Cognetive Psychlogy Essay

896 Words May 15th, 2013 4 Pages
The cognitive approach to human and comparative psychology rests on two main assumptions: 1) there are cognitive representations and processes that act on those representations 2) we can discover these representations and processes, albeit indirectly (Willingham, 2007). This approach offers a middle ground between B.F. Skinner’s cut-and-dry input—output relations and C.L. Hull’s hypothetical constructs and intervening variables. In the first case, there is no room for intermediary cognitive processes between stimulus and response, outside the realm of simple associative learning. In the second case, there is lacking an explicit scientific means by which to objectively observe the theoretical cognitive mechanisms in question. However, E. C. …show more content…
The early cognitive responses to these deficits in explanation centered on abstract constructs far removed from scientifically reproducible verification. For example, Clark Hull defined the mechanism of reinforcement in terms of drive reduction, hypothesizing theoretical constructs such as primary drives and secondary drives (Goodwin, 2005). The shortcoming of these abstract constructs was that they were not demonstrable through observable behavior, but rather only speculative in nature.
It was not until the conception of artificial intelligence and the progression of cognitive neuroscience that the valley of dry bones, known at that time only as the new behaviorism, was able to analogize the speculative, abstract constructs with any corporeal system. Artificial intelligence offered researchers the physical ability to reproduce the mechanisms of metaphysical thought that occur during human cognition. As well, the area of neuroscience offered a biological framework from which to better understand the neurochemical activity of the brain, as it pertains to the activities of human thought. In addition, computers use representations (1’s and 0’s) in order to assimilate, store, and process information. It is plausible that the human brain could work in much the same manner. The computer presented researchers with an endless metaphor of human thought that could be studied through the avenue of observable behavior. Now

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