Definition of cognitive psychology
Psychology is the science that studies the human mind, while cognitive psychology is a sub-branch of psychology that focuses on the mental processes inside our brain. They can be a variety of processes including attention, thinking, memory, language acquisition, learning, problem-solving, but they are not all. Thus, cognitive psychology encompasses a very broad range of subjects. It is important to remember that these processes are studied for the impact they have on the behavior because thoughts lead to actions.
Application of cognitive psychology
Cognitive psychology developed with the passing of time and found application in abnormal psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, and personality psychology.
Abnormal psychology studies the brain patterns that lead a category of people to act in an unusual behavior when we compare them with the general population. Professionals working in abnormal psychology examine the thoughts, emotions, and habits of these groups of people in order to better understand them. This will lead them to create strategies to help them overcome their mental distresses and be part of society like the rest of us.
Social psychology studies how people think, feel, and behave when they are in society or when they are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. These include all the psychological elements in a human being. The goal of social psychology is to study human behavior as a consequence of the interaction of mental state and social situations.
Developmental psychology explains growth, change, and consistency throughout our lives. It focuses on how a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior change during the course of his life. A very important aspect of developmental psychology focuses on childhood, as this is the period when human beings experience changes the most.
Educational psychology examines how people learn and the factors that affect their learning. They evaluate factors such as age culture, gender, and physical and social environment that have an impact on their learning. They create their theories and then try to apply them based on research and evidence to better understand human emotions, cognitive abilities, and social aspects that affect human learning.
Personality psychology studies the differences between people and their ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. The study of personality focuses on two broad areas: one is to understand how people differ in their personality characteristics, e.g sociability, and irritability. The other is to understand how different parts of a person come together as a whole.
The benefits of cognitive learning in education
This type of learning is active, constructive, and long-lasting. It engages students throughout the learning process, making them use their brains to make connections when they learn new things.
Cognitive learning can find its use perfectly in the traditional classroom approach. It doesn’t focus on memorization and repetition, but it builds on past knowledge by connecting it with the new learning material.
The three factors of cognitive learning are comprehension, memory, and application. Cognitive learning skills help them better understand the “why” behind the topic and how it fits in a larger context.
Apart from repetition, which is not that effective, cognitive learning makes students gain a deeper understanding of what they are learning. This improves recall and can build on past knowledge.
Cognitive learning makes students reflect on what they learn, and how to apply it in their lives. This improves their problem-solving skills.
Cognitive psychology’s role on mental health
There are many cognitive psychologists who focus and work with people affected by brain disorders, psychological illnesses, and behavioral disorders. Cognitive psychology has helped people who have sensory or perception disorders or simply said speech disorders. It can find application in helping people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia suffer from cognitive disorders and cognitive psychology therapy can improve some of their everyday functioning.
Cognitive psychology can treat mental illness such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. For example, many psychiatrists, when they deal with patients with depression, besides antidepressant drugs, advise their patients to attend cognitive therapy to prevent a relapse of the mental disorder.
Cognitive psychology is the foundation of cognitive behavioral therapy, which enables us to better understand our thinking process, challenge our irrational beliefs, and have a more clear view of ourselves and others.
The benefits of cognitive psychology studies have been felt across the world. It can find application in many domains of human activities which include educational psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, linguistics, and economics. Cognitive psychology has enabled us to have a better view of ourselves and others, learn more effectively, change our abnormal behaviors through cognitive behavioral therapy and many other mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s, depression, and speech disorders. Cognitive psychology can find its use in school improving students’ learning abilities and in the mental health domain relieving the symptoms of certain mental disorders.
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