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Encyclopedia > Cognitivism (psychology)
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In psychology, cognitivism is a theoretical approach to understanding the mind, which argues that mental function can be understood by quantitative, positivist and scientific methods, and that such functions can be described as information processing models. Psychology (Gk: psyche, soul or mind + logos, speech) is an academic and applied field involving the study of the human mind, brain, and behavior. ... Image File history File links Human_brain_NIH.jpg NIH image of human brain Source: http://lbc. ... The history of psychology consists of a prescientific and a scientific epoch. ... The basic premise of applied psychology is the use of psychological principles and theories to overcome practical problems in other fields, such as business management, product design, ergonomics, nutrition or clinical medicine. ... Biological psychology is the scientific study of the biological bases of behavior and mental states. ... Clinical psychology is the application of psychology to problematic mental distress in a health and social care context. ... Cognitive psychology is the psychological science that studies cognition, the mental processes that underlie behavior, including thinking, reasoning, decision making, and to some extent motivation and emotion. ... Hans Baldung Grien: The Ages And Death, c. ... Evolutionary psychology (abbreviated ev-psych or EP) is a theoretical approach to psychology that explains many mental traits as adaptations in the sense of evolutionary biological, as a product of natural or sexual selection. ... Experimental psychology is an approach to psychology that treats it as one of the natural sciences, and therefore assumes that it is susceptible to the experimental method. ... Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language. ... Social psychology is often conceived to be the study of how individuals perceive, influence, and relate to others. ... This is a list of important publications in psychology, organized by field. ... link title Headline text --Cknuth7 16:35, 3 April 2006 (UTC) This page aims to list articles related to psychology. ... Psychology (Gk: psyche, soul or mind + logos, speech) is an academic and applied field involving the study of the human mind, brain, and behavior. ... Quantitative psychological research is psychological research which performs statistical estimation or statistical inference. ... Positivism is a philosophy developed by Auguste Comte in the beginning of the 19th century, which stated that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge. ... For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ... In general, information processing is the changing (processing) of information in any manner detectable by an observer. ...

Contents


Theoretical approach

Cognitivism has two major components, one methodological, the other theoretical. Methodologically, cognitivism adopts a positivist approach and the belief that psychology can be (in principle) fully explained by the use of experiment, measurement and the scientific method. This is also largely a reductionist goal, with the belief that individual components of mental function (the 'cognitive architecture') can be identified and meaningfully understood. The second is the belief that cognition consists of discrete, internal mental states (representations or symbols) whose manipulation can be described in terms of rules or algorithms. This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... In the scientific method, an experiment (Latin: ex-+-periri, of (or from) trying), is a set of actions and observations, performed in the context of solving a particular problem or question, to support or falsify a hypothesis or research concerning phenomena. ... Various meters Measurement is the process of estimating the ratio of a magnitude of a quantity to a unit of the same type. ... Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for the investigation of phenomena and the acquisition of new knowledge of the natural world, as well as the correction and integration of previous knowledge, based on observable, empirical, measurable evidence, and subject to laws of reasoning. ... Reductionism in philosophy describes a number of related, contentious theories that hold, very roughly, that the nature of complex things can always be reduced to (explained by) simpler or more fundamental things. ... Look up Cognition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In cognitive psychology a representation is a hypothetical internal cognitive symbol that represents external reality. ... Flowcharts are often used to represent algorithms. ...


Cognitivism became the dominant force in psychology in the late-20th century, replacing behaviorism as the most popular paradigm for understanding mental function. Cognitive psychology is not a wholesale refutation of behaviorism, but rather an expansion that accepts that mental states exist. This was due to the increasing criticism towards the end of the 1950s of behaviorist models. For example Chomsky argued that language could not be acquired purely through conditioning, and must be at least partly explained by the existence of internal mental states. Psychology (Gk: psyche, soul or mind + logos, speech) is an academic and applied field involving the study of the human mind, brain, and behavior. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... Behaviorism or behaviourism is an approach to psychology based on the proposition that behavior can be researched scientifically without recourse to inner mental states. ... Cognitive psychology is the psychological science that studies cognition, the mental processes that underlie behavior, including thinking, reasoning, decision making, and to some extent motivation and emotion. ... The 1950s were the decade that spanned the years 1950 through 1959, although some sources say from 1951 through 1960. ... Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (b. ...


