Friday, May 14, 2010

Cognitive and Comparative psychology

Cognitive psychology
Cognitive psychology studies cognition, the mental processes underlying mental activity. Perception, learning, problem solving, reasoning, thinking, memory, attention, language  and emotion  are areas of research.

Classical cognitive psychology is associated with a school of thought known as cognitivism, whose adherents argue for an information processing model of mental function, informed by functionalism and experimental psychology.

On a broader level, cognitive science is an interdisciplinary enterprise of cognitive psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, researchers in artificial intelligence, linguists, human–computer interaction, computational neuroscience, logicians and social scientists.

Computational models are sometimes used to simulate phenomena of interest. Computational models provide a tool for studying the functional organization of the mind whereas neuroscience provides measures of brain activity.

Comparative psychology

Comparative psychology refers to the study of the behavior and mental life of animals other than human beings. It is related to disciplines outside of psychology that study animal behavior such as ethology. Although the field of psychology is primarily concerned with humans the behavior and mental processes of animals is also an important part of psychological research.

This being either as a subject in its own right (e.g., animal cognition and ethology) or with strong emphasis about evolutionary links, and somewhat more controversially, as a way of gaining an insight into human psychology.

This is achieved by means of comparison or via animal models of emotional and behavior systems as seen in neuroscience of psychology (e.g., affective neuroscience and social neuroscience).