What Are Cues in Cognitive Psychology?


Martha Robinson

Cues in Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology that deals with how people process information. Cues are an essential part of cognitive psychology. In this article, we will discuss what cues are and how they affect our perception and decision-making.

What Are Cues?

Cues refer to any stimulus that helps us understand or interpret a situation. These stimuli can be visual, auditory, or even olfactory. Cues provide us with information that helps us make sense of the world around us.

Types of Cues

There are several types of cues used in cognitive psychology. Here are the most common ones:

  • Visual cues: These are cues that we see with our eyes. Examples include color, shape, size, and texture.
  • Auditory cues: These are cues that we hear with our ears.

    Examples include pitch, volume, and tone.

  • Tactile cues: These are cues that we feel through touch. Examples include texture, temperature, and pressure.
  • Olfactory cues: These are cues that we smell through our nose. Examples include scent and odor.

How Cues Affect Perception

Cues play a vital role in how we perceive the world around us. They help us understand what is happening in our environment and allow us to make decisions based on this information.

For example: If you see smoke coming from a building, your visual cue tells you there may be a fire inside the building. This information allows you to make a decision about whether to call for help or investigate further.

Cues can also affect how we interpret situations differently from others based on our individual experiences and perspectives. For instance, if you’re walking home alone at night and hear footsteps behind you, your auditory cue might tell you that someone is following you. This information may make you feel afraid and cause you to quicken your pace.

How Cues Affect Decision-Making

Cues can also affect our decision-making process. Our brains use cues to help us make decisions quickly and efficiently. For example: If you see a red light while driving, your visual cue tells you to stop.

However, cues can also be misinterpreted or manipulated, which can lead to poor decision-making. For instance, advertisers use visual cues in their ads to manipulate people into buying their products. They use colors, shapes, and images to create an emotional response in the viewer that makes them more likely to buy the product.


Cues are an essential part of cognitive psychology as they provide us with information about our environment that helps us make sense of the world around us. Understanding how cues work can help us interpret situations more accurately and make better decisions based on available information.