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Critically exploring psychology
Critically exploring psychology

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1.1 Cognitive psychology

Cognitive psychology is an approach to human thinking that has been inspired by the development of computers in the 20th century. The British mathematician Alan Turing was responsible for the argument that if machines perform in ways which are indistinguishable from humans then they must be deemed intelligent. This inspired many psychologists to investigate the thinking mind. Cognitive psychologists often propose models for behaviours that take the form of interconnected ‘boxes in the brain’. These models aren’t designed to identify where in the brain a particular behaviour or action derives from; rather they attempt to identify how incoming information is (or is not) processed.

A circuit board shaped as a human brain
Figure 1 Cognitive psychology has been inspired by the development of computers

The area of cognitive psychology also includes the study of language, attention, perception and memory.