Which Field In Psychology Focuses On Higher Mental Processes Including: Thinking, Memory, Reasoning, Problem-Solving, Judging, Decision-Making, and Language?


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Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
I think the field of psychology you are referring to is known as cognitive psychology.

Cognitive psychology focuses on understanding the distinct processes of the mind, and, wherever possible, making direct observations of these processes - for example, by using brain-scanning technology.

The Scope of Study Within Cognitive Psychology
All the mental processes you mention are studied in this field. Cognitive psychologists are interested in the processes that turn a stimulus (for example, a reward, such as being given some money) into a response (exhibiting a particular behaviour).

In general, laboratory experiments are used by cognitive psychologists.

Strictly-controlled conditions are used to isolate whatever is being studied. Participants will normally come into a lab and be asked to perform a set of particular behaviours, whilst readings are taken of their physical and psychological states.

Cognitive psychology was a reaction against its predecessor, the behaviourist school of psychology.

Behaviourism was also experiment-based, but placed its entire emphasis upon directly observable behaviour, to the exclusion of the subjective experiences of participants.

The rapid development of computers between the 1950s and 1970s gave cognitive psychology a more-easily understood metaphor for the human mind.

The simplistic, logical processes employed in computer hardware and software engineering provided a solid foundation to which cognitive psychologists could relate their understanding of the human mind.

Just like behaviourism, cognitive psychology is still criticised for the difficulty it has in recreating realistic research environments, and for this reason, it is difficult to apply laboratory findings to real-world scenarios.

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