Cognitive Psychology: Main Theories Review


Cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology that helps in studying mental processes, such as perception, thought, memory, linguistic, problem-solving, and studying. The cognitive research approach provides managing memory disorders, decision-making accuracy, looking for methods on how people can recover from brain damage, treatment of learning disorders, and structure of educational programs which enhance learning. Social Cognitive Theory explains the environmental factors that affect health aspects. The theories are applied in future careers in making critical decisions, improving self-efficacy, and supporting mechanisms of advancing in careers. Cognitive psychology helps in developing careers based on its theories, which assist in addressing mental issues and regulating behaviors.

Theories Overview

Cognitive-behavioral theory (CBT) is a talking therapy used in treating individuals with a range of mental health challenges. CBT is founded on the notion that the ways people act (behaviors) feel (emotions), and think (cognition) interrelate since thoughts are defined by behaviors and feelings (Daoshan, 2019). The therapy guides one to be realistic as one learns how to interact with society through observing others’ behavior and listening to what they say.

Social Cognitive Theory describes individual experiences, environmental factors, actions, and health behaviors. It helps a person comprehend how humans are affected by their surroundings and their influence on the environment (Nabi & Prestin, 2017). The theory’s central aspect is to guide one to develop observational learning, which helps to acquire desirable behavior. The model helps in learning new behaviors and understanding the values of other people for those who do not share the same perception.

Cognitive learning theory illustrates how external and internal factors affect an individual’s mental stages and intelligence. The theory implies that difficulties and delays in acquiring knowledge are noticed when the cognitive processes fail to function normally (Nabi & Prestin, 2017). However, it is assumed that thoughts are the primary determinants of behaviors and emotions. The theory is further centered on the mental processes in which the learners interpret, take in, and retrieve data.

Chomsky’s Theory of Language Development is transformational and accounts for a sentence’s semantic and syntactic properties. The faculty of dialectal contains specific knowledge of numerous linguistic data, principles, and constraints comprising the original state of language faculty (Daoshan, 2019). By interacting with other people, a new body of linguistics is identified as specific languages. The body brings the diverse groups together and begins to share the same beliefs and traditions.

Application of Social and Chomsky Theories in Future Career

Social Cognitive Theory is critical in choosing careers which interest one and improving performance. The model aims at supporting one in understanding educational and vocational backgrounds, which satisfies and develops a person’s well-being. Chomsky’s primary aim is to illustrate that an innately indicated linguistic organ stages a constrained class of linguistic data. As a counselor, the theories help examine varied personnel, cognitive and contextual influences found in different patients requiring help and treatment. In building the career, the theories would require workers to develop and navigate career transits towards working together as a team.

In psychology and as a counselor, the knowledge would enable cognitive development to understand the construction of healing narratives. Besides, by being familiar with all the four stages of cognitive development, I will benefit my clients by comprehending what they cannot grasp. In this respect, working to build skills would enable me to solve difficult situations and provide solutions. As a counselor, it will also be essential to understand cognitive functions, which helps to handle different clients. Age-appropriate games and activities will encourage and strengthen the younger clients’ cognitive growth. While social theory considers all the cognitive acquisition through external factors, including language and social interaction, Chomsky’s theory assumes innate the overall capability to synthesize the success levels attained by an increasingly complex cognitive organization.


Cognitive psychology is diverse and touches different components of people’s daily lives and the activities they are engaged in. Many of the findings based on cognitive theories affect practical life more than the educational aspects, which help treat mental disorders, brain damage, and degenerative diseases. The growing field of psychology helps to understand the impact of mental processes in people’s daily activities. The models have created more knowledge to understand and analyze a broad scope of human behaviors. Besides, social and Chomsky’s models would help comprehend why people react the way they do and their decisions. Such theories as cognitive-behavioral theory have supported psychologists in improving stress management, decision-making, and other behavioral aspects based on the previous acts from the past to predict the future.

As a practice, psychological theories have also allowed individuals to have more successful careers, build more confidence, educate from a concept formation, and improve their communication skills (Harmon-Jones, 2019). The theory equips children with different intellectual experiences, which provide an outline for the initial thoughts and how they interact and adapt to the environment. Collaborating with other doctors would help in creating effective treatment plans for addressing mental and cognitive problems.


Cognitive psychology helps in understanding the human mind and how it works in addressing mental problems and societal challenges. Theories have been developed to help understand psychoanalytic and behavioral approaches, which create awareness in processing information and thinking patterns. The course material applications help analyze the modern perspectives of psychology, which explain structures of functionalism in mindsets, behavior, and humanity. Therefore, understanding the theories helps solve the psychological problems and create good relationships among workers and members of society.


Daoshan, M. A. (2019). The development of Chomsky’s theory on wh-movement. Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 41(1), 37-55. Web.

Harmon-Jones, E. E. (2019). Cognitive dissonance: Reexamining a pivotal theory in psychology. American Psychological Association.

Nabi, R. L., & Prestin, A. (2017). Social learning theory and social cognitive theory. The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects, 1-13. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Cognitive Psychology: Main Theories Review'. 30 January.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Cognitive Psychology: Main Theories Review." January 30, 2022.

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PsychologyWriting. "Cognitive Psychology: Main Theories Review." January 30, 2022.