Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Mayer, R. E. 2010. Information Processing. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
How does the human mind work? What happens when someone learns or when someone solves a problem? According to the information processing view, the human mind works by forming mental representations and applying cognitive processes to them. This definition has two elements: (1) the content of cognition is mental representations, and (2) the activity of cognition involves cognitive processes. For example, as you read the words in this paragraph, you form a series of mental representations by applying appropriate cognitive processes such as mentally selecting important ideas, mentally organizing them into a coherent cognitive structure, and mentally relating them with prior knowledge. In short, the premise underlying information processing theory is that human mental life consists of building and manipulating mental representations. The information processing view has become a centerpiece of cognitive sciencethe interdisciplinary study of cognition.
Keywords: mental representations; cognitive processes; cognitive task analysis; types of knowledge; architecture of the cognitive system