Cognitive Psychology

Development and Applications

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology involves memory, attention, reasoning, problem solving, judgment, concept formation, mental imagery, and language.

In The Beginning...

J.S. Mill (1806 –1873) was influential in encouraging the development of cognitive psychology as an experimental science. Gustav Fechner (1801–1887) followed suit and showed that cognitive events could be studied experimentally. Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) studied learning and memory using experimentation. Norbert Wiener (1894-1964) defined cybernetics as the study of structure and function of information. These early influences were the beginning of experimental cognitive psychology.

There was a time before 1930 and after 1950 when radical behaviorism was highly influential and it was widely believed that cognitive events were simply by-products (epiphenomena) of brain activity and could be ignored. The intersection of physiology, gestalt psychology, and social psychology created a cognitive revolution.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects an individual's muscles and joints. Symptoms include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, affected memory, mood, anxiety, and depression.

In an article by Bennett and Nelson, on cognitive behavioral studies in fibromyalgia patients, it was found that in two studies there was improvements in both pain and fibromyalgia symptoms.

CBT therapists work with patients to educate them on understanding that their beliefs can influence their symptoms. The goal is to increase the patients personal control.


Bennett, R., & Nelson, D. (2006). Cognitive behavioral therapy for fibromyalgia. Nature Clinical Practice Rheumatology, 2(8), 416+. Retrieved from: Gale Group.

Hergenhahn, B. R., & Henley, T. B. (2014). An introduction to the history of psychology (7th ed.). Belmont, CA:Wadsworth-Cengage.