Fascinating History of Cognitive Psychology!

Why we need to study History of Cognitive Psychology?

Two things-

First, there are various schools of psychology like Structuralism, Functionalism, Psychoanalysis, Behaviorism etc, still this  school of psychology emerge & prevails. So we need to understand how it has done it.

Second, We need to see how different psychologist made various contributions through experiments, researches for solid foundation of Cognitive Psychology. Lets start the history of cognitive psychology,

During  and following World War II ,  psychologists reject the behaviorist assumption ‘mental events and states were beyond the realm of scientific study’/ ‘mental representations did not exist’. And they mainly focus on observable behaviors. Noam Chomsky (1959 ) called this as Cognitive Revolution-new series of psychological investigations, 

Developments in computer science lead to LINK between human thought and the computational functionality of computers.

Few Psychologist and their contribution.

Allen Newell & Herbert Simon spent years developing the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Cognitivism is the belief that much of human behavior can be understood in terms of how people think.

Cognitivism adopts precise quantitative analysis to study how people learn and think like behaviorism; emphasizes internal mental processes like Gestaltism.

Tolman (1948) work on Cognitive Maps – training rats in mazes, showed that animals had internal representation of behavior. John O’Keefe got Nobel Prize for his work On Cognitive map, to which he called The GPS of Brain.

Birth of Cognitive Psychology often dated back to George Miller’s (1956) “The Magical Number 7 Plus or Minus 2.”

Ulric Neisser (1967) publishesCognitive Psychology, which marks the official beginning of the cognitive approach. He used the term cognitive psychology”.

Gardner (1985) gave Date of birth of cognitive psychology 11th September 1956—when several founders of the field attended a symposium on Information Theory’ at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Read about Research Methods to study Cognitive Psychology, click here.

References for Cognitive psychology 

Galloti, K. M. (2004). Cognitive psychology in and out of the laboratory. USA: Thomson Wadsworth.

Matlin, M. (1994). Cognition. Bangalore: Harcourt Brace Pub

Sternberg, R. J. (2007). Cognitive Psychology. Australia: Thomson Wadsworth.

Solso, R. L. (2004). Cognitive Psychology (6th ed.). Delhi: Pearson Education.

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