What Are the Major Domains of Cognitive Psychology?


Diego Sanchez

Cognitive psychology refers to the study of mental processes such as attention, perception, memory, problem-solving, and language use. It seeks to understand how people process information and make sense of the world around them.

Cognitive psychology is a broad field that encompasses different domains that help in understanding various aspects of human cognition. In this article, we will delve into the major domains of cognitive psychology.


Perception is the process by which we organize and interpret sensory information from our environment. This domain focuses on how we perceive and make sense of visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile stimuli.

Perception involves different processes such as sensation, attention, and interpretation. Researchers in this domain study how people recognize objects or faces, distinguish between colors or sounds, and perceive depth or motion.


Attention is the ability to focus on specific stimuli while ignoring others. This domain examines how people allocate their attentional resources to stimuli in their environment.

Attention can be selective or divided depending on whether an individual focuses on a single stimulus or multiple stimuli simultaneously. Researchers seek to understand how attentional processes affect perception, memory encoding and retrieval.


Memory refers to our ability to encode, store and retrieve information over time. This domain examines how we retain information in both short-term and long-term memory systems.

Researchers seek to understand how different factors such as emotions or context affect memory encoding and retrieval processes. They also investigate different types of memory such as semantic (facts), episodic (events), procedural (skills), and working memory.


Language is a complex system that enables us to communicate with each other using symbols (words) organized according to rules (grammar). This domain examines how people acquire language skills from infancy through adulthood. Researchers seek to understand how language processing occurs in the brain and how it affects other cognitive processes such as memory and attention.


Problem-solving is the ability to find a solution to a problem by applying logic, reasoning, and creativity. This domain examines how people approach and solve problems of different complexities. Researchers seek to understand how different factors such as expertise, motivation, and cognitive style affect problem-solving abilities.


Cognitive psychology is a vast field that encompasses different domains. Each domain has its own set of research questions and methods that help in understanding specific aspects of human cognition.

By studying these domains, cognitive psychologists can gain insights into how people perceive, learn, remember, communicate and solve problems. Understanding these processes can help in developing interventions for individuals with cognitive impairments or optimizing learning environments for better outcomes.