Friday, March 7, 2014

Cognitive Psychology Definition paper (#psychology) #Checkthisout A paper I wrote in college, hope you enjoy!

Cognitive Psychology Definition paper

Mankind, since  the time of the Greeks, has been curious about  how the mind worked in everyday life. Epistemology, postulated by the Greeks, was a branch of thought that focused on how humans acquired knowledge through perception, memory, and  reason (Steup, 2005).  Psychoanalysis was a branch of psychology, developed by Sigmund Freud, focused on treatment of brain disorders by retrieval of repressed memories or false interpretations of the outside world.  As the development of psychology came to fruition, humanity saw focus on the physical aspects of the brain as the cause of disorders known as, Biopsychology. From this area of psychology came the branch of psychology that  focused on treatment for brain disorders from the use of medication known as Neuropharmacology. These particular branches eventually led to the development of cognitive  psychology.
                         Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes, which includes how individuals think about things, perceive all around them, learn new concepts, and remember new information (Cherry, 2010).  Information on mental processes was obtained through use of scientific research methods (Cherry, 2010).  

Cognitive psychologists believe that the brain should not be reduced   to any similarity to a computer, but as a physical system that works inside natural law and cause and effect (Wisegeek, 2003-2010).  Cognitive psychology, like any branch of psychology, owes its development to previous forms that  influenced each other to evolve.


Philosophy of the early greeks, started the ideal of humanity possessing  the ability of introspection of one’s inner thoughts and knowledge from the area of thought called Epistemology (Steup, 2005). An individual has internal knowledge and experience of factors such as a headache or pain from falling. Individuals would understand that this would be the case due to prior occurrence or observation and interpretation of someone else, who then explains the aspects to said observer (Steup, 2005). 

Epistemology also brought about the notion of memory as a means to retain new knowledge acquired in every day experience (Steup, 2005).  Eventually, psychologists decided that interpretation of memories could help with finding a cure for an individual’s disorder from a branch of psychology known as, Psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis is a branch of psychology that focus’ on the unconscious mind and neurosis that stemmed from it, through clinical investigation, and   interpretation (ARPOA, 1999-2010).  Psychoanalysts believe that individuals can be rid of neurological disorders by releasing repressed memories that caused traumatic harm to the patients psyche (ARPOA, 1999-2010). With retrieval of these memories, the psychoanalyst and patient could see the root ideas that needed to be thrown to the side in order for progression to a cure  (ARPOA, 1999-2010).

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, thought that dreams were the path to the unconscious that would lead to memories (ARPOA, 1999-2010). Once all ideals were brought to the forefront, a patient could return to a state of equilibrium. Further understanding of mental processes were enhanced with focus on the physical aspects of brain function and its influence on behavior from a branch known as, Biopsychology.

Biopsychology is a branch of psychology that focus’ on the brain and how neurotransmitters influence an individual’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings (Cherry, 2010).  Biopsychology analyzes the Central Nervous System that  consists of the brain and spinal cord (Cherry, 2010). The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain responsible for cognition, sensations, and emotions (Cherry, 2010).  Other parts of the brain control various functions for the body to work and add to cognitive faculties. 

The occipital lobe is in charge of interpreting visual stimuli and information (Cherry, 2010). The temporal lobe controls the interpretation of sounds and language.  Neurotransmitters are extremely important in cognition because of its job of sending messages to parts of the body from the brain (Cherry, 2010).  An important neurotransmitter is dopamine, that is control of movement and learning within an individual (Cherry, 2010). 

 Psychologies, especially the mental disorders in question, were helped further with the discovery of medication to help control the disorder within a branch known as, Neuropharmacology.

Neuropharmacology deals with the interpretation of neurological conditions and the discovery and prescription of beneficial medication for proper treatment (University of Buffalo/Addiction research Unit, 1999).  Most of the medication used in this area target synaptic activity or physiological processes related to synaptic activity (University of Buffalo/Addiction research Unit, 1999).  

Examples of areas of focus are signal transduction, which is the process of messages being relayed between neurons through neurotransmitters (University of Buffalo/Addiction research Unit, 1999).  Medication performs its function by treating each part of the neuron, depending on the area of damage consisting of, the axonal processes (blocking excitation of neuron through membrane stabilization), synaptic processes (blocking storage, blocking degradation or blocking receptors) or the signal-transduction processes (second messenger neurotransmitters) (University of Buffalo/Addiction research Unit, 1999).   

 Behavioral observation in cognitive psychology

Behaviorism is the branch of psychology that deals with the observation and description of an individual’s external behaviors (Muller, 1994-2010).  This unfortunately, did not leave room for the inner functioning of an individual in relation to behavior. The beginnings of cognitive psychology stemmed from this lack of observing inner functions and eventually solved the problem through experimental and technological processes (Muller, 1994-2010).  

These processes analyzed how individuals interpret information and measures psychological responses and the time of reaction. Cognitive psychology also uses   mechanical observation by use of MRI or EEGs for discovery of brain function as behavior is tested (Muller, 1994-2010).

These examples show the technological aspect of cognitive psychology, yet without Behaviorism’s use of observation, cognitive psychology would not have had a jump off point in its creation  (Muller, 1994-2010).Observation allows discovery of environmental factors and technology shows the brain as it interprets the stimuli and fires the synaptic areas involved with the ending behavior. 

The evolution of cognitive psychology owes its creation to many of the other branches previously found. The observation process of Behaviorism thought to look at subjects actions. Epistemology started the study of how individuals acquire knowledge and store it in the brain. Psychoanalysis brought out the inner demons from the unconscious to discover a cure for disorder. Biopsychology went further by looking into the physical processes of the brain and what caused certain behavior to come to the forefront. Neuropharmacology helped treat disorders by the use of medication specific to the disorder. 



ARPOA. (1999-2010). Psychoanalysis. Retrieved from 

Cherry, K. (2010). . Retrieved from 

Cherry, K. (2010). . Retrieved from 

Muller, C. (1994-2010). . Serendip. Retrieved from    

Steup, M. (2005). . Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from 

University of Buffalo/Addiction research Unit. (1999). . Retrieved from 

Wisegeek. (2003-2010). . Retrieved from

No comments: