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Cognitive Theory

Cognitive Theory

Author: Nancy Esslinger

In this lesson you will learn about the mechanisms of cognitive theory, a perceptual theory of communications.

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Terms to Know
Cognitive Theory

A theory which states that a viewer actively arrives at a conclusion through a series of many mental processes.


The viewer has preconceived notions sometimes leading to false perceptions.


The viewer ignores the familiar to protect from overstimulation.


Images are interpreted by the viewer's recall of all images ever seen.


The viewer projects meaning based on mental state and personal interpretation.


The viewer gives notice to that which has meaning to them.


The viewer filters out irrelevant detail and only focuses on what is relevant at the time.