Other Free Encyclopedias » Psychology Encyclopedia » Psychological Dictionary: Abacus to Courage

Cognition

information processing theory social perception cognitive memory information language

A general term for the higher mental processes by which people acquire knowledge, solve problems, and plan for the future.

Cognition depends on the ability to imagine or represent objects and events that are not physically present at a given moment. Cognitive functions include attention, perception, thinking, judging, decision making, problem solving, memory, and linguistic ability.

One of the most basic cognitive functions is the ability to conceptualize, or group individual items together as instances of a single concept or category, such as "apple" or "chair." Concepts provide the fundamental framework for thought, allowing people to relate most objects and events they encounter to preexisting categories. People learn concepts by building prototypes to which variations are added and by forming and testing hypotheses about which items belong to a particular category. Most thinking combines concepts in different forms. Examples of different forms concepts take include propositions (proposals or possibilities), mental models (visualizing the physical form an idea might take), schemas (diagrams or maps), scripts (scenarios), and images (physical models of the item). Other fundamental aspects of cognition are reasoning, the process by which people formulate arguments and arrive at conclusions, and problem solving—devising a useful representation of a problem and planning, executing, and evaluating a solution.

Memory—another cognitive function—is crucial to learning, communication, and even to one's sense of identity (as evidenced by the effects of amnesia). Short-term memory provides the basis for one's working model of the world and makes possible most other mental functions; long-term memory stores information for longer periods of time. The three basic processes common to both short- and long-term memory are encoding, which deposits information in the memory; storage; and retrieval. Currently, the question of whether short- and long-term memory are qualitatively and biologically distinct is a matter of debate.

The cognitive function that most distinctively sets humans apart from other animals is the ability to communicate through language, which involves expressing propositions as sentences and understanding such expressions when we hear or read them. Language also enables the mind to communicate with itself. The interaction between language and thought has been a topic of much speculation. Of historical interest is the work of Benjamin Whorf (1897-1941), the proponent of the idea that the language people use determines the way in which they view the world. As of the late 1990s, most psychologists view the Whorfian hypothesis with skepticism, believing that language and perception interact to influence one another.

Language acquisition is another topic of debate, with some—including psycholinguist Noam Chomsky —arguing that all humans have innate language abilities, while behaviorists stress the role of conditioning and social learning theorists stress the importance of imitation and reinforcement.

Since the 1950s, cognitive psychology, which focuses on the relationship between cognitive processes and behavior, has occupied a central place in psychological research. The cognitive psychologist studies human perceptions and the ways in which cognitive processes operate on them to produce responses. One of the foremost cognitive psychologists is Jerome Bruner, who has done important work on the ways in which needs, motivations, and expectations (or "mental sets") affect perception. In 1960, Bruner and his colleague, George A. Miller, established the Harvard Center for Cognitive Studies, which was influential in the "cognitive revolution" of the following years. In the area of linguistics, the work of Noam Chomsky has rekindled the age-old debate over whether language exists in the mind before experience. Other well-known work in cognitive psychology includes that of D.E. Berlyne on curiosity and information seeking; George Kelly's theory of personal constructs; and investigations by Herman Witkin, Riley Gardner, and George Klein on individual perceptual and cognitive styles.

The development of the modern computer has influenced current ways of thinking about cognition through computer simulation of cognitive processes for research purposes and through the creation of information-processing models. These models portray cognition as a system that receives information, represents it with symbols, and then manipulates the representations in various ways. The senses transmit information from outside stimuli to the brain, which applies perceptual processes to interpret it and then decides how to respond to it. The information may simply be stored in the memory or it may be acted on. Acting on it usually affects a person's environment in some way, providing more feedback for the system to process. Major contributions in the area of information processing include D.E. Broadbent's information theory of attention, learning, and memory; and Miller, Galanter, and Pribram's analysis of planning and problem solving.

Further Reading

Anderson, John R. Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications. New York: W.H. Freeman, 1985.

Ashcraft, Mark H. Human Memory and Cognition. New York: Harper Collins College Publishers, 1994.

Broadbent, Donald E. Perception and Communication. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Halpern, Diane F. Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities. Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates, 1992.

