"Outline the Relevance of One of the Following to Policing: Cognitive Psychology."

Essay by 2metersand2University, Bachelor's January 2005

download word file, 8 pages 2.0

Downloaded 102 times

The intention of this essay is to explore the area surrounding how cognitive psychology has affected or disaffected policing practices and the positive or negative outcomes of it. To do this, a deeper understanding of the terms cognitive and psychology, along with their interactive relationship had to be expounded.

The scope of cognitive psychology is vast in relation to the public and police, particularly due to the fact that it is an individual process with many external mitigating factors. Therefore I have attempted to narrow the field and concentrate on a couple of specific examples of the use of cognitive psychology, while attempting to explain the theories behind the processes.

What is psychology? In basic terms it is simply the study of the mind, but that very general description has a much wider application as the psychology of today differs from that of two centuries ago. Psychology as a discipline dates back to the nineteenth century when a philosopher named William Wundt opened the first psychology laboratory at a German university.

What Wundt and his co-workers attempted to do was to investigate the mind through introspection, which was observing and analysing the structure of the subjects conscious mental processes, (Thoughts, images and feelings), under controlled conditions. Today's psychology has dramatically changed and is now focused on how ones behaviour changes as a result of experience.

Cognitive means to learn, to observe, to experience. When applied to psychology it is further broken down into how that particular learning observations and experience directs a person's development. Factors such as physical, emotional, educational and behavioural cognitive (copycat learning) are influenced by parents, siblings, peers, icons, etc. The kind of adult we grow into, excluding the biological factors, is the result of a plethora of interactions we have with others around us and throughout...