Cognitive psychology

Cognitive psychology

The development of cognitive psychology

            It has been argued that the historical chronology of cognitive psychology is basically long trailing capturing with it various fundamental scopes of development and change. Cognitive psychology was coined to describe an important branch within psychology whose ideals were to investigate the internal components of the human mental processes which included parameters such as language critique, human memory and problem solving. Despite the widely transcending history of human cognition, it was not until the year 1967 when Ulric Neisser captured this terminology in his work. From his original point of view, Neisser described cognitive psychology as the functional characteristic of human brain to operate in a computational autonomy (Alexander, Winne, 2006, p.12). The development of the research into cognitive psychology found its way towards the end of 1950s. Importantly, this was envisioned by the initiative of Noam Chomsky in the revolution of cognitive psychology through his remedied foundations of empiricism and behaviorism.

            Fundamentally however, computational theory of cognitive thinking has its traces way back in the 17th century as provided by Rene Descartes and spanning through out the historical contemporaries till the emergence of Alan Turing’s ideas between the 1940s and the 1950s. In his book titled ‘Perception and Communication’, Donald Broadbent vehemently brought out the idea of cognitive theory of approach. Since this point in time, many cognitive psychological scientists have continued to enrich his attribute of the cognitive model of information processing with an aim of developing the same yet to more expanded horizons. As a restoration to the work promulgated by Donald Broadbent, George Miller began his development of the mental information assimilation in 1985 (Alexander, Winne, 2006, p.28).

            The basic conception into mental perceptions has radically been compounded by wide frame changes and developments in then last five decades. Currently, cognitive psychology comes out as a widely spelt phenomenon capturing diversely many aspects that are benchmarked in matters of mental cognition. Comparatively, wide research studies continue to spur the filed of the cognitive psychology leading to widely complex theoretical paradigms and models.

The effect of cognition on education

Cognition has a lot of effects to the process of learning and education. Importantly, the cognitive development of a learner remains an implicitly important phenomenon that dictates the scope of internalization and success in the learning process. The process of education is intertwined through a three faceted model of thinking, experience and learning. All the three facets are modeled by the scope of our emotional autonomy which we experience in the learning environment. The main aim of education is to gear up with suits of knowledge. However, learning is by itself unsteady. It is governed with unsteady identifiable emotions that continuously appear in the due process of learning such as fascination, surprise, curiosity, perplexity, elation, anxiety, confusion, satisfaction and despair (Wagner, 2008).

Evidently, the applicability of cognition in education is widely accepted. At one point of view, learners are continuously envisaged with learning perception, language processing, thinking, and problem solving all of which are provided by the human cognition. This implies that the mental capacity of a learner provides him/her with the sublime capacity of integrating the various precepts encompassed in the learning process in a more viable manner that is modeled by the scope of his/her mental functionality. Imperatively, cognition plays an important role in internalizing the psychological dispensation of a learner which is shaped and modeled by various mental conditions arising from ones psychology

Specific changes made to the educational methods as a response to the development of cognitive psychology

            The development of cognitive psychology has largely been a significant drive towards changes in the educational methods. With the factor of cognitive development been the center of interest, various changes in the educational methods has been an issue that helps to provide the most feasible state of learning. Such changes include classroom management, student assessment, lesson planning, test content and learner response processes. From one point of view, development in cognitive psychology has seen the change in the scope of the classroom management process that would largely provide a more lucrative and learner centered environment. This change occurred from the realization of the role played by the mental conception of the learner in aligning him/herself with the internal classroom environment (Alexander, Winne, 2006, p.53). By and large, classroom management has consequently entailed the broad process of incorporating the cognitive psychological mindsets of all the learners despite their varying capacity.

            Importantly also, the change in student assessment has been inevitable from the concessions of the changing autonomy yielded by the study and change in the mental context of the learner. Importantly, various student assessment models have been devises that concur with specific cognitive demands and provisions of the learner. Additionally, there has been a radical change in the test content projected to the learner. Different cognitive mental setups of different learners have been provided to successfully fit within specific contexts of test assessment tools. Consequently, the educational system has developed such different test content that concur with the cognitive capabilities of the different learners. Elsewhere, the level of learner response to the learning process is basically modeled by the scope of his/her cognitive context (Wagner, 2008). Therefore, the educational system has modeled such different models of responses that adequately fit specific learner interests and abilities.


Alexander, P & Winne, P. (2006). Handbook of educational psychology. London: Routledge

Wagner Kendra (2008). What is Cognitive Psychology? Retrieved on 29th May 2009 from,