Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Cognitive Revolution

An important thinking shift on Psychology science happened during the 60`of XXth Century.  Many researchers became interested on what goes on in the mind; this was a change after Behaviorism emphasis on direct observation of behavior.  This new scope of mind thought that complex cognitive processes such as language and thinking could not receive satisfactory explanations in terms of the stimulus-response relations of the Behaviorism model, which led to the field known as Cognitive Psychology.

Cognitive researchers began with the study of learning and soon became established as the study of information processing associated with mental activities, such as attention, perception, memory, problem solving.  They did not return to the introspective methods used by Wundt on XIX Century, but designed another methods for testing their ideas about mental processes.  Experimental methods were adapted to study  internal processes, not directly observed.

Cognitive Psychology can be considered as part of the cognition sciences that include, too, linguistics and AI (Artificial Intelligence).  The brain receives information from the senses ( sight, hearing, etc.), and then this information is processed, similar to a computer.  It is studied the function of the mind (what it does) and the process (how it does it).

Eventually, in order to be able to help people in everyday life, the Cognitive approach started investigating on social cognition:  how those cognitive processes were used by the human beings to understand social situations.

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