Cognitive Psychology – The Study of How the Human Brain Works
September 11, 2018
The human brain is the most complicated and fascinating piece of machinery you would ever come across. Cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology where we study the mind and the mental processes. It is no wonder the workings of the brain has intrigued doctors and psychologists alike who study it to find out how it works.
What is Cognitive Psychology?
Cognitive psychology involves the study of a broad range of topics like language use, problem solving, attention, creativity, memory, and thinking. This discipline views the brain as an information processing system, and makes several assumptions like how the brain uses processes like attention, short-term memory, and perception and language to process the information.
The processing systems alter the information in systematic ways, and studying these would give us a key to understanding the human behavior. The vastness of the topics studied under this branch of psychology has allowed it to be integrated into other branches like development psychology, educational psychology, personality psychology, and social psychology.
How did Cognitive Psychology Develop?
For a long time, the workings of the human mind remained a philosophical topic. With the advancement of science, we started experimenting with the brain. Paul Broca discovered an area of the brain responsible for language production (a region in the frontal lobe of the dominant hemisphere, usually the left), while Carl Wernicke discovered what was responsible for comprehending language (a lesion in the rear temporal region of the patient’s left brain hemisphere). These two experiences acted as catalysts in giving birth to cognitive psychology as an independent subject.
In 1967, Ulric Neisser, who researched and wrote about perception and memory, coined the term cognitive psychology. Thanks to the work of Noam Chomsky, and George Mandler, cognitive psychology as a subject got its due importance and popularity.
As computer became popular, the psychologists started to compare the human brain to the computer, and they used computer analogies of input, processing, and output to explain how our mind works.
Why Study Cognitive Psychology?
Human behavior is greatly influenced by the way information is received and interpreted which varies from one person to another. These are some areas the knowledge of cognitive psychology can be beneficial:
- Children with learning difficulties – Development and child psychologists apply the theories of cognitive psychology to understand how people learn and to solve learning and developmental issues in children.
- Adults in therapy – Cognitive psychologists work together with their patients to understand their thought processes to positively change their behavior.
- Relating with Others– Similarly, social psychologists use the information to determine how people form their ideas about others.
- Marketing – Marketing companies design their marketing campaigns based on their knowledge of cognitive psychology.
From here, it is evident that cognitive psychology is a growing branch of psychology that can be applied to other areas to understand how humans think and influence the thought processes. This will support your personal and professional life so it may be well worth the investment of time and resource to pursue some training in this area!
Arium School of Arts and Sciences offers several diplomas relating to Criminology/ Sociology. We offer Cognitive Psychology as a Professional Certificate, and also as a module towards our Specialist Diplomas (for those without degrees) and Graduate Diplomas (for those with degrees). Check out a complete list of the numerous certificate and diploma programs which ASAS offers here.