cognition


cognition
cognitional, adj.
/kog nish"euhn/, n.
1. the act or process of knowing; perception.
2. the product of such a process; something thus known, perceived, etc.
3. knowledge.
[1375-1425; late ME cognicioun < L cognition- (s. of cognitio), equiv. to cognit(us), ptp. of cognoscere (co- CO- + gni-, var. s. of gnoscere, noscere, to learn (see KNOW1) + -tus ptp. suffix) + -ion- -ION]

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Act or process of knowing.

Cognition includes every mental process that may be described as an experience of knowing (including perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, and reasoning), as distinguished from an experience of feeling or of willing. Philosophers have long been interested in the relationship between the knowing mind and external reality; psychologists took up the study of cognition in the 20th century. See also cognitive psychology; cognitive science; philosophy of mind.

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      the process involved in knowing, or the act of knowing, which in its completeness includes perception and judgment. Cognition includes all processes of consciousness by which knowledge is accumulated, such as perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, and reasoning. Put differently, cognition is an experience of knowing that can be distinguished from an experience of feeling or willing. It is one of the only words that refers to the brain as well as to the mind.

      Questions about the nature of cognition and the relationship between the knowing mind and external reality have been debated by philosophers since antiquity. Cognition and its development have been subjected to many viewpoints and interpretations. The essence of cognition is judgment; this occurs when a certain object is distinguished from other objects and is characterized by some concept or concepts. The psychologist is concerned with the cognitive process as it affects learning and behaviour.

      There are two broad approaches to contemporary cognitive theory. The information-processing (information processing) approach attempts to understand human thought and reasoning processes by comparing the mind to a sophisticated computer system that is designed to acquire, process, store, and use information according to various programs. American psychologist Robert Sternberg, for example, examined the information-processing procedures used by people taking intelligence tests. Herbert A. Simon (Simon, Herbert A.), another American social scientist, attempted to understand how the mind processes information by programming computers to mimic human thought processes. Researchers in this area strive to develop a unified theory of cognition by creating a computer program that can learn, solve problems, and remember as humans do.

      The second approach is based on the work of Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (Piaget, Jean), who viewed cognitive adaptation in terms of two basic processes: assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation is the process of interpreting reality in terms of a person's internal model of the world (based on previous experience); accommodation represents the changes one makes to that model through the process of adjusting to life's experiences. The American psychologist Jerome S. Bruner (Bruner, Jerome S.) broadened Piaget's concept by suggesting that the cognitive process is influenced by the three modes we use to represent our world: the enactive mode involves representation through action; the iconic mode uses visual and mental images; and the symbolic mode uses language.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • cognition — [ kɔgnisjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XIVe; lat. cognitio 1 ♦ Philos. Connaissance. 2 ♦ Physiol. Processus par lequel un organisme acquiert la conscience des événements et objets de son environnement. ● cognition nom féminin (latin cognitio, onis) Dans la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Cognition — Cog*ni tion, n. [L. cognitio, fr. cognoscere, cognitum, to become acquainted with, to know; co + noscere, gnoscere, to get a knowledge of. See {Know}, v. t.] 1. The act of knowing; knowledge; perception. [1913 Webster] I will not be myself nor… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cognition — Cognition, im röm. Gerichtswesen richterliche Untersuchung u. Erkenntniß besonders in außerordentlichen Fällen (cognitio extraordinaria); daher cognosciren, richterlich untersuchen, erkennen …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • cognition — I noun acquaintance, apperception, appreciation, apprehension, awareness, cognitio, cognitive process, cognizance, comprehension, conception, consciousness, discernment, enlightenment, familiarity, grasp, illumination, insight, intellection, ken …   Law dictionary

  • cognition — cognition, cognitive The process of knowing (thinking), sometimes distinguished from affect (emotion) and conation or volition (striving), in a triad of mental processes. Cognitive psychology, which focuses on the use and handling of information… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • cognition — mid 15c., ability to comprehend, from L. cognitionem (nom. cognitio) a getting to know, acquaintance, knowledge, noun of action from pp. stem of cognoscere (see COGNIZANCE (Cf. cognizance)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • cognition — ► NOUN ▪ the mental acquisition of knowledge through thought, experience, and the senses. DERIVATIVES cognitional adjective. ORIGIN Latin, from cognoscere get to know …   English terms dictionary

  • cognition — [käg nish′ən] n. [ME cognicioun < L cognitio, knowledge < cognitus, pp. of cognoscere, to know < co , together + gnoscere,KNOW] 1. the process of knowing in the broadest sense, including perception, memory, and judgment 2. the result of… …   English World dictionary

  • Cognition — In science, cognition refers to mental processes. These processes include attention, remembering, producing and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions. Cognition is studied in various disciplines such as psychology,… …   Wikipedia

  • Cognition — La cognition est le terme scientifique pour désigner les mécanismes de la pensée. Historiquement, la cognition désignait la capacité de l esprit humain à manipuler des concepts. Mais plus récemment, en sciences cognitives, le mot cognition est… …   Wikipédia en Français


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