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Cognitive Psychology

by Eamon Fulcher




Chapter 1: Foundations of Cognitive Psychology

Chapter 2: Perception

Chapter 3: Attention

Chapter 4: Learning

Chapter 5: Memory

Chapter 6: Language

Chapter 7: Problem Solving and Creativity

Chapter 8: Cognition and Emotion

Chapter 9: Computer Models of Cognition and Connectionism

Chapter 10: Questions and Answers


This book was first published in 2003 by Crucial, a division of Learning Matters Ltd [ISBN 1 903337 13 5] © 2003 Eamon Fulcher; © 2009 GEFT Consultance Services (

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission in writing from Geft Consultancy Services, who may be contacted via

What is cognitive psychology?

Cognitive psychology concerns how people perceive, understand, evaluate and think. Cognitive psychologists argue that the mind is a processor of information - we receive information through the senses, we try to understand that information and its relation to us, and we transmit information to others.

Some of this information processing is easy - if you are fluent at reading English then reading this text probably seems almost effortless to you, but think about the many processes going on that allow you to transform these printed characters into meaningful pieces of information. Other kinds of information processing is not so easy, such as trying to understand the behaviour of, or information transmitted by, someone else!

It is because cognitive psychology is so important for our understanding of human psychology that it will be included in virtually every psychology degree programme in the UK (especially those accredited by the British Psychological Society) and the US.

Many students do find cognitive psychology immediately appealing. Like me, some of these students are interested in how emotion can colour perception (and they way we perceive something can affect our emotional state). Others seem to like the computer metaphor and so get interested in cognitive science. Those with a scientific background prefer the formal approach taken in cognitive psychology to the more (arguably) confusing approach in social psychology, which uses a more diverse range of methods.

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