chapter  1
9 Pages

The Cognitive Approach

The cognitive and the dynamic viewpoints are by no means the only possible approaches to psychology. Behaviorism, for example, represents a very different tradition, which is essentially incompatible with both. The activity of the cognitive systems results in-and is integrated with-the activity of muscles and glands that we call "behavior". It is also partially-very partially-reflected in those private experiences of seeing, hearing, imagining, and thinking to which verbal descriptions never do full justice. Visual cognition, then, deals with the processes by which a perceived, remembered, and thought-about world is brought into being from as unpromising a beginning as the retinal patterns. These patterns of light at the retina are the so-called "proximal stimuli". The present approach is more closely related to that of Bartlett than to any other contemporary psychologist, while its roots are at least as old as the "act psychology" of the nineteenth century.