People Innovation Excellence

What You Need to Know About : Cognitive theories

The term cognition simply refers to mental activities. Thus, in everyday conversation, when people make reference to paying attention, planning, forgetting, guessing, daydreaming, and so on, they are invoking cognitive concepts. The domain of mental activities is obviously very broad, encompassing everything that transpires from the initial perception of a stimulus (e.g., the sight and scent of roses and letter shapes on a card) to evocation of thoughts and emotions, and even production of overt responses (e.g., verbal and nonverbal expressions of joy and appreciation). Cognitive theories provide an important window on communication processes because both message production and message comprehension ultimately transpire in the mind.

omprehension ultimately transpire in the mind. The objective of cognitive theories is to describe the mental system(s) that give rise to the various phenomena of interest. In other words, explanation (and prediction and control) comes from specifying the nature of the mental structures and processes responsible for producing a particular phenomenon (in much the same way that one might explain the movement of an automobile by describing the action of the pistons, drive shaft, and so on). At the most fundamental level, cognitive theories focus on explicating foundational mental processes such as the nature of attention, perception, comprehension, memory, and response production. As an approach to illuminating the sorts of issues of interest to communication scholars, cognitive theories have been developed to address phenomena as diverse as communication skill acquisition, social anxiety, memory for messages in the mass media, romantic relationship development, and group decision making.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.

Penanggungjawab naskah :

Gayes Mahestu
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan

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