What Is Cognitive Psychology?

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology is a scientific field which examines the processes of the mind. The field covers several areas such as attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and reasoning. It also studies the relationships between the brain and behavior. It focuses on the processes which cause a person to make decisions.

Information-processing approach

The Information-processing approach in cognitive psychology focuses on the interactions among the components of knowledge. This approach involves the use of computer programs to model cognition. This approach helps researchers to understand how new factors influence information processing. However, it is important to note that information processing is not limited to these types of models.

The Information-processing approach is a form of cognitive psychology that relies on componential analysis to better understand the processes behind learning. It makes use of models and think-aloud protocols to better understand how people process information. Theories based on this approach include Feigenbaum, Simon, and Anderson (1993). Newell (1991) emphasizes the need to carefully examine component skills within the context of broader tasks.

Short-term memory

The amount of information our short-term memory can retain varies greatly from one person to another. Some people can recall more than seven elements of information, while others can remember fewer. Various factors, such as the emotional relevance of the stimuli and the type of material, affect short-term memory capacity.

The length of time our memories can hold information has been the focus of much research. Some studies have found that the length of time we can remember something can be significantly shorter than the length of time we need to memorize it. In an experiment where researchers manipulated memory by counting backwards in threes, they found that people recalled fewer items as long as the delay was longer. These experiments have led to different models of short-term memory and working memory.

Eyewitness testimony

Eyewitness testimony is an important area of cognitive psychology, but the field has also experienced controversy. Since the early 1970s, several psychologists have made important discoveries in this area and applied those findings to the legal system. While the field is often divided, disagreements usually center around questions like the role of misinformation in witnesses’ memories, lineup procedures, and expert testimony.

The concept of in-group-out-group status is one example of how eyewitness testimony is impacted by expectations. In one study, Lindholm and Christianson used the example of simulated robberies to examine how the witness’s memory is influenced by the in-group and out-group status. In this experiment, immigrant students and Swedish students watched the same simulated robberies and observed what they remembered.


Cognitive psychologists have long studied how people create mental models, and they’ve come to understand that these mental models form the foundations for future understanding. This theory is a good fit for SMARTboards and other new technologies, which help students organise their knowledge and store it in long-term memory. This type of technology also facilitates critical thinking skills in students, which will help them develop a more rounded understanding of their learning.

Cognitive interviewing techniques

Cognitive interviewing techniques based on cognitive psychology have been developed to assist police in criminal investigations. They are based on a series of rules that help people recall events. These rules are known as mnemonics. Participants are asked to create a narrative about the event that they are being interviewed about. The interviewer may ask them to start the narrative at a different place in the story, which can help them gain a new perspective on the event.

Cognitive interviews are useful in a variety of settings. They can be conducted during or after data collection and can be used to evaluate the functioning of survey items without affecting the contents. As long as privacy requirements are met and the respondent gives permission, audio recordings are helpful. After interviewing, it may be useful to show the client examples from the recordings.

Computer analogy

Cognitive psychologists often use the computer analogy to explain mental processes. The analogy is based on the idea that the human brain is analogous to a computer, with its processes similar to those of a computer. However, this analogy is not literal, because the human brain does not have any cores and there is no digital instruction pipeline. However, cognitive psychologists recognize the idea of functional blocks and processing steps, and they use the notion of modules. These modules can be further broken down into networks of sub-modules. While the analogy does not fully explain the way the brain works, it can offer valuable information about the structure, timing, and competition of information flow.

As computers have become more sophisticated, they have become prominent metaphors for cognition. Many researchers are now using computers as models for cognitive processes. One example is the concept of “single-channel decision mechanism”, which was first introduced in telecommunications to describe how information is processed in a capacity-limited way. Later, this concept was extended to information processing in cognitive processes.