The phenomenal success of the cognitive approach can be seen by its current dominance as the core model in contemporary psychology (usurping behaviorism in the late 1950s).

Influence and influences:

This success has led to it being applied in a wide range of areas:

  • Psychology (particularly cognitive psychology), cognitive science and psychophysics
  • Cognitive neuroscience, neurology and neuropsychology
  • Behavioral economics and Behavioral finance
  • Artificial intelligence and cybernetics
  • Ergonomics and user interface design
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Linguistics, especially psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics
  • Economics, especially experimental economics
  • Learning styles and Learning

In its widest sense, the field is quite eclectic and draws from a number of areas, such as:

  • Computer science and information theory, where attempts at artificial intelligence, collective intelligence and robotics focus on mimicking living beings' capacities for cognition, or applying the experience gathered in one place by one being to actions by another being elsewhere.
  • Philosophy, epistemology and ontology
  • Moral philosophy where it deals with the problem of ignorance, often seen as the opposite of cognition.
  • Biology and neuroscience
  • Mathematics and probability
  • Physics, where observer effects are studied in depth mathematically.

Cognitive ontology

On an individual being level, these questions are studied by the separate fields above, but are also more integrated into cognitive ontology of various kinds. This challenges the older linguistically-dependent views of ontology, wherein one could debate being, perceiving, and doing, with no cognizance of innate human limits, varying human lifeways, and loyalties that may let a being "know" something (see qualia) that for others remains very much in doubt.

On the level of an individual mind, an emergent behavior might be the formation of a new concept, 'bubbling up' from below the conscious level of the mind. A simple way of stating this is that beings preserve their own attention and are at every level concerned with avoiding interruption and distraction. Such cognitive specialization can be observed in particular in language, with adults markedly less able to hear or say distinctions made in languages to which they were not exposed in youth.