Writing – Advances in Cognitive Psychology



  • Writing is a cognitive task that is both difficult and time consuming.
  • Important component of peoples occupation.
  • 30% time in writing.(kelloge,1989).
  • Relatively new in research

Writing - Cognitive Process (advance) - Careershodh

Comparing Speaking and Writing

  • Naturally speaking and writing  share same cognitive processes.
  • Ellis and Beattie (1986)- different from speaking in the following context.
    1. Occur in isolation
    2. Involved delayed social feedback
    3. Required extensive revising and editing
    4. Involves syntactically and lexically complex language
    5. Recorded in potentially permanent form
    6. Chafe & Danielewicz,(1987) examined professor and students. informal sample of speech and formal articles and personal letters.
  • Findings 
    • Written language shows relatively varied vocabulary than spoken language in both formal/informal.
    • Spoken  language more phrases(sort of, kind of..etc.) than Written language.
    • Spoken  language shows more involvement with audience.

Cognitive Tasks Involved in Writing

  • Similar Cognitive tasks involved in writings like understanding speech and speaking.
  • Planning , Sentence Generating  & Revising.
  • Flower & Hayes describe the process
  • “Writing is the act of dealing  with excessive numbers of simultaneous demands or constrains.”



    • Writer must translate the general ideas developed during planning to create actual sentence of text. 
    • Even most detailed outline must be greatly expanded during this process.


    • Final essay is typically at least eight times longer than even the most elaborate outline.
    • Hesitant phase tend to alternate with fluent phase.


  • To revise what you have written you need to reconsider the goals ,to predict how well the text attempt goals and to improve it (Hayes,1989).
  • Tremendous changes in revision (Hayes,1989). Hayes found that students who had background knowledge  on topic were less likely to identify problems in  passages  in unclear  essay on that topic.
  • Ideally writer should be sensitive to grammatical and organizational problems when they are revising a writing samples.


  • Galloti, K. M. (2004). Cognitive psychology in and out of the laboratory. USA: Thomson Wadsworth.
  • Matlin, M. (1994). Cognition. Bangalore: Harcourt Brace Pub.
  • Anderson, J. R. (2015). Cognitive psychology and its implications. New York: Worth Publishers

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