Cognitive psychology is a discipline within psychology that investigates the internal mental processes of thought such as visual processing, memory, problem solving, or language.
The school of thought arising from this approach is known as cognitivism which is interested in how people mentally represent information processing. It had its foundations in the work of Wilhelm Wundt, Gestalt psychology of Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler, and Kurt Koffka, and in the work of Jean Piaget, who provided a theory of stages/phases that describe children's cognitive development. Cognitive psychologists use psychophysical and experimental approaches to understand, diagnose, and solve problems, concerning themselves with the mental processes which mediate between stimulus and response. Cognitive theory contends that solutions to problems take the form of algorithms—rules that are not necessarily understood but promise a solution, or heuristics—rules that are understood but that do not always guarantee solutions. Cognitive science differs from cognitive psychology in that algorithms that are intended to simulate human behavior are implemented or implementable on a computer. In other instances, solutions may be found through insight, a sudden awareness of relationships.
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