What Are the Three Key Factors of Cognitive Psychology?


Diego Sanchez

Cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on the mental processes involved in perception, attention, memory, language, problem-solving, and decision-making. It studies how individuals acquire, process, store, and retrieve information. Cognitive psychology is based on three key factors: perception, attention, and memory.

Perception refers to the process by which we interpret sensory information from our environment. It involves the selection, organization, and interpretation of sensory information to create a meaningful experience. Perception is influenced by several factors such as expectations, context, motivation, and past experiences.

For instance, when we see a chair for the first time in our life as a child we only see it as an object with four legs but as we grow up we perceive it differently from its function to its design.

Attention refers to the ability to focus on certain stimuli while ignoring others. Attention plays a critical role in cognitive processing since it determines what information will be processed further. Attention can be divided into two types: selective attention and divided attention.

For instance when studying for an exam selective attention will help you focus on one subject at a time while dividing attention would mean trying to learn two different subjects at once which could be difficult.

Memory refers to the storage of information over time for later retrieval. Memory can be divided into three types: sensory memory (the initial stage where sensory information is stored), short-term memory (information held briefly before being either forgotten or transferred to long-term memory), and long-term memory (information stored over an extended period).

For instance when you try to remember your phone number short term memory will hold onto it until you have dialed it once or twice after which through repetition your long term memory stores this information permanently.

In conclusion cognitive psychology is a fascinating and complex field of study that focuses on the mental processes that allow individuals to acquire, process, store, and retrieve information. By understanding the three key factors of perception, attention, and memory; cognitive psychologists can better understand how the mind works and help individuals improve their cognitive abilities.