Cognitive Psychology

Understanding Cognitive Psychology and its relation with our Daily lives

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Cognitive psychology is a scientific area that focuses on the science of how people think (human cognition). It explores a variety of mental processes and abilities including the study of how people perceive, learn, remember, and reason. The key mental processes that are studied in cognitive psychology are attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and reasoning
It differs from Behavioral psychology in the assumption that all human behavior is learned and adaptable to its environment. Behavioral psychology says that Behavior can be shaped and reinforced by experiences leading to varying human interests, desires, skills, and habits. On the other hand, Cognitive psychology states that thoughts and feelings are seen as more active in the process of behavior formation. The mental processes are responsible for much of our behaviors that human exhibit. Cognitive psychologists use various methods to explore human cognition namely a) laboratory experiments, b) psychobiological research, c) case studies, naturalistic observation, and d) computer simulations and artificial intelligence.

Modern cognitive psychology helps us to understand :-

Perception involves detection and interpretation of sensory stimuli.The experimental study of perception has helped identify many of the parts of this process. It involves how we construct subjective interpretations of proximal information from the environment. Perception relates with the separate senses (e.g., visual, auditory, somatosensory) and processing of the senses

Cognitive Neuroscience
Neuroscience developments have led to enhanced study of our mental character. It is a close relationship where Cognitive psychologists seek neurological explanations for their findings, and cognitive psychologists help neuroscientists to explain the laboratory. The cognitive processes from sensation to memory are explained by basic electrochemical processes of our brain and nervous system.

Pattern Recognition
Our senses – see, hear, feel, taste, or smell—form a complex pattern of sensory stimuli. Reading is a form of pattern recognition where the reader forms a meaningful pattern from symbols and lines. He organizes the information in a fraction of a second which involves the neuroanatomical and cognitive systems and performs it daily.

In normal life we are highly selective in the information for processing and manage our cognitive resources accordingly. Processing information happens at two levels – sensory and cognitive. All of us need to avoid both the sensory and cognitive processing overload. This domain studies the theoretical analysis of attention to identify the mechanisms of attention

It is the current awareness of external or internal context and situations. It is also being aware of your own unique thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations and being able to relate them with the external word. It is often described as responsiveness to questions, commands, and pain, and by the ability to describe oneself and current events. Consciousness is basic to humans and it is essential for survival.

The information available to us comes from our perception, short-term memory, and long-term memory. Hence memory is important for humans. The long-term storage example is the knowledge of the language. We draw words from our memory and more or less use them correctly. We are able to quickly recall information about the past. Leaning improves the response of the organism to the environment. Cognitive psychologists study which new information is acquired and the conditions under which it is acquired.

Representation of Knowledge
The knowledge represents how information is symbolized and associated with other stored things. Here we study the conceptual representation of knowledge and how the brain stores and processes information. Despite differences in the content and nature, most humans experience and depict experience in similar fashion. Our neurological system holds them in similar structures in brain

The mental images of environment and experiences are formed in the form of a cognitive map. Such representations and the related experience of sensory information are recalled from memory and lead one to re-experience in original or new form.

The knowledge of language is a great domain in cognitive psychology. Language is the way we acquire and express knowledge. The language development in humans is a unique kind of abstraction, which is basic to cognition. Language also influences perception, a fundamental aspect of cognition.cognitive psychology focuses on language acquisition, language comprehension, language production, and reading.

Developmental Psychology
This relates to how we have all lived through childhood and adolescence and we share maturational experiences with all members of our species. It is the scientific study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire lifespan.

Thinking and Concept Formation
Thinking is the process by which a new mental representation is formed through the transformation of information. It refers to the ability to organize the perception and classification of experiences by building categories. The response to a specific stimulus is determined not by the specific instance but by classification into the category and by association of knowledge with that category.

Human and Artificial Intelligence
This is an evolving field where we tend to replicate human intelligence in machines. Human intelligence includes the acquisition, recall, and the use of knowledge to understand concrete and abstract concepts. It also involves forming relationships among objects and ideas, and to use knowledge in a meaningful way and form new knowledge as well.

Tarun Kumar
Tarun Kumar
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