Major Movements in Psychology


What was the Cognitive Revolution?

In the 1950s and 1960s several lines of development converged to create the explosive shift in academic psychology known as the cognitive revolution. Research in various other fields of study, such as anthropology, linguistics, and computer science, had been moving toward the scientific study of mental processes. Within psychology, studies of memory, perception, personality traits, and other mental phenomena continued to gain ground.

Even orthodox behaviorists were stumbling onto mental processes. As these lines of development came together, the mind once again became a worthy object of study. The black box model of psychology was rejected and cognition, or thought processes per se, became the object of intense interest. Major contributors included Ulric Neisser, Howard Kendler, and George and Jean Mandler. With the renewed interested in cognitive processes, there was also a resurgence of an earlier movement that had started in Europe but migrated to the United States after World War II, namely Gestalt psychology.


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