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Branch of psychology devoted to the study of human cognition, particularly as it affects learning and behaviour. The field grew out of advances in Gestalt, developmental, and comparative psychology and in computer science, particularly information-processing research. Cognitive psychology shares many research interests with cognitive science, and some experts classify it as a branch of the latter. Contemporary cognitive theory has followed one of two broad approaches: the developmental approach, derived from the work of Jean Piaget and concerned with representational thought and the construction of mental models (schemas) of the world, and the information-processing approach, which views the human mind as analogous to a sophisticated computer system.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cognitive psychology, visit Britannica.com.