Criticisms of psychological cognitivism

Cognitivism has been criticised in a number of ways.


Phenomenologists and hermeneutic philosophers have criticised the positivist approach of cognitivism for reducing individual meaning to what they perceive as measurements stripped of all significance. They argue that by representing experiences and mental functions as measurements, cognitivism is ignoring the context (cf contextualism) and, therefore, the meaning of these measurements. They believe that it is this personal meaning of experience gained from the phenomenon as it is experienced by a person (what Heidegger called being in the world) which is the fundamental aspect of our psychology that needs to be understood: therefore they argue that a context free psychology is a contradiction in terms. They also argue in favour of holism: that positivist methods cannot be meaningfully used on something which is inherently irreducible to component parts. Hubert Dreyfus has been the most notable critic of cognitivism from this point of view. Humanistic psychology draws heavily on this philosophy, and practitioners have been among the most critical of cognitivism. Look up Phenomenology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A philosopher is a person devoted to studying and producing results in philosophy. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... In philosophy, contextualism describes a collection of views in the philosophy of language which emphasize the context in which an action, utterance or expression occurs, and argues that, in some important respect, the action, utterance or expression can only be understood within that context. ... Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976), German philosopher, attempted to reorient Western philosophy away from metaphysical and epistemological and toward ontological questions, that is, questions concerning the meaning of being, or what it means to be. Heidegger also challenged the idea of phenomenology as defined by his teacher... Psychology (Gk: psyche, soul or mind + logos, speech) is an academic and applied field involving the study of the human mind, brain, and behavior. ... Holism (from holos, a Greek word meaning all, entire, total) is the idea that all the properties of a given system (biological, chemical, social, mental, linguistic, etc. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Hubert Dreyfus (born 1929) is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. ... Humanistic psychology is a school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. ...


In the 1990s, various new theories emerged that challenged cognitivism and the idea that thought was best described as computation. Some of these new approaches, often influenced by phenomenological and post-modernist philosophy, include situated cognition, distributed cognition, dynamicism, embodied cognition. Some thinkers working in the field of artificial life (for example Rodney Brooks) have also produced non-cognitivist models of cognition. See also 1990s, the band Seinfeld was a pop cultural phenomenon during the 90s and became one of the most popular TV programs ever. ... The word cognitivism is used in several ways: In ethics, cognitivism is the philosophical view that ethical sentences express propositions, and hence are capable of being true or false. ... Situated cognition is a new movement in cognitive psychology which derives from pragmatism, Gibsonian ecological psychology, ethnomethodology, the theories of Vygotsky and the writings of Heidegger. ... History Distributed cognition is a school of psychology developed in the 1990s by Edwin Hutchins. ... Dynamicism, also termed the dynamic hypothesis or the dynamic hypothesis in cognitive science or dynamic cognition, is a new approach in cognitive science exemplified by the work of philosopher Tim van Gelder. ... Embodied philosophy (also known as the embodied mind thesis, embodied cognition or the embodied cognition thesis) usually refers to a set of beliefs promoted by George Lakoff and his various co-authors (including Mark Johnson, Mark Turner, and Rafael E. Núñez), which suggest that the mind can only be... Artificial life, also known as alife or a-life, is the study of life through the use of human-made analogs of living systems. ... Rodney Allen Brooks (b. ...


The idea that mental functions can be described as information processing models has been criticised by philosopher John Searle and mathematician Roger Penrose who both argue that computation has some inherent shortcomings which cannot capture the fundamentals of mental processes. A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... John Rogers Searle (born July 31, 1932) is Mills Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and is noted for contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and consciousness, on the characteristics of socially constructed versus physical realities, and on practical reason. ... Leonhard Euler is considered by many people to be one of the greatest mathematicians of all time A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is mathematics. ... Sir Roger Penrose, OM, FRS (born 8 August 1931) is an English mathematical physicist and Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. ...

  • Penrose uses Gödel's incompleteness theorem (which states that there are mathematical truths which can never be proven in a sufficiently strong mathematical system; any sufficiently strong system of axioms will also be incomplete) and Turing's halting problem (which states that there are some things which are inherently non-computable) as evidence for his position.
  • Searle has developed two arguments, the first (well known through his Chinese Room thought experiment) is the 'syntax is not semantics' argument - that a program is just syntax, understanding requires semantics, therefore programs (hence cognitivism) cannot explain understanding. The second, which he now prefers but is less well known, is his 'syntax is not physics' argument - nothing in the world is intrinsically a computer program except as applied, described or interpreted by an observer, so either everything can be described as a computer and trivially a brain can but then this does not explain any specific mental processes, or there is nothing intrinsic in a brain that makes it a computer (program) - both points, he claims, refute cognitivism.

