Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology is a subfield of psychology that focuses on studying mental processes, including how people perceive, think, remember, learn, solve problems, and communicate. This branch of psychology seeks to understand these mental processes’ underlying mechanisms and how they influence behavior.

The findings from cognitive psychology research have been applied to various fields, including education, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and cognitive therapy, to improve learning, design better interfaces, and develop effective treatments for psychological disorders.

Key Terms

Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development suggests that children move through four different stages of intellectual development which reflect the increasing sophistication of children's thoughts. Child development is determined by biological maturation and interaction with the environment.

Learn More: Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Frequent Asked Questions

The words psychodynamic and psychoanalytic are often confused. Remember that Freud’s theories were psychoanalytic, whereas the term ‘psychodynamic’ refers to both his theories and those of his followers, such as Carl Jung, Anna Freud, and Erik Erikson.

Learn More: Psychodynamic Approach

Developmental psychology is a scientific approach which aims to explain how thinking, feeling, and behavior change throughout a person’s life. A significant proportion of theories within this discipline focus upon development during childhood, as this is the period during an individual’s lifespan when the most change occurs.

Learn More: Developmental Psychology

Sigmund Freud proposed that personality development in childhood takes place during five psychosexual stages, which are the oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital stages.

During each stage, sexual energy (libido) is expressed in different ways and through different body parts.

Learn More: Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development

Object permanence means knowing that an object still exists, even if it is hidden. It requires the ability to form a mental representation (i.e. a schema) of the object.

The attainment of object permanence generally signals the transition from the sensorimotor stage to the preoperational stage of development.

Learn More: What Is Object Permanence According To Piaget?

Psychology studies the mind of an individual to understand human behavior and social and emotional reactions, whereas sociology looks beyond individuals and examines societal institutions and groups of people.

Learn More: Similarities and Differences Between Sociology and Psychology

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