Psychology and Cognition: Isn’t it all about emotion?

It may, or may not, be obvious that the answer to the above question is “no”. Psychology is way more than emotion and the way you feel. It’s actually one of the largest fields of study and every one of its sub-fields, theories and schools of thought are important to understand the human being, and even then, we still wind up knowing so little about ourselves.

So, let’s talk about this. What’s cognitive psychology? It’s not easy to answer this question, since this field has plenty of themes and subjects, but the main idea is: cognitive psychology focuses itself on the scientific study of the mind, looking to understand the way you get and access the information about the world, how this information is stored and processed by your brain and how you solve problems, think and formulate language. The cognitive psychology is about all functions and cognitive processes and it’s present is all areas of psychology.

Processing Information

The basis of cognitive psychology is a model of how you process information, directly related with a time sequence of events.

Based on the occurrence of this sequence of events, your cognition will then receive all of the information, give it some sense according to or based on your perception, knowledge and perspective and the information will be coded in your brain which will then answer such a request for information processing.

Every single time you receive some information, your brain will use the one you had received before, with the purpose of trying to decode the new one.

Your nervous system is extremely important, since its restrictions and abilities will reflect the way information is processed by your brain.

Scientists used to think that this process was “passive”, the person just received the information from the exterior and memorized it and that was it (this is called bottom-up processing), but, nowadays, they realize that this isn’t quite true and they talk about a more “active” process when you look to the information you received, interact with it, especially according to previous information, try to think about it and make sense of it and how it relates with prior information or you had learned before. This is called top-down processing.


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