Another argument against cognitivism is the problems of Ryle's Regress or the homunculus fallacy. Cognitivists have offered a number of arguments to refute these attacks. Kurt Gödel (IPA: ) (April 28, 1906 Brno, then Austria-Hungary, now Czech Republic – January 14, 1978 Princeton, New Jersey) was a logician, mathematician, and philosopher of mathematics. ... In mathematical logic, Gödels incompleteness theorems are two celebrated theorems proven by Kurt Gödel in 1931. ... Alan Turing is often considered the father of modern computer science. ... In computability theory the halting problem is a decision problem which can be informally stated as follows: Given a description of a program and its initial input, determine whether the program, when executed on this input, ever halts (completes). ... The Chinese room argument is a thought experiment designed by John Searle (1980 [1]) as a counterargument to claims made by strong artificial intelligence (AI, also functionalism). ... In philosophy, physics, and other fields, a thought experiment (from the German Gedankenexperiment) is an attempt to solve a problem using the power of human imagination. ... {{ Categories: | | ... In the main, semantics (from the Greek and in greek letters σημαντικός or in latin letters semantikós, or significant meaning, derived from sema, sign) is the study of meaning, in some sense of that term. ... In philosophy, Ryles regress is a classic argument against cognitivist theories, and concludes that such theories are essentially meaningless as they do not explain what they purport to explain. ... A homunculus argument accounts for a phenomenon in terms of the very phenomenon that it is supposed to explain. ...


The focused issues that interest cognitive psychologists consist of the inner mechanism of human thought and the processes of knowing. Cognitive psychologists have attempted to dig out the response to mental structures, such as what is saved and how it is recorded of course in our brain, once more to mental processes concerning how the integration and retrieval of information is operated. The theoretical assumptions in cognitive psychology lend instructional systems a hand in the design of efficient processing strategies for the learners to acquire knowledge, e.g. mnemonic devices to reduce the workload of the short-term memory, rehearsal strategies to maintain information, and the use of metaphors and analogies to relate meaning of the new information to prior knowledge.


See also

Look up Cognition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Cognitive psychology is the psychological science that studies cognition, the mental processes that underlie behavior, including thinking, reasoning, decision making, and to some extent motivation and emotion. ... Rendering of human brain based on MRI data Cognitive science is usually defined as the scientific study either of mind or of intelligence (e. ... A computer is a device or machine for processing information from data according to a program — a compiled list of instructions. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... Critical psychology is both a critique of mainstream psychology and an attempt to apply psychology in more progressive ways (based, for example, on Marxist or feminist analyses) and contexts than have thus far been the case. ... INTRODUCTION: Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. ... Look up Phenomenology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Symbol Grounding Problem is related to the problem of how words get their meanings, and of what meanings are. ... This is a list of important publications in psychology, organized by field. ...

Further reading

  • Costall, A. and Still, A. (eds) (1987) Cognitive Psychology in Question. Brighton: Harvester Press Ltd. ISBN 0710810571
  • Searle, J. R. Is the brain a digital computer APA Presidential Address

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cognitive psychology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (650 words)
The term cognitive psychology came into use with the publication of the book Cognitive Psychology by Ulric Neisser in 1967, wherein Neisser provides a broad definition of cognitive psychology, emphasising that it is a point of view which postulates the mind as having a certain conceptual structure.
The school of thought arising from this approach is known as cognitivism.
Cognitive psychology is one of the more recent additions to psychological research, having only developed as a separate area within the discipline since the late 1950s and early 1960s (though there are examples of cognitive thinking from earlier researchers).
Cognitivism (psychology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (767 words)
In psychology, cognitivism is a theoretical approach to understanding the mind, which argues that mental function can be understood by quantitative, positivist and scientific methods, and that such functions can be described as information processing models.
Methodologically, cognitivism adopts a positivist approach and the belief that psychology can be (in principle) fully explained by the use of experiment, measurement and the scientific method.
Cognitivism became the dominant force in psychology in the late-20th century, replacing behaviorism as the most popular paradigm for understanding mental function.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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