfortable with information that conflict with what they believe in. Cognitive dissonance can be helpful to improves the sales of the business. Sales techniques like foot-in-the door are useful to increase sales like firstly to learn about the customers and what they are hoping for and lead the customers the products that will get them what they hope for and the customers hopes are always about how they feel towards the products and not to get customers to buy what they do not want. As the job market is becoming increasing competitive, many studies have shown and supported that general reasoning ability is positively correlated with job performance within an occupation(Kuncel & Hezlett, 2010; Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Therefore employers will look for workers that the general reasoning skills are above the minimal requirements for the occupation.

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The next field to benefit from cognitive psychology would be medical. Patients suffering from memory problems such as Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer disease is a progressive loss of memories overtime. Some researchers propose that the semantic deficit reflects the worsening of the semantic network itself( Rogers et al., 2006), while others attribute to the deficit to impaired retrieval from the network( Nebes, 1992). As people aged, their cognitive functions deteriorate overtime and no longer function as sharp as before . Psychologists help them to develop strategies and techniques to keep their mind and bodies sharp like using the memory retrieval theory to help the patients. As emotions have a powerful and important impact on our cognitive processes, as it is well established that memory influences liking( Stalinski & Schellenberg ,2012). Alzheimer’s patients can remember if you prompt them to remember. It best to try to elicit memories through activities in their earlier years because it robs people of their short term memories, but their long term memories can remains largely intact. Activities like sitting down and looking at old family photographs, singing their popular song in their youth because music can affects moods, attention, recall and attitudes( Kellaris, Cox & Cox, 1993). watching movies or TV shows that they like, getting them to be involved in holidays, as holidays usually will have an emotional impact on people, like during festive seasons they have family gatherings and enjoy themselves together. All the activities have emotional impact on Alzheimer’s patients and strong emotions can trigger back the memories. Using memory techniques can help the brain to develop new pathways for learning and improve memory even for people showing early signs of Alzheimer’s. People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have improved memory after using memory techniques such as mnemonics and word lists. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) shows that memory techniques increased activities in the brain associated with language, learning skills and remembering space and objects. As the brains of MCI also have plasticity, there was decrease activation of the hippocampus compared to adults without MCI. Adults with MCI undergo a memory training program and discovered that the MRI shown an increase activation of certain parts of the brain responsible for language processing, learning skills, and remembering spaces and objects. The findings shows that there is no one area of the brain that stores all memories, however the brain is able to compensate for the decrease activation of the hippocampus by increasing activation in other parts of the brain. Cognitive psychologists work with the patients and families to improve cognitive functioning of the patients. Alzheimer disease is best known for causing loss of memory and cognitive performance ability. Some experts believe that psychotherapy would be on the same par as medication treatment. Some argued that it even more effective in the early stages. Psychotherapy can help the patient to handle depression, anxiety and all other negative emotions well. However as Alzheimer disease progress into a more advanced stage, the effective of psychotherapy is less effective as the patient cognitive functioning decreases.

Another field that benefit is education. Cognitive psychologists may also work with children who are struggling in school and have learning difficulties to improve their memory and also to introduce different study methods and strategies. An FMRI study on musicians showed that music activities activates the ”spatial areas” of the brain. Schmithorst and Holland( 2003) observed activation of the inferior parietal lobules during melodic and harmonic processing, and these areas are also activated in number comparison tasks( Sandrini et al., 2004) suggest that shared areas are involved in number and in music processing. Therefore it may proposed that music training increases spatial abilities( Brochard, Dufour & Despres, 2004) and plays a significant role in mathematics achievement( Cheek & Smith, 1999). Perhaps music can be introduce to help with the students with learning disorders. As learning and memory are inseparable and having deficit on memory will affect how a person learns which will therefore affects the behavioral and brain development. Cognitive evaluations are frequently given out to access the students to see if they are eligible for the gifted programme( Volker & Smerbeck, 2009; Winner, 2000) as it is a very common method of accessing intelligence.

