What Is Cognitive Systems Psychology?


Diego Sanchez

Cognitive Systems Psychology is a subfield of psychology that focuses on the study of cognition, which is the mental processes that allow us to perceive, think, reason, and remember. It aims to understand how the brain processes information, how we learn and remember information, and how we use this information to make decisions.

The Origins of Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology emerged as a field of study in the 1950s as an alternative to behaviorism, which focused on observable behavior rather than internal mental processes. Cognitive psychologists believed that studying mental processes was crucial to understanding behavior.

The Key Concepts of Cognitive Systems Psychology

Cognitive Systems Psychology explores a range of mental processes such as perception, attention, memory, language processing, problem-solving, decision making, and reasoning. It also examines how these processes interact with each other to produce complex behavior.

One key concept in cognitive systems psychology is information processing. This refers to the way our brains take in information from our environment through our senses (such as sight or hearing), analyze it using cognitive processes (such as perception or attention), and then use this information to make decisions or take action.

Another important concept in cognitive systems psychology is working memory. This refers to our ability to hold information in our minds for a short period of time while we manipulate it. For example, when we solve a math problem in our heads or follow directions from a GPS device.

The study of cognitive systems also involves examining individual differences in cognition such as intelligence and personality traits that influence cognitive abilities.

Applications of Cognitive Systems Psychology

Cognitive Systems Psychology has many practical applications such as improving education by developing effective teaching strategies that align with how people learn best. It can also help design technologies that are user-friendly and easy to use by understanding human-computer interactions.

In healthcare settings, cognitive psychology can be used to diagnose and treat cognitive disorders such as dementia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The field of cognitive psychology also has applications in the workplace, where it can help improve productivity by optimizing work environments and developing effective training programs.


In conclusion, Cognitive Systems Psychology is a fascinating field that seeks to understand how we process information, learn and remember new information, and make decisions. It has many practical applications in a variety of fields such as education, healthcare, and the workplace. By studying cognitive systems psychology, we can gain insights into the inner workings of the human mind and improve our lives in many ways.