Cognitive Psychology

cognitive psychology, school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. It had its foundations in the Gestalt psychology of Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler, and Kurt Koffka, and in the work of Jean Piaget, who studied intellectual development in children. Cognitive psychologists are interested in how people understand, diagnose, and solve problems, concerning themselves with the mental processes which mediate between stimulus and response. Cognitive theory contends that solutions to problems take the form of algorithms—rules that are not necessarily understood but promise a solution, or heuristics—rules that are understood but that do not always guarantee solutions. In other instances, solutions may be found through insight, a sudden awareness of relationships. Cognitive psychologists have tried to reach a greater understanding of human memory (see memory) and language. In recent years, cognitive psychology has become associated with information processing, which examines artificial intelligence in computers to find out whether they are capable of problem solving in ways similar to humans. Information processing theory studies the parallels between the human brain and the computer, in the ways that both can receive, process, store, and retrieve information.

See A. J. Sanford, Cognition and Cognitive Psychology (1986); H. L. Pick, P. Van den Broek, and D. C. Knill, ed., Cognition: Conceptual and Methodological Issues (1992).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Cognitive Psychology: Selected full-text books and articles

An Introduction to Applied Cognitive Psychology
Anthony Esgate; David Groome; Kavin Baker; David Heathcote; Richard Kemp; Mora Maguire; Corriene Reed.
Psychology Press, 2005
Handbook of Applied Cognition
Francis T. Durso.
Wiley, 2007 (2nd edition)
Introducing Psychology through Research
Amanda Albon.
Open University Press, 2007
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Cognitive Psychology"
Tutorial: Cognitive Psychology as a Radical Behaviorist Views It
Moore, Jay.
The Psychological Record, Vol. 63, No. 3, Summer 2013
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
What Do Mental Terms Mean?
Moore, Jay.
The Psychological Record, Vol. 60, No. 4, Fall 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Cognitive Psychology: An Overview for Cognitive Scientists
Lawrence W. Barsalou.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992
Cognitive Psychology Applied
Chizuko Izawa.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1993
The Cognitive Psychology of Mens Rea
Heller, Kevin Jon.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 99, No. 2, Spring 2009
Evolution and the Psychology of Thinking: The Debate
David E. Over.
Psychology Press, 2003
Cognitive Psychology in the Middle Ages: Simon Kemp
Simon Kemp.
Greenwood Press, 1996
Experienced Cognition
Richard A. Carlson.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 15 "Toward a Cognitive Psychology of Persons"
The Cognitive Psychology of Planning
Robin Morris; Geoff Ward.
Psychology Press, 2004
The Sciences of Cognition: Theory and Research in Psychology and Artificial Intelligence
Morton Wagman.
Praeger Publishers, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Cognitive Psychology: Objectives, Sources, and Approaches" begins on p. 66
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