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What is cognitive psychology

Cognitive psychology – this is a branch of psychology that studies perception, imagination, thinking, speech, memory and other cognitive (cognitive) processes. Much attention is paid to the hidden mechanisms of the brain that affect a person, although he himself is not aware of it. Cognitive psychologists are also interested in complex behavior. For example, love, friendship or altruism.

Direction arose in the mid 1950s in the United States. It didn’t happen by accident. Interest in cognitive processes was largely driven by the advent of computers, as well as the first experiments in AI modeling and algorithmic processing.

Therefore, most cognitivists compare human brain with computer. They consider mental processes from the point of view of working with information:

  • input signal – information from the environment;
  • its analysis and recording;
  • the output signal is a reaction.

Why Cognitive Psychology Can Be Trusted

Their hypotheses cognitivists always trying confirm experimentally. Psychologists in this field work together with artificial intelligence specialists and neuroscientists, which improves the quality of research and the scientific nature of the conclusions.

Also, cognitivists managed to create one of the most understandable and complete models of the brain. By analogy with the design of computers, they proposed to separate short-term and long-term memory, and to consider attention as a kind of information filter.

Although this model has been criticized by some experts, it is still useful, as it leaves no room for the mysterious and unexplorable “blank spots” of the mind. It is no coincidence that this approach helps better understand what different areas of the brain are responsible for.

Why cognitive psychology is useful

Cognitive psychology has not only made a great contribution to the understanding of human consciousness, but also discovered ways to influence it in a beneficial way.

Helps fight cognitive distortions

From experiments cognitivists, we know that our consciousness is biased, as it is affected by cognitive distortions. One of the most famous of these is the confirmation error. This is when we give preference to information that is consistent with our opinion, and ignore the opposite. To combat cognitive biases, you must first find them and then confront your biases with reality. This is where cognitive psychology helps.

Also, cognitivists have shown that a person’s ability to remember information is limited. We cannot learn more than nine letters, numbers, or short words at a time. This short-term memory rule is known as “seven plus or minus two.”

Therefore, for example, we have a bad perception of ads or sites overloaded with information. But this makes it easier for us to remember phone numbers broken down into combinations of numbers. For example, in the format X‑XXX‑XXX‑XX‑XX.

Promotes the development of critical thinking

Representatives of this direction claimthat we may be less likely to be ensnared by delusions if we change our thinking. To do this, it is enough to stop accepting internal sensations that the mind did not have time to question as reality. That is, do not perceive emotional reactions as the basis for conclusions.

For example, once falling off a bicycle on a wet road, a person may begin to consider this type of transport very dangerous and be afraid to get back into the saddle. However, if you think logically, you can understand that a trip in dry weather and in compliance with safety measures will only bring pleasure.

Underpins an effective form of psychotherapy

Based on the cognitive approach, two types of therapy have been developed: cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and rational-emotional. The differences between them are minimal. Their essence is that the therapist or the person himself is looking for irrational beliefs (cognitive distortions) and makes rational arguments against them.

This is one of the most effective types of psychological therapy. The cognitive approach works great when solving real-world problems. CBT is known to be good helps cope with depression, stress, complexes, anxiety and other mental problems.