It can be helpful to the police to improve eyewitness testimony by reducing factors such as avoiding leading questions and improving the memory of the witness. Cognitive psychology have made contributions to our understanding of eye witness memory especially in the limitations and failures of the eye witness memory which leads to wrongful jail-terms. Cognitive psychology has found that the memory for eye witnesses can be altered by the phrasing of questions used to elicit information after the event has happened. This suggest that interview with the eye witnesses with the police after the incident had happened, can lead to a reconstruction of the person’s memory of the event( Loftus & Palmer, 1974).

In conclusion, many fields have benefited from cognitive psychology. It can help in business to increase it sales, help employees to work at it peak, helping teachers to benefit by learning about how people process, absorb, learn and remember information. and helping patients suffering from Alzheimer’s to remember memories that were precious to them. It can also assist in learning to help students with learning disorders to perform better in school and lastly to assist the authorities such as the police to assist in investigations. As cognitive psychology touches on many others disciplines, this branch of psychology is therefore studied by numerous people in different fields.

The term behaviorism was founded by John B Watson. It refers to the school of psychology that believes that all behaviors can be measured, changed and trained. Behaviorism also known as behavioral psychology it based on that theory that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Conditioning happens through interaction with the environment. Behaviorists believes that the responses to environment stimulus shapes the behavior. Behaviorists ignore mental processes as something to be studied. In general, behaviorists are concerned purely with observable behaviours, rather than investigating the inner processes of the mind. Behaviorists studied behavior in a systematic and observable manner and totally ignoring the internal mental states, such as cognition, emotions and moods because they are too subjective. Two major types of conditioning are Ivan Pavlov theory of classical conditioning and B.F. Skinner theory of operant conditioning. Behaviorism was a major trend in psychology, that directly followed from functionalism, which was a branch of psychology that examines mental processes and how they relate to human behaviour. Behaviorist theory was that it reject the unique nature of mental events. It does this by declaring that Psychology is the study of only observable behaviours. Therefore mental events and events that happens outside the explanation of behavior was not a concern for Psychology. In definition, behaviorism is the study of the relationship between individual environment and their behaviour, without taking into concern what occurs within their minds. Since behaviorism dismiss the study of metal states, there was however many efforts made to restore the mind also called cognitive processes. This is what led to the ”cognitive revolution”(Baars, 1986; Sperry, 1993). This revolution cause the rise of cognitive psychology and also cognitive science. It is said that the cognitive revolution caused the replacement, decline or even death of behaviorism including behavior analysis(Baars, 1986; Friedenberg & Silverman, 2006).

This behaviorist movement receive vast support from scientists who claimed that others theories of psychology were invalid and not empirical and as a result not quantifiable. Behaviorism takes an objective stand to ensure that research findings will be valid and capable to relied upon. Behaviorist achieves it by ignoring what they called the ” black box” of the mind, because people cannot measure what goes on in the individual minds. However, people can measure and study behaviours through interaction with the environment. Behaviorism was ruling psychology fields for many years, however there was a major flaw. Behaviorism dominance over psychology restricted the science of observable behaviour. Behaviorists viewed psychology as a natural science with two important deductions, firstly psychology must be objective and secondly psychology viewed as a science field must be empirically as well. Concepts such as consciousness were considered to be outside the domain of psychology. Whereas cognitive psychology concentrates on the mental states.

The criticism of behaviorism are that it is a one-dimensional way of studying behavior and behavioral theories do not account for free will and internal influences such as thoughts, moods and feelings. Behaviorism learning revolves around reinforcements and punishments and do not account for other types of learning. The strengths of behaviorism are since it study observable behaviors, data and information’s would be easier to collect when conducted research. Effective therapeutic techniques such as intensive behavioral intervention, behavior analysis and cognitive psychology are all rooted in behaviorism, while behaviorism is not the dominant in the modern world compared to the middle of the 20th century, it still remains as a influential force in psychology. These approaches are very useful in changing unwanted or harmful behaviors in adults and children. Animals trainers, teachers and parents make use of behavioral techniques to encourage new behaviors and discard unwanted behaviours.

