Cognitive Psychology provides student readers with essential help with all aspects of their first course in cognitive psychology, including advice on revising for exams, preparing and writing course assessment materials, and enhancing and progressing their knowledge and skills in line with course requirements in cognitive psychology.




Cognitive psychology deals with topics such as perception, memory, attention, language and thinking/decision making. Most critically it is based on the idea that we are like a computer when processing information and have an input, storage and retrieval function. Experimental cognitive psychology presumes that cognitive processes can be tested using empirical (scientific) methods because they can be inferred from behaviour obtained under controlled conditions. Introspection can, however, also be used whereby one examines one's own mental processes.

One should bear in mind, however, that only indirect information can be obtained from internal processes and artificial laboratory environments, and that people are usually unaware of their own mental processes, although introspection can be useful when describing an event rather than interpreting it.

Cognitive psychology assumes we are ...

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