Cognitive psychology (English cognitive psychology) - a modern trend in the study of cognitive processes. It originated in the 1960s as an alternative to behaviorism - just because other directions of the natural science plan in psychology at that time did not exist. Gestalt psychology by that time died, and psychoanalysis and humanistic psychology to science do not have a relationship. Cognitive psychology rehabilitated the concept of the psyche as an object of scientific research, treating behavior as mediated by cognitive (cognitive) factors. Studies of cognitive psychologists cover both conscious and unconscious processes of the psyche, while both are treated as different ways of processing information. The most famous representatives of cognitive psychology: George Miller, Jerome Bruner, Ulrik Neisser.
The subject of cognitive psychology is the model of cognitive processes. The concept of "cognitive" (cognitive processes, cognitive psychology and cognitive psychotherapy ...) - became widespread in the 60s of the XX century, during the hobby of cybernetics and electronic modeling of intellectual processes, overgrown in the habit of representing man as a complex biocomputer. The researchers tried to model all the mental processes taking place in a person. What we managed to model was called cognitive processes. What did not work was affective. In practice, "cognitive" refers to mental processes that can be represented as a logical and meaningful sequence of actions for processing information.
Or: which can reasonably be modeled in terms of processing information, where in the processing of information one can discern logic and rationality.
Cognitive processes usually include memory, attention, perception, understanding, thinking, decision-making, actions and influences - in so far as or in the part in which they are engaged in cognitive processes, and not something else (drives, entertainment ... ). Strongly simplifying, it can be said that this is competence and knowledge, skills and abilities.
Modern cognitive psychology consists of many sections: perception, pattern recognition, attention, memory, imagination, speech, developmental psychology, thinking and decision making, in general natural intelligence and partly artificial intelligence. Models of cognitive processes allow a new look at the essence of a person’s mental life. "Cognitive, or otherwise cognitive, activity is an activity associated with the acquisition, organization and use of knowledge. Such activity is characteristic for all living beings, and especially for humans. For this reason, the study of cognitive activity is part of psychology "(Ulrik Naisser" Cognition and Reality ").
With the expansion of the subject area of research, the information approach was limited, especially in the analysis of speech activity, thinking, long-term memory and the structure of intelligence. Therefore, cognitivists began turning to genetic psychology (J. Piaget), cultural and historical psychology (LS Vygotsky and others), an activity approach (AN Leontiev, etc.). On the other hand, the methodological base of experimental research developed by them attracted the attention of many European, including Russian scientists (in particular AI Nazarov) who adapted it for the development of their traditions (microstructural and microdynamic analysis, microgenetic method).
The cognitive approach is based on a number of axiomatic prerequisites (Haber, 1964):
• The idea of a step-by-step processing of information, i.e. that the stimuli of the external world pass through the psyche through a series of successive transformations.
• Assumption about the limited capacity of the information processing system. It is the limited ability of a person to learn new information and transform an existing one that makes it necessary to search for the most effective and adequate ways of working with it. These strategies (to a much greater extent than the corresponding brain structures) are modeled by cognitive psychologists.
• The postulate on the coding of information in the psyche is introduced. This postulate fixes the assumption that the physical world is reflected in the psyche in a special form, which can not be reduced to the properties of stimulation.
A variant of cognitive theory, gaining increasing popularity in recent years, is the theory of levels of information processing (F.Kreik, R.Lokhard, 1972). At present, cognitive psychology is still in its infancy, but has already become one of the most influential areas of world psychological thought.