Many psychologists have disagreed with behaviorism and reject this perspective and turned to the study of thinking and consciousness, known as cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychologists are interested to know more on how a person understands and solve problems. Cognitive psychology being a newer school of though in psychology as it started developing in the 1950’s and the early 1960’s. It had becomes the dominant perspective in psychology in the 1970’s. People were more acceptance of the cognitive approach and dissatisfied with the behavioral perspective. The development of better experimental methods and the development of the computer contributed to the cognitive perspective dominance.

Cognitive psychology is about studying cognition, particularly it affect learning and behavior. It explores internal mental processes such as language, problem solving and memory. One of the most influential psychologists in this field is Piaget theory of cognitive development. There are a few assumptions based on cognitive psychology . Firstly it is a pure science based on mostly laboratory experiments. Which is a form of deductive reasoning. Another assumption is that the brain works very much like a computer, like how the mind operates and process information. The brain input, stores and retrieve information very much like how a computer operates. Cognitive psychology is very useful and popular because it can be applied to many fields in psychology, which includes memory, attention, perception, child development, problem solving, eyewitness testimony and gender role development. Cognitive psychology have many practical applications, like cognitive principles are often used in creation of educational curriculum and software design. Some prominent cognitive psychologists are Jean Piaget, Wilhelm Wundt, Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis.

Cognitive psychologists conducts research on human thoughts processes. Cognitive psychologists works in many areas like universities, government agencies, corporate businesses. They study thinking, perception, decision making, memory and judgment. It examines how a person gathers, process, stores and recall information. This branch of psychology prefers to carry out research for the theories to be proved. Cognitive psychologists usually carried out their research on humans. They may carried out experiments on how to improve memory, and to better understand why some people can recall information faster than others, research can be carried out on what influences decision-making.

Businesses is one of the field that benefited from cognitive psychology, as businesses also employ cognitive psychologists. Companies will want their employees to perform to the best. Cognitive psychologists will work with the top management on how to improve the working environment and to developed strategies to help employees to improve the work performance. Having a poor working environment, the workers will therefore be unhappy, less productive and most likely resign for a better job. As the turnover rates can have a huge financial burden for companies because companies will have to find a replacement, find solutions to get the work done as the position is vacant, as training the new employees takes time and money. The new employee may have to attend courses take required them to perform the job and more time is needed to guide the new employees on the job scope. As it is a very tedious process to retrain a new employee and watching them exit the company after a short stay at the company. It will be more impact when several employees exit the company at around the same time, and the new employees are not as experience to handle the job therefore compromising on the productivity and the employees working in the companies for years will have to coach and guide the new employees along making the employees not working to the best of their abilities and making them unproductive. Companies would want to hire people who can work for a long period of time for the company and want their workers to be happy working in their positions. Therefore a psychologist can help the companies on all these situations. When marketing department likes to study more about what affects the consumer to buy their products. Cognitive psychologists may be helpful to explain what affects the consumer decision making process. Cognitive dissonance theory suggest that our attitudes and beliefs must go in harmony with each other and avoid disharmony known as dissonance. Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This in turn will produce a feeling of discomfort which will lead to change in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behavior to reduce the discomfort and restore harmony. Humans are hard-wired to be very uncomfortable with information that conflict with what they believe in. Cognitive dissonance can be helpful to improves the sales of the business. Sales techniques like foot-in-the door are useful to increase sales like firstly to learn about the customers and what they are hoping for and lead the customers the products that will get them what they hope for and the customers hopes are always about how they feel towards the products and not to get customers to buy what they do not want. As the job market is becoming increasing competitive, many studies have shown and supported that general reasoning ability is positively correlated with job performance within an occupation(Kuncel & Hezlett, 2010; Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Therefore employers will look for workers that the general reasoning skills are above the minimal requirements for the occupation.

