A Return to Existence-- Cognitive Psychology
"Your self is your mind; renounce it and you become a chunk of meat ready for any cannibal to swallow." -Ayn Rand
Cognitive psychology "opened the black box" and accepted that individuals have a
mind. Meaning that people are capable of thinking for themselves and are not merely controlled by the environments impact on them, that their behaviors aren't all that defines them.
Cognitive psychology is what got me hooked on the field, what seems like many moons ago, in the classroom of an Iowa Hawkeye. Though I hope most of the things we've learned in this course will stick with me (it would be helpful, since I'm a psychology major), the power and emphasis that this perspective puts on the mind is what makes it beautiful and thus the last psychological concept that I'd like to fade from my long-term memory.
Psychology teaches us not to accept what we are told or even what we originally see and think [ruling out rival hypotheses]. We are trained to ask questions of others and even more so of ourselves [confirmation bias]. Psychology deals with human beings which makes it implicitly complicated. Answers do not come in pretty wrapped packages, tied nicely with a bow. That frustrates many people, maybe because we tend to get caught up in searching for THE answer and then feel relief with the recognition of finding it. This lacks an appreciation for the process. This nature of psychology lends itself to life, in my mind creating more considerate individuals who are capable of critical thinking and listening. I want to be like that, so I hope that those concepts remain with me.
In my opinion, putting the mind in a "black box" takes away what otherwise makes psychology valuable. We are asked to THINK about experiments: reliability, validity falsifiability, replicability, etc. Without accepting that you have the capacity for this; without accepting the simple fact that your existence gives you the ability to think and reason; - without cognition the necessities for being a psychologist of sorts would be impossible. Simplifying humans to their behaviors is like reducing an experiment to its results. How those results came about MATTERS. All people within the world of psychology agree on this. Therefore I hold that how behaviors come about matters too, even more so.
Once this courses is ten years in my past, whether the plans I hold now come true or not, I hope I am still a critically thinking person who puts great emphasis on my mind and how it works.