Human Beings are often considered the higher race due to their ability to think, analyze, judge, and comprehend information. Such high order mental processes of the brain are termed as Cognition. Cognition is a major concept in Psychology and is connected to most of the abstract concepts of the brain. The field of cognitive psychology has gained popularity in the last few decades itself.
Cognition is one of the core functions of the brain. The sensory information through transduction is sent to the brain and further this information is processed by the brain to generate our actions and behaviors. The mental processing of the sensory stimuli is the cognitive function of the brain.
There are many principles and theories of cognition.
The two most evident principles of cognition are mentioned below
Objects that are placed together are grouped together through cognition. Also, objects that are similar are grouped into one category.
The broken pattern is automatically completed by the brain.
Jean Piaget is a pioneer who has researched thoroughly in the field of Cognitive Psychology. He came up with many processes that aid in cognition, namely Assimilation, Accommodation, and Equilibrium. The Theory of Cognitive Development given by Piaget is the most profound theory in all the Principles and Theories of Cognition.
The Theory of Cognitive Development proposes four stages through which the cognition of a child is developed. The first stage is called the Sensorimotor Stage (From birth to 2 years). The principle of Object Permanence is prevalent in this stage. Object Permanence is the awareness that an object exists when the object is hidden.
The second stage is called the Preoperational Stage (2-7 years). The principle dominating this phase is of Egocentrism. Egocentric individuals are unable to consider the viewpoint of others. This stage also witnesses the rise of symbolism in the cognition of children.
The next stage is known as the Concrete Operational Stage (7-11 years). The characteristic feature of this stage is the beginning of logical thought. Also, children are able to understand the principle of conservation – a change in appearance does not always lead to a change in a quantity.
The last stage is known as the Formal Operational Stage (11 years onwards). This stage is inclusive of all the abstract and high order thinking capacities that individuals are capable of. The c
Another researcher that took interest in Cognition was Allen Newell.
Newell stated that cognition has the following components
- Problem Solving, Decision Making
- Memory and Learning Skills
- Language Abilities
- Motivation and Emotion
- Imagination and Dreaming
Cognition is no doubt a major guiding force behind the personality and the behavior of an individual. The principles and theories of cognition are very vast as cognition itself is very subjective to every individual and is often brought in the nature vs. nurture debate. Cognition has achieved a lot of recognition in the past few years and there has been a substantial rise in cognitive psychologists as well as cognitive therapies.