History of cognitive psychology lecture

Mary Oliver

Psych 640

Ms. Paulette pitt

March 9, 2015

Week I Individual Assignment



History of cognitive psychology

Psychometric studies

Benefits of psychometric research

Uric Neisser is known as the father of cognitive psychology as well as an advocate for cognitive research. During his career he published Cognitive Psychology (1967) in which he brought research together pertaining yo perception, pattern recognition, attention, problem solving, and remembering (APS, 2012). Cognitive psychology is the broad name give to the field of psychology that examines attention, consciousness, information processing, and memory. Researchers in cognitive psychology and sensation perception are sometimes call experimental psychologist. This presentation will describe the history of cognitive psychology. It will explain how and why psychometric studies are used to study cognitive psychology. Finally this presentation will discuss the benefits of research in psychometrics.


Cognitive Psychology History

Cognitive Psychology makeup

Cognitive psychology focuses on a higher mental processes, including thinking, memory, reasoning, problem solving, judging, decision making and language. It focuses on the study of higher mental processes. Cognitive psychology centers on three major topics: thinking and reasoning, problem solving and creativity, and language. In the 1950s, researchers speculated that some mental operations might be modeled by computers, and they believed that  such modeling might shed light on how the human mind work (Marcus, 2001). Cognitive psychologists often use the computer as an analogy to help explain the relationship between cognition of the brain.  They explain the physical brain as the computer’s hardware, and cognition as its software. The human brain also has an incredible ability to learn new rules, relationships, concepts, and patterns that it can generate to novel situations. The term cognitive psychology became a label for approaches that sought to explain observable behavior by investigating mental processes and structures that we cannot directly observe (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2009).


Major Topics


Problem Solving

Decision Making

The brain’s processing is the silent operation of thinking. Psychologist define thinking as the manipulation of mental representations of information. The representation may take the form of a word, a visual image, a sound or data in any other sensory modality stored in memory. Thinking transform a particular representation of information into new and different forms, allowing one to answer questions, solve problems, or reach goals. Thinking also involves manipulating information mentally by forming concepts, solving problems, making decisions, and reflecting in a critical or creative manner. In the past Philosophers have considered the foundations of reasoning for some time, it is only recently that cognitive psychologist have begin to investigate how people reason and make decisions. There work has contributed to our understanding of formal reasoning processes as well as shortcuts often used. Reasoning is the mental activity of transforming information to reach conclusions. Reasoning is involved in problem solving and decision making. It is also a skill closely related to critical thinking. It can also be inductive or deductive. Inductive reasoning involves reasoning from specific observations to make generalizations (Tenenbaum, Griffiths, & Kemp, 2006). Deductive reasoning is reasoning from a general case that one know to be true to a specific instance (Demeure, Bonnefon, & Raufaste, 2009). Some psychologist have found that problem solving typically involves three steps: preparing to create solutions, producing solutions, and evaluating the solution that have been generated. When approaching a problem most people begin by trying to understand the problem thoroughly. If the problem is a novel one, they may pay closer attention to any restrictions placed on coming up with a solution. If by chance, the problem is a familiar one, they are apt to spend considerably less time in it preparation stage. Problems vary from well defined to ill defined. Despite obstacles to problem solving people are very skilled at discovering creative solutions to the problems. Reasoning is the mental activity of transforming information to reach conclusions. Decision making involves evaluating alternatives and choosing among them. Reasoning uses establishes rules to draw conclusion, decision making these rules are not established, and one may not know the consequences of the decisions.


Psychometric Studies

How its used

Psychometric is the study concerning theory and techniques of psychological measurement, that involves the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes and personality traits. This field primary deals with the study of differences within or between individual. It also involves two major research tasks such as construction of instruments and procedures for measurement, and development and refinement of theoretical approaches toward measurements (Tenenbaum, Griffith, & Kemp, 2006). When psychometric is used together with other information outlets they provide a powerful insight into why people make the decisions they often make or why they behave they way that they do. Futhermore, psychometrics helps to predict a individuals future behavior and performance. Some of the earliest psychometric instruments were used initially to test intelligence. It ha been applied in educational assessment to measure such things as reading and writing, and intelligence test .


Why its Used

The use of psychometrics has steadily grown over the last 50 years but has really flourished over the last 10 to 15 years. The majority of psychometric tests have been designed by occupational psychologist to guarantee the tools have scientific reliability and normative information from which they can compare the results against (Tenenbaum, Griffith, & Kemp, 2006). The resurgence of research in laboratory environments use structured psychometric instruments, questionnaires and performance test designed to reveal the mechanisms underlying human behavior. When looking at the use of psychometrics it is cost efficient and cost control thus reducing the budget for testing (Feldman, 2009).


Benefits of Research

Psychometrics offer the following benefits such as efficiency and confidentiality that secures collection of feedback for the individual and proven methodology. Furthermore, there are three different types of psychometric: ability/intellectual capability, personality, ad motivation. Psychometric as been used to lead scientific credibility for classification. Psychometric can be use in the research of cognitive psychology as well in employment recruitment.


Benefits of Psychometrics

It is clear the important implications with respect to psychometric approaches to the measurement of personality traits. According to this view, behavior is negotiated between participants in a social exchanges, and operates as a function of the situational and intrapersonal requirements. Qualitative methods are important because they attempt to understand the nature of this exchange, rather that simply reducing it to single numbers such as the score on a personality questionnaire or test. The principles of psychometrics guide the development and use of instruments and procedures used in the measurement of psychological traits (Anderson, 2009).



History of Cognitive Psychology

How and Why Psychometric Studies are Used

Benefits of Research

Psychometrics has been applied extensively to the measurement of personality, attitudes, mood, intelligence, cognitive ability, etc. The inherent difficulty in measuring these constructs, which lack a tangible physical correlate, drives the uses of psychometrics, which attempts to properly quantify and define these constructs. The earlier psychometric instruments were designed to measure intelligence, the best known of which is the Stanford-Binet IQ test developed originally by Alfred Binet, and psychometric instruments continue to be used widely within education and educational psychologist. Another major area of study in psychometrics relates to personality, and a large number of personality measures and related models and theories. Healthy psychology relies heavily on psychometric instruments, including questionnaires but also interview instruments, to quantify the constructs which are central to many of the research questions studied. It is therefore important that these measures are both reliable and valid. For this reason, researchers generally use instruments that have undergone an extensive and stringent process of reliability and validity test. The use of instruments which have not gone through this process is discouraged (Albery & Munafo’, 2008).



Albery,I.& Munafo’, M. ((2008). Key Concepts in Health Psychology. Sage Publications

Anderson, J. (2009). Cognitive Psychology and its Implications. (7th ed.) Wroth Publishers

Ashcraft, M., & Radvansky, G. (2009). Cognition (5th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Association for Psychology Science (APS). (2012). Remembering the father of cognitive psychology. Vol.25 No.5 Retrieved from

Demeure, V., Bonnefon, J., & Raufaste, E. (2009). Politeness and condiitioned reasoning: Interpersonal cues to the indirect suppression of deductive inference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, memory, and cognition 35, 260-266

Feldman, R. (2009). Understanding Psychology (9th ed.) New York, NY: McGraw Hill

Marcus, J. (2001). The algebraic mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Books

Tenebaum, J., Griffiths, T., & Kemp, C. (2006). Theory-based Bayesianmodels of inductive learning and reasoning. Trends in Cognitive Science, 10, 309-318


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