Cognitive Development - Piaget's stages of cognitive development, Modern views [next]

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

about 1 year ago

Quickbooks Support Number @ http://www.quickbooks.intuit-techsupport.com/
Quickbooks Support Phone Number @ http://www.quickbooks.support-phonenumber.com/
Quicken Support Phone Number @ http://www.quicken.support-phonenumber.com/
Quicken Support Number @ http://www.quicken.intuit-techsupport.com/
Sage Support Phone Number @ http://www.sage.support-phonenumber.com/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about:
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-kolkata/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-ahmedabad/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-surat/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about:

http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-surat/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-navimumbai/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-ahmedabad/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about:

http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago


Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about:

http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/
http://www.expert9th.in/packers-and-movers-kolkata/
http://www.top9th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

http://www.the5th.in/
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-noida.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad.html

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

http://www.adword.co.in/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/
http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-pune/

Vote down Vote up

about 2 years ago

Thanks for more information top company offers find 6th Packers and Movers in India services.
http://www.find6th.in/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/
http://www.find6th.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Best packing & moving companies

http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/
http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/
http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-thane/
http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-navi-mumbai/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Packers and Movers for Transporting Services:-

http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-navi-mumbai/
http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-thane/
http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/
http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
http://4ad.in/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

For Shifting and Transporting Services::-

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-hyderabad/ @ Packkers and Movers Hyderabad

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-bangalore/ @ Packers and Movers Bangalore

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-chennai/ @ Packers and Movers Chennai

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-pune/ @ Packers and Movers Pune

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-mumbai/ @ Packers and Movers Mumbai

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-delhi/ @ Packers and Movers Delhi

http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-gurgaon/ @ Packers and Movers Gurgaon

http://www.export5th.in/ @ Packers and Movers in India

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Packers and Movers Delhi @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
Packers and Movers Gurgaon @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/
Packers and Movers Ghaziabad @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/
Packers and Movers Faridabad @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
Packers and Movers Noida @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Packers and Movers Pune @
http://www.expert5th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/
Packers and Movers Pune or
http://packersmoverspune.top3rd.in/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Packers and Movers Gurgaon @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-gurgaon/
Packers and Movers Chennai @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-chennai/
Packers and Movers Noida @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-noida/
Packers and Movers Thane @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-thane/
Packers and Movers Navi Mumbai @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-navimumbai/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Packers and Movers Hyderabad @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-hyderabad/
Packers and Movers Bangalore @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-bangalore/
Packers and Movers Pune @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-pune/
Packers and Movers Mumbai @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-mumbai/
Packers and Movers Delhi @
http://www.smaart5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-delhi/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Foremost packers together with movers to ensure his or her consumers associated with safeguarded together with appropriate syndication associated with items lay out special increased coverage of packaging together with having.

URL:http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
URL:http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
URL:http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
URL:http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Simply because the majority of us imagine that many of us are not planning as a practitioner inside caring for the task linked to carrying as well as moving.

packers and movers http://www.5th.co.in/
packers and movers pune or http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-pune/
packers and movers bangalore or http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
packers and movers gurgaon or http://toppackersmoversgurgaon.5th.co.in/
packers and movers Mumbai or http://www.5th.co.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Once the group provides reviewed on there where which are the reason why pertaining to most of these disorders they'll likely have got to realize they're due to deficit connected with basic shops about drivers and so on.

Packers and Movers or http://www.great5th.in/
Packers and Movers Mumbai or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/
Packers and Movers Delhi or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
Packers and Movers Noida or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Eliminating as well as Safe-keeping Positive aspects getting Packers as well as Movers


Packers and Movers Pune or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/
Packers and Movers Bangalore or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
Packers and Movers Gurgaon or http://www.great5th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

http://top3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-navi-mumbai/
http://top3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-thane/
Packers and Movers Noida @ http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-noida/
Packers and Movers Faridabad @ http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
Packers and Movers Delhi @ http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
Packers and Movers Ghaziabad @ http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

List 5 Packers and Movers check out from the finest range for service providers moving & packing services.

Packers and Movers Bangalore @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/

Packers and Movers Hyderabad @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/

Packers and Movers Chennai @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai/

Packers and Movers Pune @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-pune/

Packers and Movers Mumbai @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

List Packers and Movers India if you are the all for whom packing & moving is the hectic task or your services.

Packers and Movers Delhi @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/

Packers and Movers Gurgaon @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/

List5th Movers and Packers Noida @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-noida/

List5th Movers and Packers Faridabad @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/

List5th Movers and Packers Ghaziabad @ http://list5th.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/

Packers and Movers India @ http://list5th.in/