Current Trends and Scope in Cognitive Psychology Ulric Neisser coined the term “cognitive psychology” in his book Cognitive Psychology, published in 1967, wherein Neisser provides a definition of cognitive psychology characterizing people as dynamic information-processing systems whose mental operations might be described in computational terms. Also emphasizing that it is a “point of view” that postulates the mind as having a certain conceptual structure. Neisser’s point of view endows the discipline with a scope beyond high-level concepts such as “reasoning” that other works often espouse as defining psychology.
Neisser’s definition of “cognition” illustrates this well: The term “cognition” refers to all processes by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used. It is concerned with these processes even when they operate in the absence of relevant stimulation, as in images and hallucinations… Given such a sweeping definition, it is apparent that cognition is involved in everything a human being might possibly do; that, psychological phenomenon is a cognitive phenomenon.
But although cognitive psychology is concerned with all human activity rather than some fraction of it, the concern is from a particular point of view. The time and place of Cognitive psychology today both contribute to its vibrancy. The 1990’s were declared as the “Decade of the Brain” by the U. S. Congress. Cognitive psychology, neo-cognition, development of cognitive psychology are all the fields of cognitive psychology is thriving in. Discoveries and new scopes are made to attract both the science and humanities students .
Many new core concepts of Mental representations ,Cognitive Architecture, Memory stores ,Consciousness, Behavioural Measures and many Neo-cognition models have been developed. Developing from the information processing approach, present cognitive psychology differs from classical psychological approaches in the methods used as well as in the interdisciplinary connections to other sciences. Apart from rejecting introspection as a valid method to analyse mental phenomena, cognitive psychology introduces further, mainly computer-based, techniques which have not been in the range of classical psychology by now.
By using brain-imaging-techniques like fMRI, cognitive psychology is able to analyse the relation between the physiology of the brain and mental processes. In the future cognitive psychology will concentrate on computer-related methods even more than it is already. Hereby it will profit from improvements in the area of IT. E. g. fMRI scans nowadays still have lots of possible error sources, which should be solved in the future. Thereby the technique becomes more powerful and precise.
In addition to that the computational approach can be combined with the classical behavioural approach, where one infers a participant’s mental states from the behaviour that is shown. Cognitive psychology however is not only using methods developed by other sciences, of course it collaborates with topic-related sciences like artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics and the philosophy of mind as well. The advantage is clear: different perspectives on the topic make it possible to confirm results from a field or to eventually gain new accesses to the study of the mind.
Modern studies of cognitive psychology more and more criticise the classical information processing approach, which leaves room for other approaches to acquire more importance E. g. the classical approach is modified to a parallel information processing approach, which is thought to be closer to the actual functioning of the brain A number of trends, both within and outside academic came together in the years during World War II to produce what many psychologists think of as a “revolution” in the field of cognitive psychology.
This was mainly was a rejection of behaviourist assumption that mental events and states were beyond the realm of scientific study or mental representations did not exist. In 1950’s and 1960’s, noble prize winners David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel discovered that specific cells in the visual cortex of cats were in fact specialized to respond to specific kinds of stimuli and also importance of early experience in nervous system development.
A new methodology for studying perception without the use of awareness, which is based on a mixture of ideas taken from both the relative sensitivity approach and the classic dissociation paradigm by Greenwald and colleagues (Draine & Greenwald, 1998; Greenwald and Drain 1997;Greenwald , Draine & Abrams,1996; Greenwald et al; 1995). As already noted, one usual criticism was the traditional dissociation paradigm is that any convincing demonstration of an indirect affect in the absence of a direct affect requires the acceptance of a null hypothesis.
To bypass the statistical problem associated with asserting the truth of a null hypothesis, Greenwald et al. use a “Regression analysis strategy”. This method is to analyse data using tests of the regression relation between direct and indirect measures of responses to near-threshold stimuli. In the regression analysis, the amount of indirect effect produced by near-threshold stimuli is plotted against a direct objective measure of the stimuli. There were two tasks primary and secondary tasks of binary categorization judgment for polarised words and then target words respectively.
Later he also used “The response-window procedure” in which participant are always required to repent to the target item within a moderately early response window(i. e,250ms±133ms). This was one of the most rigorous applications of the dissociation paradigm for studying perception with awareness. Another psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, is the best known for his theories of archetypes and the psychological types.
Both pivot on a conception of “psychic energy” which constitutes a radical departure from Freud’s notion of libido. Whereas Freud endowed the libido with the quality of sexual desire, Jung argued that as scientific concept “energy” is to do with relation of affective intensity and direction among elements of experience. Jung maintained that this “quantitative” conception of energy explains how symbols are spontaneously formed, both at the level of individual (eg. Dream images) and cultures (eg. eligious icons, even scientific ideas). Jungian archetype theory continues to be researched, revised and debates afresh by Jungian and non-Jungian scholars(eg,Pietikainen,1998,1999,and commentaries by Hogenson,1998,Mogenson1999,Mcdowell,2001)Jung’s thesis even today remains potentially relevant for any attempt to conceptualize the psychological processes through which our bodily lived experiences become meaningful to us and how such cognition is mediated by the symbolic systems of a culture. One ore Cognitive neuropsychologist examined cognitive performance to help people with Brain damage was Streimer and Danckert (2007) have been examining how special glasses designed to shift one’s visual attention is prism adaption, alleviate some of the symptoms of patients who cannot attend to portion of their visual field. Therefore we now know that so many new trends in the field of Cognitive psychology are been brought about and there has been an evolutionary change in the environment and context shape in the way cognitive processing’s occurs.
Today’s work in the field of Cognitive Psychology gives several hints how future work in this area may look like. In practical applications improvements will probably mainly be driven by the limitations one faces today. Here in particular the newer subfields of Cognitive Psychology will develop quickly. How such changes look like heavily depends on the character of future developments in technology.
Especially improvements in Cognitive Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience depend on the advancements of the imaging techniques. In addition to that the theoretical framework of the field will be influenced by such developments. The parallel processing theory may still be modified according to new insights in computer science. Thereby or eventually by the acceptance of one of the already existing overarching theories the theoretical basis for the current research could be reunified.
But if it takes another 30 years to fulfil Newell’s dream of such a theory or if it will happen rather quick is still open. As a rather young science Cognitive Psychology still is subject to elementary changes. All its practical and theoretical domains are steadily modified. Whether the trends mentioned in this chapter are just dead ends or will cause a revolution of the field could only be predicted which definitely is hard. REFRENCES 1 . Shohov P Serge (Edited 2002). The relational premises of Jung’s theory of psychological value; Perception without Awareness; Trends In Cognitive Psychology ,pp. 2-6, 2. Stolz Jennifer, Fugelsang Jonathan, Fernandes Myra, and Galloti M. Kathleen by ;( first Canadian edition2004-2008); Influences on the study of Cognition in and Out of Laboratory Cognitive Psychologist. pp;10-12 3 . Galloti . M Kathleen, (Ed. 4); 1957; Influences on the study of Cognition; In and Out of Laboratory, Cognitive Psychology; pp; 14-18 4.