Cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology that deals with the study of mental processes such as attention, language use, perception, problem-solving, memory, and thinking. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws on research and theories from various disciplines such as philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, and computer science.

What Does Cognitive Psychology Fall Under?

Cognitive psychology falls under the broader category of cognitive science. Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses various disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, and computer science. It focuses on understanding the mind and its processes by exploring how we acquire information, process it, store it in our memory and use it to make decisions.

The History of Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology emerged in the 1950s as a response to behaviorism which focused solely on observable behavior without considering mental processes such as thinking or reasoning. The cognitive revolution was sparked by researchers such as George Miller who challenged the idea that mental processes could not be studied scientifically. Miller argued that mental processes could be studied using scientific methods just like any other natural phenomenon.

The Key Ideas of Cognitive Psychology

The key ideas of cognitive psychology are based on the concept of information processing. According to this concept, our minds are like computers that receive input from our senses and process it to create output in the form of behavior or actions.

The Methods of Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology uses various research methods to study mental processes. These include experiments, observation, and computer simulations.

Experiments involve manipulating variables to observe their effect on mental processes. For example, researchers may manipulate the amount of information presented to participants to observe the effects on memory recall.

Observation involves observing behavior in natural settings to gain insights into mental processes. For example, researchers may observe how people solve problems in everyday situations.

Computer simulations involve creating models that simulate mental processes such as memory or attention. These models are used to test theories and make predictions about human behavior.


In conclusion, cognitive psychology is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on understanding the mind and its processes such as attention, perception, memory, thinking, and reasoning. It is a relatively young field but has made significant contributions to our understanding of how the human mind works. By using scientific methods such as experiments and computer simulations, cognitive psychologists have been able to uncover new insights into mental processes and develop effective interventions for a range of mental health disorders.