Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology
   1) Cognitive Processes Truly Exist
   The basic reason for studying cognitive processes has become as clear as the reason for studying anything else: because they are there. Our knowledge of the world must be somehow developed from stimulus input. . . . Cognitive processes surely exist, so it can hardly be unscientific to study them. (Neisser, 1967, p. 5).
   2) Cognitive Psychologists Construe the Abstract Mechanisms Underlying Behavior
   The task of the cognitive psychologist is a highly inferential one. The cognitive psychologist must proceed from observations of the behavior of humans performing intellectual tasks to conclusions about the abstract mechanisms underlying the behavior. Developing a theory in cognitive psychology is much like developing a model for the working of the engine of a strange new vehicle by driving the vehicle, being unable to open it up to inspect the engine itself. . . .
   It is well understood from the automata theory . . . that many different mechanisms can generate the same external behavior. (Anderson, 1980, pp. 12, 17)
   3) Cognitive Psychology Does Not Deal with Whole People
   [Cognitive psychology does not] deal with whole people but with a very special and bizarre-almost Frankensteinian-preparation, which consists of a brain attached to two eyes, two ears, and two index fingers. This preparation is only to be found inside small, gloomy cubicles, outside which red lights burn to warn ordinary people away. . . . It does not feel hungry or tired or inquisitive; it does not think extraneous thoughts or try to understand what is going on. It is, in short, a computer, made in the image of the larger electronic organism that sends it stimuli and records its responses. (Claxton, 1980, p. 13)
   4) Cognitive Psychology Has Not Succeeded in Making a Significant Contribution to the Understanding of the Human Mind
   Cognitive psychology is not getting anywhere; that in spite of our sophisticated methodology, we have not succeeded in making a substantial contribution toward the understanding of the human mind. . . . A short time ago, the information processing approach to cognition was just beginning. Hopes were high that the analysis of information processing into a series of discrete stages would offer profound insights into human cognition. But in only a few short years the vigor of this approach was spent. It was only natural that hopes that had been so high should sink low. (Glass, Holyoak & Santa, 1979, p. ix)
   5) Cognitive Psychology Seeks to Understand Human Intelligence and Thinking
   Cognitive psychology attempts to understand the nature of human intelligence and how people think. (Anderson, 1980, p. 3)
   6) The Rise of Cognitive Psychology Demonstrates That the Impeccable Peripheralism of Stimulus-Response Theories Could Not Last
   The past few years have witnessed a noticeable increase in interest in an investigation of the cognitive processes. . . . It has resulted from a recognition of the complex processes that mediate between the classical "stimuli" and "responses" out of which stimulus-response learning theories hoped to fashion a psychology that would by-pass anything smacking of the "mental." The impeccable peripheralism of such theories could not last. One might do well to have a closer look at these intervening "cognitive maps." (Bruner, Goodnow & Austin, 1956, p. vii)

Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science. . 2015.

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