The term “cognitive psychology” is nowadays associated with the approach to psychology that became predominant after the Second World War, focusing on mental processes rather than behavior.
But from the earliest days of psychology as a scientific discipline, psychologists had set out to study the way our minds work.
Although behaviorism, which dismissed cognitive processes as observable and irrelevant, dominated psychology in the USA, German psychologists continued to explore ways of examining these mental activities.
Herman Ebbinghaus and Wilhelm WUndt laid the foundations for a scientific stud of memory and perception, and later, Gestalt psychology provided a comprehensive explanation of mental processes that countered behaviorism’s emphasis on conditioning.
Cognitive psychology formally emerged in the 1950″s, with the so-called “cognitive revolution”-a movement largely influenced by advances in information and computer sciences.