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4.11: The Cognitive Domain

  • Page ID
    59833
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    Learning Objectives
    • Describe the basic interests and applications of cognitive psychology
    Chimpanze with his hand to his mouth, looking thoughtful and pensive.
    Figure 1. Cognitive psychology sometimes involves the use of animals to examine the ways they think and solve problems.

    As mentioned in your previous reading, the cognitive revolution created an impetus for psychologists to focus their attention on better understanding the mind and mental processes that underlie behavior. Thus, cognitive psychology is the area of psychology that focuses on studying cognitions, or thoughts, and their relationship to our experiences and our actions. Like biological psychology, cognitive psychology is broad in its scope and often involves collaborations among people from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds. This has led some to coin the term cognitive science to describe the interdisciplinary nature of this area of research (Miller, 2003).

    Cognitive psychologists have research interests that span a spectrum of topics, ranging from attention to problem solving to language to memory. The approaches used in studying these topics are equally diverse. The bulk of content coverage on cognitive psychology will be covered in the modules in this text on thinking, intelligence, and memory. But given its diversity, various concepts related to cognitive psychology will be covered in other sections such as lifespan development, social psychology, and therapy.

    The five pillars of psychology: biological, cognitive, developmental, social and personality, and mental and physical health.
    Figure 2. The cognitive domain of psychology covers content on perception, thinking, intelligence, and memory.

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    Glossary

    cognitive psychology: area of psychology that focuses on studying thoughts and their relationship to our experiences and actions.

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