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What is cognition? It is the general term given for mental activities. In cognitive psychology, it is the study of higher mental processes; memory, attention, language, reasoning etc. in contrast to behaviourists; cognitive psychologists are more ready to posit mechanisms and processes that are not directly observable, such as memory stores and switches of attention.

Cognitive research includes several different facets of mental life, such as the use of imagery in representation, processes of decision making and problem solving and reasoning. A First Course in Psychology, Nicky Haynes, 3rd edition, Harrap Ltd, London, Page 202.

Cognition is all to do with the memory. The memory is the ability to access information in the mind relating to past experiences and events. The theories of the memory deals with the causes of forgetting; pure decay or interference from other material, and the possibility that there are two or more distinct stores from which the information is forgotten at different rates, short term and long term memory. They also analyse the distinction between episodic memory; the memory of specific events experienced by the individual, and semantic memory; knowledge and the way incoming information and previous knowledge interact in language comprehension and problem solving; the working memory.

There are three stages of memory;

„« Encoding:

This is the input stage, where newly perceived information is being learned or encoded. Perception is not just about receiving information with our senses but also about making sense of that information. When we see a picture of a simple shape; a square - all we are actually seeing is a pattern of light waves. But, our brain receives this information and...

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...According to Freud, repression is where we push unpleasant memories from conscious awareness. A situation where repressed memories are thought to occur, (in fact they do occur) is in the areas of child abuse, and where adults are abused. Whatever the age, if we deny it ever happened, then it never happened.

Forgetting things happens for many reasons, mentally, emotionally and physically, whatever our age.


An Introduction to Cognitive Psychology, Process and Disorders, David Groome, 1999 Psychology press Ltd, East Sussex.

A First Course in Psychology,3rd Edition,1984, Nicky haynes, Harrap Ltd, London, UK.

Psychology an Introduction, 3rd Edition,1998, Nicky Haynes and Sue Orrel, Addison Wesley Longman Ltd, Harrow, Essex.

Psychology for AS Lvel, Mike Cardwell, Liz Clarke and Claire Meldrum,2001, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, London, UK.
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