What Are the Main Ideas of Cognitive Psychology?


Jane Flores

Cognitive psychology is a field of study that focuses on how the human mind processes information. It is concerned with understanding the mental processes that enable us to think, reason, and remember. In this article, we will explore some of the main ideas of cognitive psychology.

The Mind as an Information Processor

One of the most fundamental ideas in cognitive psychology is that the mind can be thought of as an information processor. This means that our brains take in information from the environment, process it in various ways, and produce output in the form of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.

Sensory Processing

The first stage of this information processing model is sensory processing. This refers to how our senses (such as sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) perceive incoming information from the environment. Our brains then interpret this sensory input and begin to make sense of it.


The next stage is attention. This refers to our ability to focus on specific pieces of information while ignoring others. Attention plays a crucial role in allowing us to filter out distractions and concentrate on tasks or stimuli that are most important.


Another important aspect of cognitive psychology is memory. Our brains store vast amounts of information through various memory systems such as short-term memory (which holds onto information for a few seconds or minutes) and long-term memory (which stores information for days, weeks, months or even years).

Thinking and Problem-Solving

Cognitive psychology also explores how we think and solve problems. One key concept here is that we often use mental shortcuts known as heuristics to make decisions quickly and efficiently. However, these shortcuts can sometimes lead us astray or cause errors in judgment.

Language Processing

Language processing is another area where cognitive psychology has made significant contributions. Researchers have studied how we learn language, how we process and understand language, and how we generate language when we speak or write.


In conclusion, cognitive psychology is a fascinating field that seeks to understand the inner workings of the human mind. By studying topics such as attention, memory, thinking, and language processing, researchers have gained valuable insights into how our brains process information and make sense of the world around us. With ongoing research in this area, we can expect to learn even more about the mysteries of cognition in the years to come.