Essay about Cognitivism

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Cognitivism is considered the dominant approach in psychology today. The dramatic shift from behaviorism to cognitivism occurred in the early part of this century. After years of almost exclusively behaviorist research, psychologists and educators became discontent with the limitations of behaviorism. Although behaviorism encouraged observable and measurable research in the field of psychology, it did not incorporate mental events.

This paper will present a general overview of the origin of cognitivism and a discussion of three widely accepted cognitive theories—the Atkinson-Shriffin stage model, Craik and Lockhart’s levels of processing theory, and the parallel distributed processing approach. Finally, this paper
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On September 11, 1956, many of the important researchers attended a symposium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…Enthusiasm for the cognitive approach grew rapidly, so that by about 1960, the methodology, approach and attitudes had changed substantially. (Matlin, 1994).

Gestalt Psychology

Gestalt psychology, which emerged in Germany in the early decades of this century, proposed that individuals were predisposed to organize information in particular ways. This perspective has influenced how cognitive psychologists have come to understand human learning and emphasized the organizational processes in perception, learning, and problem solving.

Edward Tolman

Tolman, a prominent learning theorist during the behaviorist movement, was also influenced by Gestalt theories. Like the behaviorists, he valued the importance of objective research; however, he included mental phenomena in his perspective of how learning occurs. Tolman’s view of learning was more holistic than the staunch, stimulus-response (SR) behaviorists.

Jean Piaget

In the 1920s, Piaget began a research program in Geneva that focused on epistemology, the origins of knowledge. According to Shumaker, "this biologist, psychologist and philosopher altered and deepened our understanding of human life. Primarily known as a child psychologist, he used his research on young children as a springboard to a better

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