cognitive psychology


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cognitive psychology,

school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. It had its foundations in the GestaltGestalt
[Ger.,=form], school of psychology that interprets phenomena as organized wholes rather than as aggregates of distinct parts, maintaining that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
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 psychology of Max WertheimerWertheimer, Max
, 1880–1943, German psychologist, b. Prague. He studied at the universities of Prague, Berlin, and Würzburg (Ph.D., 1904). His original researches, while he was a professor at Frankfurt and Berlin, placed him in the forefront of contemporary psychology.
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, Wolfgang KöhlerKöhler, Wolfgang
, 1887–1967, American psychologist, b. Estonia, Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1909. From 1913 to 1920 he was director of a research station on Tenerife, Canary Islands.
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, and Kurt KoffkaKoffka, Kurt
, 1886–1941, American psychologist, b. Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1908. Before settling permanently in the United States in 1928 as a professor at Smith, he taught at Cornell and at the Univ. of Wisconsin.
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, and in the work of Jean PiagetPiaget, Jean
, 1896–1980, Swiss psychologist, known for his research in developmental psychology. After receiving a degree in zoology from the Univ. of Neuchâtel (1918), Piaget's interests shifted to psychology. He studied under C. G.
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, who studied intellectual development in children. Cognitive psychologists are interested in how people understand, diagnose, and solve problems, concerning themselves with the mental processes which mediate between stimulus and response. Cognitive theory contends that solutions to problems take the form of algorithms—rules that are not necessarily understood but promise a solution, or heuristics—rules that are understood but that do not always guarantee solutions. In other instances, solutions may be found through insight, a sudden awareness of relationships. Cognitive psychologists have tried to reach a greater understanding of human memory (see memorymemory,
in psychology, the storing of learned information, and the ability to recall that which has been stored. It has been hypothesized that three processes occur in remembering: perception and registering of a stimulus; temporary maintenance of the perception, or short-term
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) and language. In recent years, cognitive psychology has become associated with information processing, which examines artificial intelligence in computers to find out whether they are capable of problem solving in ways similar to humans. Information processing theory studies the parallels between the human brain and the computer, in the ways that both can receive, process, store, and retrieve information.

Bibliography

See A. J. Sanford, Cognition and Cognitive Psychology (1986); H. L. Pick, P. Van den Broek, and D. C. Knill, ed., Cognition: Conceptual and Methodological Issues (1992).

References in periodicals archive ?
In contrast to cognitive psychology, research on social-emotional learning (e.g., growth mind-sets and character development) investigates how we interact with the world around us; in other words, what happens outside our heads.
Many contemporary versions of cognitive psychology emphasize a computer metaphor and the concept of "information processing." Cognitive psychology also has an interesting relation with behaviorism, which is discussed later in this sketch.
Cattaneo and Vecchi review the cognitive psychology evidence and make a case for sensory compensation by pointing out the specific perceptual and cognitive skills for which the evidence suggests that people who are blind may excel and other skills in which they may tend to struggle.
This is fascinating research, all brought together in a handsome cognitive psychology text--a true blending of the science of dance and the art of science that will be useful for professionals from both worlds.
The author therefore concludes that de Solla Price's (1986) conclusions apply to cognitive psychology, and that even the most acclaimed publications receive only a brief period of recognition before being gradually forgotten as research progresses.
The firm's managing partner Dr Hughes has a background in cognitive psychology which he believes has helped build a stable, profitable company.
Baron's use of cognitive psychology is refreshing and much-needed, as the field is underutilized in bioethics despite producing robust conclusions for more than thirty years.
Cognitive psychology's classical decision making theories offer empirical support for individual decision making strategies.
Details of the research will be presented at two upcoming academic meetings, the 4th Meeting of the Japanese Society of Cognitive Psychology in August and the 24th International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) International Congress in October.
Willingham, professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Virginia, writing in American Educator
Willingham's misunderstanding may be the inevitable result of the wide gap that often separates clinical studies and frontline experience from research in a field like cognitive psychology. In addition, different disciplines that study learning vary significantly in their terminology and conceptual models.
The authors propose a return to this "curve-shifting" approach to prevention that encourages everyone to improve their health behavior; they substantiate these arguments with examples from public health and cognitive psychology research, historical and current events, and personal anecdotes.

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