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Cognitive Theory

Cognitive Theory

Description:

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

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to today's lesson on cognitive theory. Today you’ll learn about what cognitive theory is and then see it in action. Specifically, you will be learning about:

  1. Cognitive Theory Overview
  2. Memory
  3. Projection
  4. Expectation
  5. Selectivity
  6. Habituation
  7. Salience

1. Cognitive Theory Overview

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

Term to Know

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

So those series of many mental processes that you’ll learn about individually are memory, projection, expectation, selectivity, habituation, and salience.


2. Memory

Memory is when images are interpreted by the viewer's recall of all images ever seen.

Term to Know

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

Example You might have a memory of your grandma and her clothes always being floral. Out of all the images you could recall of your grandma, you always see her in a long floral or some sort of flower patterned clothing. So that became one of the types of clothes or even pattern that you associate to her. It became one of those staples.


3. Projection

Projection is when the viewer projects meaning based on mental state and personal interpretation.

Term to Know

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

Example A manager named Cindy is looking to hire new assistant managers to eventually become managers. So a staffer confronts Cindy and tells her that maybe she should have someone else be manager and that she's been manager for way too long. How does Cindy take this? Cindy might be feeling insulted and a little insecure about her management abilities now, so when someone asks about potential candidates or recommends them maybe she might be keen to bark out and let them know that she's a way better manager. At this point she's now projecting her own feelings and insecurities about new potential staffers being promoted.

Example Another good, simple example is when you tell someone, hey, you look great today. If they're in a good mood they'd be inclined to thank you, but if they had the worst day of their life they're going to project those negative experiences and feelings and be inclined to think, “well I look good today? Don't I look good other days?”


4. Expectation

Expectation is when the viewer has preconceived notions sometimes leading to false perceptions.

Term to Know

    • Expectation
    • The viewer has preconceived notions sometimes leading to false perceptions.

Example It is Valentine's Day, so maybe you've been interested in someone and you've both been really close and hitting it off. Valentine's Day comes around and you're excited to finally tell him or her, give them a nice card or something, and then lock your eyes and finally be united together forever. But then you actually go through with this decision with him or her and it just doesn't feel the same or maybe it's just becomes really awkward because you've set up certain expectations that weren't met.


5. Selectivity

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

Term to Know

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

Example So let's say you're running late to class and all you can think about is the time. You're going to filter out everything and start looking at your watch or pull out your cell phone and maybe not even want to look at the time anymore because you're so nervous. But then out of nowhere you see clocks. There's clocks on the side of buildings, there's clocks at the top of buildings, and you finally make it to where you need to be and there's even clocks in the building. There's just clocks everywhere.


6. Habituation

Habituation is when the viewer ignores the familiar to protect from over stimulation.

Term to Know

    • Habituation
    • The viewer ignores the familiar to protect from overstimulation.

Example So, let's say there's a bully at school. When you walk down the hallway past your lockers on your way to class, he always gets in your face and tries to intimidate you. Now normally you'd back away or get scared, but after a while you learn he's not really going to hurt you and that he's just being annoying. So when you're having one of those days where there's just way too much going on and you're over stimulated you just completely ignore the situation.


7. Salience

Salience is when the viewer gives notice to that which has meaning to them.

Term to Know

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

Example You're at dinner and you're hungry and you notice everyone has food but you. Or maybe you're at prom or some event like that and everyone came in limos but you. You notice things that have meaning to you for one reason or another.

Summary

So that wraps up this lesson for cognitive theory. Specifically, you learned about memory, projection, expectation, selectivity, habituation, and salience.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR MARIO E. HERNANDEZ

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Cognitive Theory

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

  • Memory

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

  • Projection

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

  • Expectation

    The viewer has preconceived notions sometimes leading to false perceptions.

  • Selectivity

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

  • Habituation

    The viewer ignores the familiar to protect from overstimulation.

  • Salience

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