The next field to benefit from cognitive psychology would be medical. Patients suffering from memory problems such as Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer disease is a progressive loss of memories overtime. Some researchers propose that the semantic deficit reflects the worsening of the semantic network itself( Rogers et al., 2006), while others attribute to the deficit to impaired retrieval from the network( Nebes, 1992). As people aged, their cognitive functions deteriorate overtime and no longer function as sharp as before . Psychologists help them to develop strategies and techniques to keep their mind and bodies sharp like using the memory retrieval theory to help the patients. As emotions have a powerful and important impact on our cognitive processes, as it is well established that memory influences liking( Stalinski & Schellenberg ,2012). Alzheimer’s patients can remember if you prompt them to remember. It best to try to elicit memories through activities in their earlier years because it robs people of their short term memories, but their long term memories can remains largely intact. Activities like sitting down and looking at old family photographs, singing their popular song in their youth because music can affects moods, attention, recall and attitudes( Kellaris, Cox & Cox, 1993). watching movies or TV shows that they like, getting them to be involved in holidays, as holidays usually will have an emotional impact on people, like during festive seasons they have family gatherings and enjoy themselves together. All the activities have emotional impact on Alzheimer’s patients and strong emotions can trigger back the memories. Using memory techniques can help the brain to develop new pathways for learning and improve memory even for people showing early signs of Alzheimer’s. People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have improved memory after using memory techniques such as mnemonics and word lists. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) shows that memory techniques increased activities in the brain associated with language, learning skills and remembering space and objects. As the brains of MCI also have plasticity, there was decrease activation of the hippocampus compared to adults without MCI. Adults with MCI undergo a memory training program and discovered that the MRI shown an increase activation of certain parts of the brain responsible for language processing, learning skills, and remembering spaces and objects. The findings shows that there is no one area of the brain that stores all memories, however the brain is able to compensate for the decrease activation of the hippocampus by increasing activation in other parts of the brain. Cognitive psychologists work with the patients and families to improve cognitive functioning of the patients. Alzheimer disease is best known for causing loss of memory and cognitive performance ability. Some experts believe that psychotherapy would be on the same par as medication treatment. Some argued that it even more effective in the early stages. Psychotherapy can help the patient to handle depression, anxiety and all other negative emotions well. However as Alzheimer disease progress into a more advanced stage, the effective of psychotherapy is less effective as the patient cognitive functioning decreases.

Another field that benefit is education. Cognitive psychologists may also work with children who are struggling in school and have learning difficulties to improve their memory and also to introduce different study methods and strategies. An FMRI study on musicians showed that music activities activates the ”spatial areas” of the brain. Schmithorst and Holland( 2003) observed activation of the inferior parietal lobules during melodic and harmonic processing, and these areas are also activated in number comparison tasks( Sandrini et al., 2004) suggest that shared areas are involved in number and in music processing. Therefore it may proposed that music training increases spatial abilities( Brochard, Dufour & Despres, 2004) and plays a significant role in mathematics achievement( Cheek & Smith, 1999). Perhaps music can be introduce to help with the students with learning disorders. As learning and memory are inseparable and having deficit on memory will affect how a person learns which will therefore affects the behavioral and brain development. Cognitive evaluations are frequently given out to access the students to see if they are eligible for the gifted programme( Volker & Smerbeck, 2009; Winner, 2000) as it is a very common method of accessing intelligence.

It can be helpful to the police to improve eyewitness testimony by reducing factors such as avoiding leading questions and improving the memory of the witness. Cognitive psychology have made contributions to our understanding of eye witness memory especially in the limitations and failures of the eye witness memory which leads to wrongful jail-terms. Cognitive psychology has found that the memory for eye witnesses can be altered by the phrasing of questions used to elicit information after the event has happened. This suggest that interview with the eye witnesses with the police after the incident had happened, can lead to a reconstruction of the person’s memory of the event( Loftus & Palmer, 1974).

In conclusion, many fields have benefited from cognitive psychology. It can help in business to increase it sales, help employees to work at it peak, helping teachers to benefit by learning about how people process, absorb, learn and remember information. and helping patients suffering from Alzheimer’s to remember memories that were precious to them. It can also assist in learning to help students with learning disorders to perform better in school and lastly to assist the authorities such as the police to assist in investigations. As cognitive psychology touches on many others disciplines, this branch of psychology is therefore studied by numerous people in different fields.

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