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Cognitive Perspective. Historical and Cultural Conditions Assumptions. Historical and Cultural Contexts. Reaction against Behavioralism By the 1950 and 1960s many psychologists believed that the Behavioralist perspective had reached a dead end. Historical and Cultural Contexts. Why?

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cognitive perspective

Cognitive Perspective

Historical and Cultural Conditions


historical and cultural contexts
Historical and Cultural Contexts

Reaction against Behavioralism

  • By the 1950 and 1960s many psychologists believed that the Behavioralist perspective had reached a dead end.
historical and cultural contexts1
Historical and Cultural Contexts


  • The focus on observable behavior was too narrow and reductionist. (Chomsky challenge to Skinner.)
  • Work by Kohler and Tolman suggested the importance of internal mental processes
historical and cultural contexts2
Historical and Cultural Contexts

World War 2

  • The need to assign millions of men to various roles in the military service focused attention on performance.
historical and cultural contexts3
Historical and Cultural Contexts

Development in computer science

  • Advances in computer science gave psychologist a metaphor needed to investigate the human mind.
historical and cultural contexts4
Historical and Cultural Contexts

Development in computer science

The computer became a model of the mind and various models of information processing generated huge interest and extensive experimentation to test the validity of theses models.

historical and cultural contexts5
Historical and Cultural Contexts
  • Brain Imaging
  • Developments in brain imaging helped cognitive psychologists uncover links between biological and cognitive processes.
historical and cultural contexts6
Historical and Cultural Contexts


By the 1980s it emerged as the dominant perspective in psychology


Cognitive Psychologists assume that:

  • Mental processes can and should be investigated scientifically.

This was a rejection of the Behavioralist view that only observable behavior can be studied scientifically


Cognitive Psychologists assume that:

  • Cognitive processes actively organize and manipulate information that we receive.
  • This was also a rejection of Behavioralists who believed that humans are shaped by the environment.

Cognitive psychologists assume that psychological processes like memory can be modeled and experimentation undertaken on the basis of these models.


Cognitive psychologists assume that;

Animals can be studied to help us understand human behavior.