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Looking inside the black box

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Cognitive psychology has revolutionised the research domain of the science of human behaviour

since the mid 1950’s.Cognitive psychology deliberately looks at mental processes such as memory, perception, attention, decision making and so on, in direct contrast to its predecessor Behaviourism, a revolution in itself symbolised most strongly by B.F Skinner, and outlined by Lu & Dosher (2007)  here.In an effort to study human behaviour with scientific methods, Skinner’s work focussed exclusively and dogmatically on observable behaviour, relegating the domain of exploring the ‘black box’ of mental processes as unscientific.Skinner and other behaviourists stood firm on a theory and range of methods termed operant or instrumental conditioning which showed that an animal, commonly a pigeon or rat could be trained to do certain tasks using the right positive or negative stimuli ie food rewards or electric shock deterrents.Here, pigeons are conditioned play an impressive game of ping pong,…