Information Processing (Cognitive Processing)

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© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Information Processing (Cognitive Processing): Selected full-text books and articles

Cognitive Psychology and Information Processing: An Introduction By Roy Lachman; Earl C. Butterfield; Janet L. Lachman Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1979
Cognitive Development: An Information-Processing View By David Klahr; John Gilbert Wallace Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1976
Levels of Cognitive Development By Tracy S. Kendler Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Three "Developmental Trends in Information Processing"
Cognition, Information Processing, and Psychophysics: Basic Issues By Hans-Georg Geissler; Stephen W. Link; James T. Townsend Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992
Attention and Information Processing in Infants and Adults: Perspectives from Human and Animal Research By Byron A. Campbell; Harlene Hayne; Rick Richardson Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992
Social Comprehension and Judgment: The Role of Situation Models, Narratives, and Implicit Theories By Robert S. Wyer Jr Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "The Architecture of the Information-Processing System"
Memory and Cognition in Its Social Context By Robert S. Wyer Jr.; Thomas K. Srull Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "A General Model of Social Information Processing"
Implicit and Explicit Mental Processes By Kim Kirsner; Craig Speelman; Angela O'Brien-Malone; Mike Anderson; Murray Maybery; Colin MacLeod Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Information-Processing Theories of Intelligence" begins on p. 173
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