History of Cognitive Psychology Essay

1669 Words Aug 4th, 2013 7 Pages
Abstract
An analysis of the history of cognitive psychology. Including key ideas, contributors, trends, etc.

History of Cognitive Psychology According to G. Miller of Princeton University, cognitive psychology is an approach to psychology that emphasizes internal mental processes. So, “since the beginning of experimental psychology in the nineteenth century, there had been interest in the study of higher mental processes. But something discontinuous happened in the late 1950s, something so dramatic that it is now referred to as the ‘cognitive revolution,’ and the view of mental processes that it spawned is called ‘cognitive psychology.’ What happened was that American psychologists rejected behaviorism and adopted a model of mind
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The known limitations is that the methods not very rigorous. Behaviorism was influenced and discovered by John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner. They had their own principles of being to only focus on that which is observable and explain behavior; not thought or consciousness. They claimed that theories should be simple and should assist to break down behavior into irreducible constructs. Their main method was through rigorous experimentation which contributed to cognitive psychology with the emphasis on rigorous experimentation and powerful theories of learning. Such learning includes classical conditioning which involves learning relationships among stimuli whereas operant conditioning involves learning responses that are rewarded. Limitations of behaviorism include failures to account for aspects of human behavior such as over-emphasis on animal experimentation and language. Skinner suggested language was learned through basic principles of operant conditioning. Also, there is failure to account for generativity of language; the creation of novel utterances that have never been rewarded in the past.
Throughout the timeline of cognitive psychology, there have been outside influences during the mid 1990’s. For instance, there was an interest in optimizing human performance during World War II. Another outside influence was the evolution of computer science which started the thought of

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