Human behaviors: Study mental processes such as perception, memory, creativity, attention among others.


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Psychology has changed over the years changing how psychologists understand human behaviors. Looking at the history of psychology, the most important approaches to the same can be singled out. Psychology is no longer based on speculation but more objective and scientific criteria. Cognitive psychology has brought changes to the field of psychology. It can be defined as the study of how our brains work or how we think. It involves studying mental processes such as perception, memory, creativity, attention among others. The most significant contributors to the above to this field included Sir Fredrick Bartlett, Jean Piaget, and Hermann Ebbinghaus (Cowley PGDipStat BA DPhil – RSS Fellow, 2017).

Cognitive psychology brought changes, in the general field of psychology, which can be explained through some assumptions it created. Cognitive psychology tends to involve aspects of how we think, how we feel and how we act all at once, each being a function of the other. Unlike the original school of thought based on speculation, cognitive psychology assumes that abnormalities arise from the impaired cognition of the world around us or the people that we interact. Cognitive deficiencies such as the lack of planning or distortions such as the inaccurate processing of information cause such faults. Another change brought about by the school of thought is that cognition affects the perception of what is around us. Psychologists better understood how cognition distorted in the way human being viewed as what they saw, as explained by irrational thinking and cognitive triad, by Ellis (1962) and Beck (1967) respectively (Ellis, 1962).

The school of thought brought new understanding to psychologists as to why people behave the way that they do and the cause of certain behavioral actions portrayed by the human being. Another principle brought about by cognitive psychology is that human beings interact with the world through their mental representation of the same. It brought an understanding of human behavior especially of where behavior or emotions exhibited by people are at times disorder. Psychologists derive the answer to the above thought through cognitive psychology, proving that if the mental representation is inaccurate, so will human emotions and behavior be (Solso, MacLin & MacLin, 1998). Cognitive psychology we based on ‘what if’ questions where psychologists create constructs (models in mind). The psychological field tends to question the reliability of our memory or mind to make judgments that affect the day to day behaviors we portray.


Cowley PGDipStat BA DPhil – RSS Fellow, M. (2017). The Cognitive Perspective – Introduction to Psychology: Theory and Practice (Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Developmental Notes). SSRN Electronic Journal.

Ellis, A. (1962). Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy. New York: Stuart.

Solso, R. L., MacLin, M. K., & MacLin, O. H. (1998). Cognitive psychology. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Retrieved from

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