In life, organisms respond differently to different environments. For example, creatures have the ability to feel pain or pleasure. This is manifested mostly in human beings who have an ability to think, solve problems, remember events, and understand language and arithmetic. This they do using a brainpower that processes all these functions.
Therefore, this essay will define cognition as the capability of the mind to enable an organism such as a human being to reason, remember and solve problems in his immediate surroundings (Sternberg, Mio & Mio, 2009). Cognition is a broader field that is specifically called cognitive psychology that came to the rise in the 1950s. This essay is also going to study the interdisciplinary perspective of cognition and the history cognitive psychology. In addition, it will evaluate the decline of behaviorism.
Interdisciplinary perspectives are the fields related to cognitive psychology such as anthropology, artificial intelligence, biology, culture, linguistics, and others. Interdisciplinary perspectives are the fields related to cognition such as anthropology, artificial intelligence, culture, biology, linguistics and others (Shettleworth, 2010). For instance, neuroscience explains the happenings of the brain through extensive studies of the mind.
This helps in comprehending the cognitive processes of thought, memory, perception, and learning as manifested in the mental system. There is also an interdisciplinary perspective that deals with how the human knowledge is systematically arranged in the brain. This also includes knowledge and ideas of human beings. It also explores how information is coded mentally and processed to make sense.
Furthermore, cognitive psychology can be explained in terms of an evolutionary approach in the sense that, evolutionary psychology uses the theory of selection in explaining the mental processes of human beings. The evolutionary approach explicates the forces of selection that was dominant in our ancestors and the forces have given rise to the present cognitive features of humanity.
There is also the linguistic approach that deals with language of human beings. It tries to understand how people use a language the ability to communicate effectively using a language. Linguistics also concerns itself with how people learn other languages and the connection of language and thought process (Sternberg, Mio & Mio, 2009).
In addition, cognitive psychology is also influenced by emotion approach that deals with feelings such as happiness, sadness and jealousy. Cognitive psychologists are interested in the difference between moods and feelings. Furthermore, studying emotion theories assist in understanding how they affect perception and memory in humans.
Psychologists describe cognition as the mental roles that assist people to obtain, arrange, control and utilize ideas and facts. Cognition includes reasoning, memory of remembering an event, ability to understand linguistics and recognition of certain things (Shettleworth, 2010). Cognitive psychologists further state that it is the responsibility of the brain to ensure all these processes mentioned above are executed in order to make sense of them.
However, some other different types of cognition interested the cognitive psychologists, for instance, social cognition, motivation cognition, emotional cognition and many other others. For example, they define social cognition as the ability to comprehend how humanity relates to themselves, their relation towards their environmental, social and physical worlds.
In addition, social cognition studies how people relate with those worlds. Furthermore, social cognition deals with how people communicate, friendships, and their thinking of others. On the other hand, motivational cognition involves articulation of the diverse methods of self-drive that guide people in how they manage their performances. Psychologists continue to relate the zeal to solve problems and love for things such as arts to a cognitive drive that is influenced by motivation.
Finally, psychologists say emotion is a technique of comprehending things in the environments influenced by cognition (Sternberg, Mio & Mio, 2009). However, they state that cognitive roles like memory of things, reasoning capabilities, and ability to tackle problems are all influenced by some natural consciousness called emotion including other aspects of emotion such as sadness and happiness.
Psychologists define cognitive psychology as the learning of how humanity recognize, study, use memory and reason about facts and ideas. At the advent, of the twentieth century, psychology had emerged and psychologists such as Thorndike and Ebbinghaus had interest in a branch called associationism. This further culminated to the interest in behaviorism that gave birth to learning the significance of mental processes.
Another psychologist called Pavlov discovered a theory called classical conditioning that further generated interest in behaviorism. However, two behaviorists namely Watson and Skinner later put emphasis on the relation between the noticeable aspects of behaviors of a creature and surrounding that affect the possibility that specific behaviors will not reoccur (Shettleworth, 2010).
As the debate raged on, a majority of behaviorists rebuked the impression of studying the happenings of mind when a person was involved in a form of behavior. In the later years, behaviorists such as Tolman and Neisser observed the relation between behavior and processes of cognition. This gave birth to what is today called cognitive psychology. This discipline has its origins in physiology and philosophy, which led to psychology (Sternberg, Mio & Mio, 2009).
In addition, Cognitive psychology is linked to the interaction of thought and language, the cultural perspective of cognition and advancements of technology, for instance, artificial intelligence that involves information processing in computers. Cognitive psychologists apply a number of techniques such as case studies, experiments, and general observations to determine the reasoning of human beings.
Behaviorism is a subdivision of psychology that deals with learning behaviors of creatures using equipments and natural observations. Renowned behaviorist such as Watson presented a number of theories of which some were disapproved. Therefore, several effects emerged because of the fall of behaviorism in cognitive psychology.
For instance, cognitive psychologists have discovered that an active organism processes ideas and responds to stimuli in its surrounding instead of an organism that passively responds to stimuli in its surrounding. The decline of behaviorism led cognitive psychology to put emphasis on active responsibility of the organism, its relationships, structure of existence in relation to its environment, recognition during studies and ability of effective memory (Shettleworth, 2010).
In addition, according to Skinner’s experiment with rats, the drawback of behaviorism has led cognitive psychologists to assert that human beings and animals discover their environments and represent it mentally. In other words, people tend to picture things in their minds. Furthermore, the decline of behaviorism led to a concentration on the conscious behavior of an organism as, opposed to the behaviorists. They only evaluated the reactions of the organism when under stimuli (Sternberg, Mio & Mio, 2009).
In addition, behaviorists went ahead to claim nonexistence of consciousness leading cognitive psychologists to prove that organisms knowingly or unknowingly possessed some consciousness. Finally, it was proved that, during learning, an organism had a chance of being active, focused, and not responsive as alluded by behaviorists.
In conclusion, it is significant to remember that the evolution of cognitive psychology fronted by such respected cognitive psychologists such as Tolman and Neisser have helped achieve a number of things. Through studying cognitive psychology, we understand how mental functions, for example, perception, memory and ability to solve problems influence organisms in their environments.
In addition, the emergence of cognitive psychology as a study helped put to rest the theories of behaviorists such as Watson and Pavlov who failed to acknowledge the existence of consciousness (Shettleworth, 2010). Furthermore, understanding how creatures respond to stimuli in different environments through their consciousness helped disapprove the biased principles of behaviorist. However, credit must be accorded to the science of behaviorism that led to the evolution of cognition.
Shettleworth, S. (2010). Cognition, Evolution, and Behavior. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Sternberg, R., Mio, J., & Mio, J. (2009). Cognitive psychology. Belmont, CA: Cenegage Learning.